We are delighted to launch Pedro’s - the first distilled “ogogoro“ in Nigeria at a tasting experience bar in store, next weekend.
Ogogoro is a distilled spirit originating from the oil or raffia palm tree. Initially tapped in the form of palm sap, the spirit is consumed not only throughout Nigeria but across the entire West and Central African region (as well as in the diaspora). Since prior to colonial times, ‘palm wine tappers’ have continued to refine their techniques converting the fermented palm sap into its more potent form, known as ‘ogogoro’, ‘kaikai’, ‘sapele water’, ‘push me, I push you’, ‘fire water’, etc...
As a direct result of colonial suppression of the once burgeoning industry, ogogoro - now referred to many as ‘local gin’, has continued to be produced as a form of subsistence farming, catering only to local communities in rural environments. Outside of these settings and with an exception of very specific tribes, adulterated versions of ogogoro, watered down and mixed with harsher synthesised spirits, are infamously consumed by either the very poor, seeking a quick high, or those who consider themselves traditional enough to appreciate the medicinal/natural benefits of such a drink. Because of this, the once-reputable craftsman’s spirit, has been priced out of the market, by cheaper alternatives - notorious for hospitalising its imbibers, which in many cases, has resulted in headline-grabbing fatalities across the country.
In Lagos, Nigeria’s cultural and commercial capital, ogogoro is seldom enjoyed by the cosmopolitan, newly affluent, young and fun-loving professional, as they only know too well about the risks of indulging in such drinks. Furthermore, procuring ‘real’ ogogoro through grey market channels is an arduous task, especially when the aforementioned demographic group requires the spirit for traditional, ceremonial or medicinal purposes. These drinkers, ultimately stuck between unaffordable foreign drinks and embarrassingly cheap local drinks, have no ‘middle class option’ that is representative of their aspirational cravings for quality, yet money-savvy lifestyles.
For the increasingly discerning imbiber, Pedro’s premium ogogoro is a 100% organic palm spirit, micro-distilled in small batches and handcrafted in Nigeria. Like the Scottish Highlands to whisky or the Cognac region to brandy, Pedro’s began in Sapele, the spirit’s appellation, in the Delta region of Nigeria. Refined and bottled in Lagos, Pedro’s is a first of its kind, fusing our forefathers’ natural distillation techniques with a new Nigerian narrative, to reinvent the original spirit of the nation.