Mar 01, 2011 at 4:59am
Expert warns against 'akpeteshie' consumption
No one drinks 'akpeteshie' and smiles. At best, the reaction is a grimace or a frown.
Some drinkers acknowledge receipt by blowing out air or pounding the chest.
Such is a potency of the local gin that puts all senses under instant attack.
But it does not end there, ‘akpeteshie’ is so notorious that given the chance, it would outwit the heavily advertised liquors on TV and Radios.
But the question is despite it's temporarily torture it takes people through, why does ‘akpeteshie’ sill remain the choice of many at blue kiosks?
Because it is not well documented ‘apio’s’ alcoholic volume has become a myth of a sod.
The alcohol content is so high that it is almost scandalous. It rocks the body for the first timer and there is a kind of feeling which is hard to describe, probably a knockout punch in boxing will do.
Despite it high content, it is the most preferred drink by some who take hard liquor. Due to its price which is relatively cheaper than other foreign drinks, it is associated with the poor but some say even the well-to-do patronise it but in secret.
Medical practitioners are not at all well amused by this concentration of alcohol. They warn that ‘apketeshie’ could be harmful especially to the liver.
They add that any amount of alcohol taken causes some changes in the brain and when this persists it damages the brain leading to forgetfulness, lack of focus as well depression.
Some have become addicted to the drink which in a way has affected their health and some even to the extent of going mad.
Dr. Akwesi Osei of the Psychiatric Hospital called for the institution of a policy on alcohol aimed at regulating it distribution.
HOW AKPETESHIE IS PREPARED
‘Apio’ or ‘akpeteshie’ is distilled mainly from palm wine and sugarcane. Typically the juice is allowed to ferment over a couple of days. Distilling involves applying intense heat to the fermented juice until it turns into vapour before finally passing through a pipe usually made of copper and then into sieved jars. The setup includes two barrels, one with the boiling fermented juice and the other, a barrel filled with cooling water. Without doubt, the defining feature of the drink is the rather high alcohol content.
Packaging is poor as the drink is not bottled nor sealed and not labeled. 'Apketeshie' is always poured in used and borrowed bottles. If there one alcoholic drink that does not need advertising, then it is 'akpeteshie'. The drink has defied the theories of marketing.