1) Stuck in Traffic—Fanmilk
It’s funny. No matter where your car is, there will be a Fanmilk bicycle within a 50-metre radius. It’s mercifully creamy and cold on a hot day. Plus, haggling with the Fanmilk seller gives you something to do while stuck in the car. Buy a Fanmilk and maybe a Gala roll and you’re all set to face 2+ hours in the Lagos go-slow.
2) You need a soft drink but don’t want people to think you’re on their level—Fayrouz
You’re with people who maybe aren’t your friends, and the time has come for you guys to order drinks. If you get a Coke or Mirinda, you’ll seem basic; you can’t get anything alcoholic if no one else is; and a mocktail is way too expensive. The only solution is to order a Fayrouz. The word just sounds elegant coming out of your mouth. Plus, the pineapple and pear flavours are both super refreshing.
3) Everyone thinks you’re Americanah—Zobo
You probably get this a lot if you’ve schooled abroad or if you’re mixed race. Here’s an easy way to ditch the name. The next time you and your friends are getting drinks, wait for them to order Coke, Sprite and other American drinks. Then calmly order Zobo. While everyone stares at you, stunned, ask them this, ‘Who are you calling Americanah?’ If that doesn’t shut them up, then maybe it’s time to find some new friends.
4) Awaiting your malaria test results at the doctor’s office—Lipton tea and powdered milk
You’re hot, cold and tired. What could be more soothing than Lipton tea, powdered milk, hot water from the cooler and slightly lumpy sugar? Sit back and relax with your brew while you wait. Medical care might be expensive, but at least the tea is free.
5) You’re under the age of 18, but you still want to party—Chapman
Chapman, a mixture of Ribena, Fanta, Sprite, Lemon, and bitters, is perfect for any situation where you need a drink that’s not actually a drink. Served in a traditional dimpled glass, a Chapman makes 10-year-olds at birthday parties feel like ballers. It gives children something to drink on New Years’ that’s fancier than a soft drink but won’t get them arrested. Brilliant!
6) You’re thirsty but also hungry—Malt
This is a strange yet common predicament. You’re too thirsty to eat anything, but you’re so hungry you’re actively starving. The solution is to buy a malt. It’s the same size as any other drink, yet it makes you full like you’ve eaten two servings of jollof rice and chicken with a Bitter Lemon (another great drink, by the way) to wash it down. And, yes, it does quench your thirst.
7) They took light and your fridge defrosted—La Casera Apple
In my opinion, the soft drink La Casera Apple tastes just as good warm as it does cold. So, even if your fridge has transformed into a lukewarm cabinet, you’ll still have something that tastes good to drink while you wait for NEPA to turn your lights back on.
8) Someone else is paying but you don’t like them—Möet & Chandon
This is a problem that isn’t really a problem. Someone else is paying for your food and drink, which means you can order whatever you want without it hurting your wallet. Plus, the fact that you don’t like them means you can order the most expensive thing on the menu without feeling bad. In this situation, the only thing to order is Möet & Chandon. Go for it! The next event you’ll be at where Möet is served might be your funeral.
9) Election is postponed—Palm wine
This doesn’t happen that often, obviously, but it’s good to be prepared when it does. Palm wine is the answer. You might be stuck in your home state with nowhere to stay, or in Lagos where no business is open. Drink palm wine and maybe the world will look a bit brighter. By the time your hangover is gone, the elections will be over. Unless they’ve been postponed again, in which case you should drink some more palm wine.
10) You’re broke and thirsty—Water
Drink some water.
Radha Zutshi Opubor, age 15
Suddenly the music gets louder and all the waiters stop what they are doing and begin clapping...