- Title: Ghanaian businesses seek greater profits from holiday cheer
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-FOUNDER OF REPUBLIC BAR AND GRILL, RAJA OWUSU-ANSAH, SAYING: "Some years ago, we decided to set up Republic Bar, my brother and I and key to our objective is the utilization of Akpeteshie, which is the local, indigenous spirit of Ghana. In this case we use the Akpeteshie variant. And we haven't looked back since then. It's the only, itâ€™s the base for all our cocktails although they may all taste differently. Akpeteshie is the main base for all our cocktails."
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 10:36
- Keywords: christmas cockails decoration holidays liquor
- Location: ACCRA, GHANA
- City: ACCRA, GHANA
- Country: Ghana
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA003BBC3EJB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Accra's Makola market is bustling with people and good cheer this festive season, as shoppers look for bargains ahead of Christmas day.
Red can be seen everywhere as traders cash in on decorations, hats, glasses and presents for family and friends.
"When the year comes to a close, a lot of people come to town and that is how you can tell the year has ended. Next year is going to be really nice. A lot people come to town to buy a lot of stuff and there are also people who come and don't buy anything," says Sheree Martey, a street trader at the popular market.
And for the hipsters it is also time to party even harder.
One trendy bar in Accra's Osu district, Republic Bar and Grill, says this time of year is perfect for enjoying their unique Kokoroko cocktail.
"It's red in color which goes very well with the season we are in, this festive season of Christmas," said Republic co-founder, Raja Owusu-Ansah.
Raja believes his bar's success is hinged on Ghana's national drink, Akpeteshie, which is used in most of his outstanding cocktails.
"Akpeteshie, our local spirit is indeed the "Spirit of the Republic". It fuels our creativity and solidifies our friendship bonds in a homely manner," says the motto of the bar on the website.
"Some years ago we decided to set up Republic Bar, my brother and I and key to our objective is the utilization of Akpeteshie, which is the local, indigenous spirit of Ghana. In this case we use the Akpeteshie variant. And we haven't' looked back since then," said Raja.
Akpeteshie, which is produced mainly in the countryside, is made by distilling palm wine or sugar cane and is the most popular alcoholic drink in Ghana.
For those unaccustomed to Akpeteshie it can feel like it's burning the drinker's lips all the way down to their stomach, but at Republic, they mix it with the extremely sweet pink Bissap flower, another typical West African hibiscus drink, add crushed ice, water and garnish it with mint leaf to make the Kokoroko - which means big and mighty.
Christmas is a big occasion in Ghana. This year the Accra Metropolitan Assembly joined with private business for the #LightUpAccra project and squares and roundabouts all around the city have been decorated with garlands of light in the shape of Christmas trees, reindeers and even small boats.
The city said it wanted to show the best of Accra in this 'Year of Return', a landmark campaign to mark the 400 years of the first enslaved Africans who arrived in America. Ghana invited African Americans to come home to Africa and visit the country during this anniversary year 2019.
(Derrick Ankamah, Yvonne Bell)
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