Six Perfect Drinks for Jollof

I’d never really given much thought to the perfect drinks for Jollof till #Jollofgate, when I spied a bottle of ale next to Jamie’s offering. Now, I know Jonny Garrett,  the deputy editor of who worked with him on thefeature is a beer aficionado who loves pairings… (he’s @beerchannel on Twitter)

To be honest, food and drink pairings aren’t something we do a lot with Nigerian food, but we should because what we drink can enhance (or not) the experience of the flavours. In this regard, one seeks for answers to the question ‘Drink pairings for spicy food’.

In my opinion, spice isn’t about heat and overwhelming flavours. Its about subtle blends of flavours, and layers of complexity that complement well to yield a tasty dish.

Some of these drinks I’ve known and drunk from time of ‘this-high’, others, I grew into and yet more are new – suggested by the present and their availability.

Soft Drinks

The go-to, standard accompaniment to Jollof rice. My preferred option is Coca Cola.

Fanta and Sprite


This sweet, fruity, refreshing mocktail is perfect, perfect for Jollof Rice. A mixture of Fanta Orange, Sprite, Blackcurrant cocktail and a dash of bitters is more than the sum of its parts.  {Chapman recipes} cocktails glasses

Malt drinks

A bit dark, a bit sweet, Malt drinks are great if a tad heavy for most meals.  IMG_4076


New kid on the block Orijin is a firm favourite for some Jollof lovers. Its herby flavours complement the rich tomato flavour…take it from there. Try it. I did but was really put off at the bitter contrast. But hey, some people love it.

Shandy/ Radler

Light, crisp and refreshing, this is perfect for Jollof. Whether mixed with soda or juice, it delivers the same level of refreshing 🙂

L: Shandy with Sprite; R - Shandy with Apple juice

Pale ales

It was the sighting of an ale bottle next to Jamie’s ‘Jollof’ that got me thinking. So yes, apparently, they are a great match for spicy food.

There are two ways to go when you want to pair beer with a spicy plate of jerk chicken or chili-spiked seafood. You can cool the burn or you can kick it even higher. Whichever way you go, we have a few suggestions;

To tame the heat, you want a beer that balances out the spicy flavors in the dish. Beers that emphasize malts over hops do this job nicely. Light lagers are great – there’s a reason why most Mexican beers are lagers, after all! Many amber ales also pair nicely with spicy foods. Just stay away from beers that are too sweet or very dark. they can start to overpower the flavors in the food.

The Kitchn



Oh yes, I’ve served a few tropical mixers with Jollof that are beautiful. Anything from a Zobo cocktail to a Soursop one and Mango,…Awesome.

Nigerian Cocktails20039795268_b87c688180_c


My favourite wines to pair with Jollof are sparkling / dry white wines and sweet reds. Roses work well too. Some recommendations for White? Prosecco, Champagne; and reds? Primitivo, Sicilian red, Zinfandel or Valpolicella Ripasso.



{Some cocktail recipes}

Some Interesting Reads on Food Pairing[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Six Perfect Drinks for Jollof – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. Thanks for your sharing. The drinks and food you give are very great. I can see that each drink is a combination of lots of fruits. The drink I like most is Chapman. It is sweet and freshing

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