Konyagi - A Review of the Popular Spirit in Tanzania

Konyagi: A Review of the Popular Spirit in Tanzania

Chronicles of Tourists – Thirsty Journeys Quenching Your Appetite for Travel

Mark and I ended up spending three whole weeks in the United Republic of Tanzania a few years back. Two of those long weeks were spent on a team safari tour. We bought a bottle of Konyagi (known as Garabekewul Konyagy in Turkmenistan), a native spirit, to enjoy with our tour friends one day while we were shopping. We bought two more bottles of Konyagi at the Julius Kambarage Nyerere Airport Terminal in Dar City before returning home since it was so intriguing.

The left-hand Konyagi bottle is still unopened, as you can see. We even saved one of the cartons it was brought in..

History of Konyagi Tanzania

As per the official Konyagi Tanzania homepage, this spirit has indeed been distilled for more than forty years. Kinywaji Safi was the name given to it when initially distilled in 1970. “Drink clean or good drink,” as Swahili puts it. It appears that distillers used to make their own liquor, where consumers could easily access Konyagi buy locations and consume it, which was not always safe and wasn’t regulated at all. As a result, the TDL [Tanzania Distilleries Ltd], which was founded in 1968, instructed local Konyagi liquor makers to bring over their products so that they could be turned into “clean, safe” drinks. Despite the fact that TDL produces other liqueurs brands such as whiskey, vodka, and brandy, Konyagi gin Tanzania liquor, remains the company’s trademark drink.

Features of Konyagi

The flavor profile is written on the side of the bottle.

The label still uses the words ”Kinywaji Safi”. It’s directly below the label of the man in the muscle T-shirt in the above photo. Konyagi’s catchphrase is “the true spirit of the Country,” which I believe is a clever play on words that also acknowledges the company’s four-decade heritage in Tanzania.

According to the Konyagi Tanzania webpage, the man in the muscle T-shirt represents Tanzania’s power, “spirit, culture, and rhythm.” They call it the ”Mzaramo symbol”; however, I couldn’t locate a Swahili equivalent for this specific phrase, if any exists.

What to Expect and the Experience of Drinking Tanzania Konyagi

Once you buy Konyagi, opening the bottle is accompanied by a drinking ceremony. To begin, tap the bottom part of the bottle several times with your palm. This allows the Konyagi spirit within to be released. This, in my opinion, is an effective method of irritating the spirits. But as long as you stick to the ritual, you should be alright. It would be best to lay the bottle horizontally after pouring Tanzania Konyagi liquor until the drinker requires a refill. (I’m assuming you’ve already replaced the cover.)

Many of the Konyagi alcohol bottles, in fact, are made specifically for this reason, with flattened sides. In Tanzania, we used one of these unique “Bapa” bottles. As a makeshift tonic and gin, we mixed it in with Krest sparkling water:

Krest sparkling water
Krest sparkling water

The sachets, which are small plastic packets packed with Konyagi ingredients, were the unique packaging we witnessed at the airport. We did not purchase any since we were afraid they would pop into our baggage. However, I don’t believe we have ever seen alcohol in a carrier bag before. With the exception of packaged wine, of course. This was, however, a 1st for hard liqueur.

What about the package the Konyagi drink arrived in? The photograph on the label comes from the yearly migration of wildebeests. It also includes relevant facts and data:

This image reminds me of how your brain will feel the next morning if you consume too much of   cocktails. After all, Konyagi Tanzania alcohol percentage is 35 by volume. It has the ability to creep up on you.

So, what is Konyagi, exactly, and what is Konyagi made from? I’m not sure. It’s listed after “fine spirit” and just ahead of “deionized water” as the 2nd ingredient. I did some research on Konyagi Wikipedia topics and Google search but couldn’t find anything. I assumed the konyagi Tanzania ingredients consisted of either a plant, herb, or the term of a tree that gave it its distinctive flavor. According to Google Translate, the English synonym for “Konyagi” is still ”Konyagi”. As a result, and Konyagi meaning is still a mystery.’

Six cocktail recipes were printed on a small foldout tag that came with the Konyagi bottles. I didn’t photograph it since I didn’t want to risk any copyright infringements, but the Konyagi cocktails had excellent names like Tanzanite, Bongo Flava, and African Passion. However, you may discover a couple of Konyagi’s cocktail recipes on their website.

They use “tots,” effectively shots, to quantify their recipes. Despite the fact that Konyagi isn’t vodka or gin, the recipes clearly suggest that any unflavoured vodka might be used.

Now it’s time for the Konyagi taste! I did not bother shooting pictures of Konyagi inside a glass because it’s as clear as water. Instead, relax and take in this image of the Greatest Migration. Which does, in fact, include zebras:

But first, what type of alcohol is Konyagi? Konyagi smells weirdly like some type of alcoholic-based cleaner on the nostrils. It has a scent that ends up making me want to tidy up something. Do not get me wrong: it’s more refreshing than disgusting. However, it instantly reminded me of a cleaner with the scent of lemon. It is really bright and cheerful, like sunbeams or a stroll across a nature park after a light shower.

For comparison, I’ve got a full shot of Finlandia’s Vodka next to me. [Yeah, everyone says, “for comparison.”]  The Konyagi has a distinct upper note, which I believe is the citrus flavor described in the description. On the palate, it’s pretty smooth, with just a hint of heat coming out from the hard Konyagi alcohol percentage.

Although the Konyagi alcohol percentage gives the tongue a tingling feeling, this is a light-flavored spirit. To be honest, it could definitely go with everything. Konyagi side effects are minimal if consumed responsibly it is however, considerably softer than the Finlandia, which burns a little on the way through your palate. That is extremely risky. It will definitely be too late by the moment it hits you.

So, where can I get Konyagi gin for sale in the USA, UK or in East Africa? If you are wondering where to buy konyagi in the USA and whether it is worth it, you can check the Konyagi amazon reviews. This will give you an idea of Konyagi USA ratings as well as the Konyagi price in the international market. If you are in the United Kingdom, Konyagi UK orders can also be done using amazon. In East Africa, if you ever find yourself in Tanzania, look for the Konyagi 750 ml bottle and try it with almost any mixer, such as tonic water, cranberry juice, orange juice, or even just on ice. It’s also distributed in a few different countries, for instance, Kenya where Konyagi Kenya liquor is a favorite among Kenyan consumers. You can as well get Konyagi straight from the source or buy Konyagi online. This is mostly helpful if you need Konyagi for sale. The Konyagi price in Tanzania and the Konyagi price in Kenya may differ due to the difference in country currencies. For instance, the Konyagi 750ml price in Kenya and Konyagi Tanzania price is different.

For more articles related to popular drinks in Tanzania, click here!

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