Palm Wine


Palm wine is created from the sap of a variety of species of palms, including the Palmyra, and coconut palms. It is an alcoholic beverage that is common in various parts of Asia and Africa.


Other names: emu, ogogoro
Translations: Palm Vīns, Palmių vynas, Palm Vinului, Palm Vino, Palm Wijn, हथेली शराब, Palm вина, النخيل النبيذ, 팜 와인, Tuak, 棕榈酒, Vi de palma, Palm Vino, Vino di palma, פאלם יין, PALMVIN, Палмино вино, パームワイン, Vin de palme, Palm Vin, Vino de palma, Palm вина, Palm Viini, Palm Вино

Physical Description

It is a cloudy, whitish beverage with a sweet alcoholic taste and a very short shelf life of only one day.

Colors: White

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Sweet, sour
Mouthfeel: Juicy
Food complements: Coconut
Wine complements: Sauvignon blanc
Substitutes: Toddy

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Fresh and well bottled.
Buying: With its short shelf life, it is hard to find. If you live near certain varieties of palm trees including raphia palm (Raphia hookeri or R. vinifera) and the oil palm (Elaeis guineense), consider making your own.
Procuring: The process of sap fermentation is an alcoholic fermentation of the sugars in the sap to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. The extracted sap is sweet. After collection it undergoes a rapid natural fermentation to produce alcohol. The shelf life of the product is very short – only one day - after which the wine becomes acidic.

Preparation and Use

The sap should be collected from a growing palm. It is collected by tapping the palm. This involves making a small incision in the bark of the palm, about 15cm from the top of the trunk. A clean gourd is tied around the tree to collect the sap, which runs into it. The sap is collected each day and should be consumed within 5-12 hours of collection. Fresh palm juice is a sweet, clear, colourless juice containing 10-12 percent sugar.

Cleaning: The quality of the final wine is determined by the conditions used for the collection of the sap. Often the collecting gourd is not washed between collections and residual yeasts in the gourd quickly begin the fermentation. This is beneficial as it prevents the growth of bacteria which can spoil the sap.

Conserving and Storing

Packaging is usually only required to keep the product clean and to transport it for its relatively short shelf life. Clean glass or plastic bottles should be used. The product should be kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight.


Palm wine is particularly common in parts of Africa, South India, Myanmar and Mexico. Some of the local names for the product include emu and ogogoro in Nigeria and nsafufuo in Ghana, kallu in South India and tuba in Suthern Mexico.



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