Kava is the national drink of Fiji. And since I am a firm believer in trying new things — at least new things I’ve convinced myself won’t lead to an immediate hospital trip — I had to get my mitts on some.
This muddy-looking local drink is made from the powdered root of a plant which is a relative of plain old table pepper. Kava varies in its strength depending on the plants used and quantity mixed, but its effects are similar to alcohol. (No spiritual trances happening here.)
As a one time trial, for science, I found the flavor mild with a peppery hint, but the slight numbing of my mouth and throat was unpleasant. I felt no need to drink liters upon liters of the stuff! (And like many other things in life, I’ve heard too much kava can be a bad thing.)
At the end of the day, drinking a beer in a hammock by the sea was far more relaxing after a tough day of snorkeling the reef and sunbathing on the beach. That hammock is still calling to me ….
* Drinking kava does hold cultural and social significance for the people of Fiji; however, I do not consider myself qualified to elaborate on the topic.