At the onset of summer, fruit punch has to be one of the most popular drinks; everybody loves some punch or the other. Be it, kids or adults, it tends to highly invigorate everyone.
But this one is not exactly your regular punch, because it has a little twist to it.
And this fruit punch with a twist is only for adults. Sorry kids!
Nigerian Chapman, is the twisted and a better version of fruit punch! Let’s learn more about the Chapman drink then.
About the drink
The name probably would have given it off a bit. And if it hasn’t, well then, the Nigerian Chapman has its origin in Nigeria.
Although the veracity of this is still somewhat uncertain, according to sources, it first came into being by a Nigerian bartender, in Ikyoi club, which is in Nigeria. He was asked to prepare something special for his favourite British customer, whose name was Chapman.
And that’s when this drink was first discovered.
The Chapman cocktail is considered to be non-alcoholic because the amount of alcohol present in the drink is almost negligible.
But still, why not just let the kids have their fun with the fruit punch for a safer side and keep this drink reserved for adults.
How does it taste?
The Chapman drink is made up by mixing a few ingredients, including some fruits and some liquor. And these are mostly on the citrus side of the taste, to give the drink an authentic fruit punch like-taste too.
It has a mix of sodas like Fanta and sprite, some grenadine, Angostura bitters, and fruits of choice; some versions of the drink tend to contain orange, lemon, and cucumber slices, whereas some have grapefruit as well or only cucumber and lemon in them.
Moreover, the fruit addition tends to depend and vary largely.
It gives off a highly pleasant and refreshing appearance, courtesy of the presence of such selected fruits in it. The colour of the drink mainly comes from the grenadine syrup which is a mixture of red and pink, and it also gives it more flavour. And the Angostura bitters balance the sweet and sour taste by just the perfect hint of bitterness.
It is often said, that a Chapman is not one in its originality without the bitters.
But aren’t Angostura bitters alcoholic? These contain about 35-45% of alcohol and because these are used by the drop, they are often marketed as a non-alcoholic beverage. Altogether, the drink is served into a large mug filled with ice and is then thoroughly enjoyed. It traditionally used to be served ina dimpled mug, but with the changes and variations, it was simply savoured in a huge glass, without any specifications in the design of the glassware.
The Chapman drink is regarded as Nigeria’s most special and an all-time favourite. It is served at many beach bars due to its fruity and summer-like vibe, but in Nigeria, you will find this at every bar, restaurant, and club, and even more so if there is a special occasion.
Over the years, it has therefore gained a monumental amount of popularity across West Africa.
The Chapman recipe
Now, let’s take a look at the ingredients and preparation of this delicious drink!
- Fanta/orange soda – 1 cup
- Sprite – 1 cup
- Grenadine/black currant liquor – 2 shots
- Ice cubes
- Fruit slices (as per choice) like orange slices, lemon slices, grapefruit slices, cucumber slices, lime slices
- Angostura bitters
- Gin or some other spirit (optional)
- First, slice up the fruits which you wish to add to the drink; if you wish to have the Chapman drink in its traditional form, then cucumber and lemon slices are a must. After cutting up slices of the fruits, toss them in glasses in equal amounts.
- Now add 2 shots of grenadine to the glass.
- Then add some ice cubes to the glass and pour Fanta or any orange soda of your choice to it.
- This part is optional; if you wish to add a hint of booze, then drop some gin to the glass as well! You could also use vodka or rum if not gin.
- Time for some bitters. Add 3-4 drops of Angostura bitters to your glass.
(Servings: 3-4 people)
Put some Nigerian music in the background for an authentic experience and now, sit back, relax, and enjoy your perfect summer drink with the traditional Nigerian feels.
There are not any great distinctive differences in the variations of the Chapman cocktail, but again, there isn’t a standard way to make the drink either. This is because the choice of fruits mainly varies from person to person. Plus, some people might want to add some alcohol to their version of the drink whereas others might not.
However, there are a couple of alternatives that can also be used in the place of an ingredient.
Instead of Angostura bitters, you could opt for pure vanilla extract or even the liquid of some bitter herbs as the bitter element in the drink. But you should expect a difference of flavour then.
Just make sure you don’t put vanilla essence in the place of the extract.
You could even use different fruits. For instance, instead of orange slices, you could go for banana or pineapple pieces for a bit of sweetness and a juicy flavour, along with the cucumber slices for a great balance.
Another way to have the drink a bit different would be to use a lime soda in the place of Sprite. This will add a more sour and bitter note to the drink, thereby making it fresher. You could even add lemon juice for that matter.
Or, to have the drink completely alcohol-free, you could use pomegranate syrup as a substitute for grenadine syrup. Now, you can even let the children enjoy this yummy drink!
And there it is, the best and the most refreshing summer cocktail. And the best part about the Chapman drink is that you can get creative with it and have it the way you want it to!