​What Is Another Name For Palm Wine?

​What Is Another Name For Palm Wine?

Published by Inna on 26th Sep 2021

The alcoholic drink of palm wine is an acclaimed drink around the world, originating in areas of both Asia and Africa. The drink’s popularity spread throughout the world, in places like the Caribbean, South America and Europe. Due to its abundance in many countries worldwide, palm wine is often known as a number of different names, depending on the country. Let’s take a closer look at what palm wine is, what it is known as, why it has a cultural importance and the benefits of drinking it.

What is Palm Wine?

Palm wine is an alcoholic beverage made from the sap of tropical palm trees that are found throughout Asia, South America and Africa. The sap used to make the wine is extracted from the top parts of the palm trees. To collect this, generally, young boys climb the trees to collect the sap and pass it downwards. Alternatively, the palm trees are felled, and a small fire is inserted within the trunk of the tree, which then loosens the sap for it to be collected. The sap, which is white in colour, is then collated and ferments with yeast in the air to form palm wine. This process does not take a long time – around two hours, after which there is a level of alcohol in the wine similar to that of beer. Due to this quick process, palm wine is sold quickly after the sap is extracted.

The drink itself tastes very sweet and has a milky consistency. The longer that the wine is left, the more sour it becomes if not contained correctly. In order to make palm wine last longer, allowing it to be shipped to the masses and sold across the world, it is fermented. This allows it to last up to two years. While palm wine is often marketed as such, it is also known by several different names.

What Else Is Palm Wine Called?

Depending on the country, palm wine is known by different names in many different languages. These may have slightly different variances in terms of ingredients or flavour, but all hold similar properties. Our handy guide below describing the alternative names for palm wine should help you. Many of the names revolve around the word ‘toddy’ used to describe the drink.

Algeria: legmi

Benin: atan and sodabi, distilled palm wine

Borneo: tuba

Burkina Faso: bangui

Cameroon: mimbo, matango, mbuh, and sodébi

Cambodia: tuk tnout choo

Central African Republic: kangoya

China: panam culloo

Congo-Brazzaville: in Nsamba, kikongo and in Masanga ya mbila, lingala

Congo-Kinshasa: kikongo

Comoros: tremba

Costa Rica: vino de coyot

Côte d’ivoire: bandji (baoulé), koutoukou

Djibouti: dooma

Gabon: toutou, malamba

Ghana: doka, nsafufuo, palm wine, yabra, and déha

Indonesia: tuak, or saguer in the Eastern part

India: kallu in Tamil Nadu in the south, tadi, toddy, tari, in Bihar, Bengal, and Assam, neera in Karnataka, sur in Goa.

Libya: lāgbi

Malaysia: kallu, nira, toddy, bahar, and goribon

Mexico: tuba

Myanmar: htan yay

Nigeria: emu, oguro, ogogoro, palm wine, palmy tombo liquor, et nnmaya ngwo

Papua New Guinea: segero et tuak

Philippines: tuba, lambanog, et bahal

Senegal: bunuk et seung

Sierra Leone: poyo

South Africa: ubusulu

Sri Lanka: raa, kallu, et tuak

Togo: déha

Timor Leste: tuaka, tua mutin, et tua sabu

Tunisia: qêshem et legmi mayeet

Tuvalu: toddy

Vietnam: rượu dừa

Palm Wine Traditions

Palm wine has great cultural significance in many regions. It is often used in ceremonies as a celebration. For example, in West and Central Africa, it is drunk to celebrate a wedding and is used in village celebrations and ceremonies. Some tribes include palm wine as part of a dowry, paid to a groom’s family in the run up to a wedding. The wine is a symbol of the union between the man and women, and often the bride offers a glass of palm wine to her father, during the ceremony as an act of the union.

The Benefits of Palm Wine

As well as being tasty, palm wine has a number of benefits that also add to its popularity. It has many health benefits and contains a lot of natural vitamins and minerals that help the body. However, it is important to note that palm wine is still an alcoholic drink, so this should be drunk in moderation, as alcohol can also cause negative damage to the body if consumed in excess.

Palm wine contains a high content of riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 is an antioxidant that is great for wellbeing. Vitamin B is important for growth and energy. It helps convert carbohydrates in the body to energy, and it can also increase the body’s red blood cell production.

Additionally, palm wine includes Vitamin B1 and Vitamin C. Vitamin B1 also aids energy production, combatting fatigue and muscle weakness. Vitamin C helps to repair the body and maintains blood vessels and bones.

The drink also includes mineral salts such as potassium and iron. Iron helps make red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body and helps boost the immune system and regulate body temperature. Potassium aids heart health.

Finally, palm wine is also known to benefit eyesight, with rumours of whole villages throughout history drinking the substance and having great eyesight, even to an old age. This is due to the wine containing Vitamin C and thiamine. These work in combination to improve vision as well as having additional health benefits.


Due to the proliferation of palm wine across the globe, it goes by many different names and is included in a number of traditions. Palm wine is not just popular for its sweet and milky taste but also for its place within the culture of countries located in Africa and Asia. If you are looking to source palm wine within the U.K., we recommend Nkulenus, sourced from Ghana, which you can buy here. is your one stop shop for all African and Caribbean products. We work hard to source authentic foods at affordable prices, so why not source your favourite products or try some new ones today.

Sources Used

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