Nigeria’s signature cocktail – The Chapman

Have you ever heard of the Nigerian Chapman? The Chapman for all intents and purposes, is Nigeria’s own signature cocktail. I don’t know of anywhere else in the world where you can find this, but if you do, please comment.  Really easy to make, almost always featured at Nigerian parties, and one drink that keeps our foreign friends and visitors guessing.  It really has  unique flavour, and when I first arrived it was one of the things I remember drinking when I was younger that I craved on my return. After sampling several recipes at local bars and restaurants, it dawned on me to find out the ingredients and make my own version.  After probing a number of local waiters and bar tenders, I figured it out.  I’m off refined sugars now so I cannot indulge anymore, but below is my old recipe.

For those who were that chapman is alcohol-free, it isn’t totally. Angostura bitters, a key ingredient, does contain some alcohol – 44.7%. Sorry if you thought this was totally a non-alcoholic beverage. It’s not! But for those who don’t mind the alcohol content, I do hear that adding a splash of the liqueur – Campari – is really the secret behind this unique cocktail.

This is almost like Nigeria’s very own sangria. Feel free to add fresh mint leaves to your drink as well. And yes, cucumber is key for this one. IMHO.

 

Ingredients

4 tablespoons of Blackcurrant cordial (e.g., Ribena)

350ml Fanta, (chilled)

350 ml Sprite (chilled)

3 tsp Angostura Bitters

1 tsp orange, lemon, and lime juice

Ice cubes

Slices of cucumber, oranges, lemons, limes (to garnish) and fresh mint leaves (optional)

1/4 cup of vodka or Campari liqueur (optional)

Preparation

  1. In a pitcher add the ice cubes
  2. Pour in the Fanta and Sprite
  3. Add in the blackcurrant cordial, Angostura Bitters, orange, lemon and lime juice
  4. Add in the vodka (optional), add garnish and mix
  5. Garnish serving glasses and serve

17 Comments

  1. Is there an equivalent to Angostura Bitters for us that are stateside and can’t find it here? I miss chapman terribly.

  2. Hey MBDF, did you cut your fruit with a Mandoline?

    I was one of those that thought Chapman was a mocktail. Now I know better!

    • Madam Chef

      Natural Nigerian. No mandolin. Just a very sharp knife, steady hand and an eye for precision. Plus a lot of trial and error.

      Unfortunately, there’s nothing “mock” about Chapman. Although, the amount of bitters needed to make it is somewhat negligible.

  3. Quite impressed with your knife skills. I feel challenged to do better.

  4. Where can I get Angostura Bitters in Lagos.

  5. Yea chapman. I remember a particular point in time I was wondering how I never came across it overseas as well. Genuinely Nigerian.

    Your pictures are quite stunning. I wondered how much you paid the to get them done. Then I read your (mini)bio.

    Very nice. Well done all around.

    Peace.

  6. Where can I get the bitters from and is there an alternative for it?

  7. Please can I make it in large quantities and how long can I preserve it for? Can I preserve it for about 3 days? Thanks.

  8. Sincerly, I enjoyed ur post, more power to ur elbow. Pls how many quantities are the ingredients in case of serving 300 people?

  9. Like your page and this post in particular but where can I get Angostura Bitters in Enugu. Do shoprite carry it? Also is there an alternative?

  10. I learned of these from the Bahrain Yacht Club. There they were very popular and we called them “Chapman’s”. There was a diet version too. I don’t recall the blackcurrant/Ribena, but I do recall bitters was the key ingredient. The three years I was in Bahrain I don’t recall meeting anyone from Nigeria, so I imagine it made it’s way to the Middle East via an Oil & Gas expat.

  11. You’ll be pleased to hear that chapman has been made in a can. And trust me, it smells and tastes like the traditional chapman. The whiff of cucumber and taste is spot on. It is made as a nonalcoholic beverage but when added to vodka, it’s heaven.

  12. Thanks! I First drank Chapmans in Oman at the oil company’s club and thought it was a local invention.

  13. In place of angostura bitters you can use alomo bitters. I’m sure nobody will have problem finding that to buy .

  14. ifeddayo

    Pls what quantity is used for preparing 100 people

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