#BounceExclusive: Your Ultimate Guide To Drinking Skoochies or Skushies
Each time you watch Nigerian music videos and you see our celebs holding Red Cups; have you ever wondered what exactly are they sipping?
Thanks to Fela’s Shrine, Skoochies has gone mainstream, as it is slowly replacing the more popular street drinks like alomo, ogidiga and jedi.
Skoochies takes its origins from the popular Lagos shrine where people from all works of life assemble regardless of their social status and class to celebrate justice, freedom and great music.
But it has spread across the metropolis with each council area having their own special blend depending on the choice of the mixers and the drinkers' specification.
Bounce News visited Mushin Local Council Area to have a sense of their blend.
‘Skoochies’ is a ‘street cocktail’ made up of various elements, but the ‘original copy’ is made up of water from "boiled herbs" leaves mixed with gin, black currant and lime.
Because it is a cocktail, there have been several variations, where some variants have replaced black currant or Zobo others spike theirs with ‘exciting agents’ including Ogogoro, codeine and supplements from alcoholic beverages.
Even though Skoochies is made for the ‘streets’, it has been refined in such a way, that it can fit into any gathering.
From the local street corner joint in Mushin to the high end sports bar in Victoria Island, every cup is 'tushed up' with a straw, some lime and the crunchiness of cucumbers.
With prices varying from 1,000 Naira to as high as 5,000 Naira or more, Skoochies has been defined as the local drink with international appeal.
To some Skoochies provides a new high preferred to guzzling 10 bottles of beer.
According to Segun, who owns one of the Skoochies bars that have sprung up in Mushin; “...after tasting Skoochies in Fela’s shrine, I decided that I could create something like this, so I got Ogogoro, an alcoholic beverage, black currant, and mixed them together, and then added lime and cucumber.
“I called some of my friends in the area to sample it and after just 2 cups they became high, so Skoochies became the only thing that they wanted to drink. Instead of spending plenty money on beer in a recession before getting high they just take two or three cups. Besides, Skootchies unlike beer will not make your stomach big” he said.
A little bird whistled to Bounce News that because of the local gin and boiled unwanted grass in some variants of Skoochies, it is believed to increase consumers sexual prowess.
So, we asked Bobby who patronizes the Skoochies bar in Mushin. He simply confirms it in one sentence "The ogogoro go make you f*** well well, just try am".
When it comes to 'downloading' skoochies drinkers discretion is always advised.
However, like everything else that could intoxicate - drinkers discretion is advised. In February, a report listed Skoochies as one of the 5 dangerous drinks consumed in Lagos state.
Researchers found out through a series of investigations found that in addition to intoxicating and emboldening the drinker, it has actually made some people have mental problems.
When looking at the ‘bright side’ in a country like America, certain amounts of Indian Hemp can be prescribed by doctors because of limited evidence that suggests Indian hemp can reduce nausea and vomiting, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS.
It also reduces chronic pain and muscle spasms; while the liquid form does not affect the lungs.
Skoochies is pleasant on the eyes with its bright colours, and has been a source of inspiration to musicians, who have created songs from this special cocktail.
Female rapper, Ms. Chief released a single in February this year titled “Skushi” a show of her admiration to the pick-me-up, that has got the streets buzzing.
Before Ms. Chef, a singer named Asha Gangali had dropped a single titled ‘Skoochies’ from his KalakutaStateOfMind EP and Owhordee literally paid his respects to the mental state of euphoria associated with Skoochies in ‘Skoochies Highness’.
Popular musicians like Wizkid and Olamide and other celebrities have also found an undying love for the drink.
During an interview in America, with Ebro Darden on Beats1, while talking about how he 'hangs out' with friends, Wizkid said "We go to Fela's shrine just to drink Skoochies...that shit is gonna knock you out men, that shit is gonna send you to sleep".
Its also very important to note that Skoochies is not the same thing as the popular locally made herbal drink 'monkey tail'.
While Skoochies is a cocktail that could have different things infused in it, 'Monkey tail' is basically the result of soaking dried Indian hemp leaves in Ogogoro and leaving it to ferment, before serving it.
Always remember to drink responsibly; don't drink and drive.