Adoyo (How to make Adoyo -Adoyo Drink-)

Adoyo (How to make Adoyo -Adoyo Drink-)

Street hawkers carry Adoyo in clear plastic buckets like this, revealing the liquid drink and fruit infusions.

Adoyo is a drink made by boiling water decanted from the top raw Ogi, with Pineapple (bark only or slices), Lemongrass and citrus (could be lime, orange or pomelo) Click link to see how to make Ogi. If there is a list for Street drinks of Lagos, Adoyo will be on the list, along with Pito (click to see recipe) , Zobo and Kunu

Street drink of Lagos! At times drinks are sold solidly frozen in this polythene bag.

My grandmother and many Yoruba herbal medicine enthusiasts believe that decanted Ogi water has healing properties. I don’t think this is far fetched as decanted Ogi water contains probiotics like you will find in yoghurt and palm wine.

Many herbal remedies concocted for Malaria and Typhoid include Ogi water. Ogi water in Yoruba is called Omidun. Omidun is water decanted off raw Ogi the morning after it has been ground sieved and the starch has settled.

My mother being a registered nurse didn’t believe in herbal concoctions and we were never given. However, as a curious child, the delicious aromas of some of my grandmother’s herbal brews always drew me to the kitchen. Particularly the ones she boiled with lemongrass and mango leaves. Yum, I will dip my cup in add sugar and drink it pretending it was tea.

Adoyo is believed to have healing properties and people drink it for reasons ranging from detox to boosting immunity, preventing/healing malaria and typhoid. Some people just swear by Adoyo! And that is one of the reasons why it is quite a popular street drink in open markets in Lagos.

Here is how to make Adoyo



  • 5 litres Ogi water (Omidun)
  • 1 large ripe pineapple
  • 3 regular sized ripe oranges
  • A fist full bunch of fresh or dried lemongrass leaves.
  • 1½ cup sugar (alternative could be honey)
*Notes * If you don’t have Omidun, use plain water. Adoyo doesn’t need any artificial colourants or flavours. Some Adoyo vendors have been said to add Yellow Colouring to give the drink an intense yellow colour. If you use ripe yellow pineapples and oranges your brew will take on the natural yellow colour of the fruits. If your Pineapple is the pale white species, it may not be as yellow, but it is okay.


  • Wash and cut up Pineapple and oranges into slices.
  • Rinse lemongrass thoroughly
  • In a clean pot, add fruits and lemongrass leaves, pour ogi water and set the heat to medium
  • Leave it to slowly come to a boil and cook for 45 minutes to 1hr.
  • While your brew is cooking, prepare a light caramel syrup.
  • In a clean dry pot, add 1½ cups of sugar and on medium heat slowly melt, stirring gently till it is light brown.
  • Once the sugar is melted and light caramel in colour, loosen it up using hot water (if you use cold water, it will crystallize). Set it aside (If you are using honey or any other sweetener, skip this step)
  • When the brew is ready turn the heat off and leave it to cool down completely with the fruits and leaves still in it.
  • Once cool, use a sieve to decant the brew into a clean container and add caramelized sugar syrup.

Pictorial representation

Adoyo will hit you with the following aromatic flavour notes. Sweet from the natural sugars in the fruits and the sugar, sour from the citrus, bitter from the rind of the citrus. And you would likely mostly perceive the beautiful aroma of the lemongrass.

Serve cold, though it can be served warm. I prefer it chilled or with copious amounts of ice.

Whether you are having your Adoyo as a recreational drink or as a herbal remedy, Adoyo is a delicious drink that can be enjoyed by all of the family.

14 thoughts on “Adoyo (How to make Adoyo -Adoyo Drink-)

  1. I’ve always wondered what this was, especially because it was never a sight I beheld in my 33years of pre-Lagos existence.
    Now I know, and yes, it is the most common street drink in this part of the country.
    But my question now is where am I going to get Omidun from?! 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️


    1. When I also came to Lagos I always wondered what the strange brew was. It is one of the native drinks of people in Badagry and neighbouring francophone countries. I reckon you can use plain water as alternative or just make fresh Ogi.


  2. Never seen or heard of Adoyo but reading this, I can imagine how nice it would be, as I know omodun has this fascinating sour zing to it.
    Your blog is so interesting.


  3. Seeing this and pito sold on the streets of Lagos always piqued my interest but I never tasted them as I was prohibited from doing so. But learning the health value and how to make it from you is something I really appreciate. Your explanations are easy to follow. I’ll definitely give it a try. Thanks so much.


    1. I was also prohibited from trying Pito as a child and the warning followed me into my adulthood when I saw Adoyo for the first time in Lagos. But curiosity has always got the best of me and had me inquiring about the recipe, trying it and doing it myself.


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