A Surprisingly Good Nigerian Cocktail Not to Miss

Becoming friends with asylum seekers has enriched my life in so many areas, including the culinary arena. When I host a successful asylum seeker after their stay in detention, I make a meal from their home county (although I have learned that eating a big meal isn’t an asylee’s first priority).  

I also like to celebrate their post-detention successes. So I threw a book party for Edafe Okporo, a successful asylum seeker from Nigeria who wrote Bed26: A Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States.

Of course, I had to serve a Nigerian drink. After a bit of Googling, I found the Chapman, billed as the quintessential Nigerian cocktail. The famous author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun) is said to be a major Chapman fan.

The Chapman is often called the Nigerian Sangria for its ruby red color (although it is a misnomer as the Chapman is wine-free). The Chapman doesn’t even have to contain alcohol, but what kind of Modern Day Church Lady party would that be?

The Chapman is shockingly delicious. I must confess that the recipe for a Chapman was unappealing to me with its sugary orange and lime soda base. But being the hostess, I forced myself to try it.  Somehow, the bitters negated the sweetness and let the orange and lime flavors shine through.

Needless to say, the Chapman was the most popular drink at the party.

Recipe for The Chapman

For a pitcher serving 2-4 people, combine the ingredients below with some ice and you have a Chapman. Don’t skimp on the bitters! And feel free to go a little overboard with the citrus fruit.


4 lime slices

4 orange slices

2 shots (6 tbsp) grenadine or crème de cassis liquor

1 cup orange soda (Fanta)

1 cup lemon/lime soda (Sprite)

A few hearty shakes of angostura bitters

Optional: gin, or other alcohol (2 to 4 shots depending on your tolerance)

Source: The Global Table Adventure blog

I liked Chapmans so much I made a pitcher for my family. Here they are having a little enforced fun so I could have a few pictures for this blog post.

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