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Voodoo Spirits: Tambour


Cocktail lovers looking for their next object of lust should check out  Tambour Original.    

Tambour is a modern take on sodabi, a palm liquor that has been enjoyed for hundreds of years by the people of West Africa.   Fermented from the naturally sweet sap of palm trees, it became illegal during European colonization as a threat to European liquor imports.  The sodabi tradition persisted outside of the colonists’ surveillance, thanks to the belief that the hooch yielded incredible voodoo powers that increased strength, stamina, and well-being, as well as provide protection against evil spirits.

Luckily for us, two Americans have started a small sodabi distillery in Benin under the Tambour Original label. Their mix is a little smoother than the original version. It’s twice-distilled, and finished in small batches with American oak, hibiscus flowers, dates, honey and other local tropical fruits and spices for an intensely smooth and uniquely African spirit.

It tastes (according to The Economist) “somewhere between Christmas pudding and tequila, with a subtle sweetness that burns pleasantly in the stomach.”

Hopefully, it won’t be too long before Tambour can work it’s magic at Canadian bars. For now, you’ll have to check your luggage and bring back a bottle on your next trip to New York or Washington. 

To find out more about Tambour Original, click here.