Kid-friendly Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria) Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)

Recipe: Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)

Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by valbar/
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)

The "Chapman" is a slightly tart, citrusy drink that’s incredibly refreshing. Grenadine gives it a beautiful, ruby-red hue.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • zest :

    to scrape off the outer colored part of a citrus fruit's rind (skin or peel) using a metal tool with small sharp blades, such as a zester, microplane, or the small holes of a grater (avoid the "pith," the white, spongy lining of the rind that can be bitter).

Equipment Checklist

  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Zester (or grater with small zesting plate/side)
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup


Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 C (from 1 can) sparkling water
  • 1 T lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 C cold water
  • 1/3 C grenadine or cranberry juice (optional)
  • ice (optional)


Kid-Friendly "Chapman" (national drink of Nigeria)


A "Chapman" is a bitter cucumber drink that is popular in Nigeria. This kid-friendly rendition will be a blended, refreshing variation of the classic.

chop + zest

Roughly chop 1/2 cucumber and zest 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon of zest) and place them in the bottom of a blender (or pitcher + immersion blender).

measure + blend

Measure 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups cold water, add them to the blender or pitcher, and blend everything together.

garnish + serve

Top the drink off with 1 cup of sparkling water and add the optional 1/3 cup of grenadine and ice. Serve!

Surprise Ingredient: Cucumber!

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Photo by Taras Grebinets/

Hi! I’m Cucumber!

"I'm as cool as a cucumber. Actually, I am a cucumber! I have a thick, dark green peel; I am longer than I am wide; and I am a fruit that's often used as a veggie! There are three types of cucumbers: slicing, pickling, and burpless. The slicing and burpless varieties, with or without their peels, are tasty and refreshing sliced, chopped, or minced in salads, sandwiches, salsa, sauces, appetizers, and smoothies or other drinks. The pickling cucumber eventually becomes a pickle (after its pickling spa treatment)!"

History & Etymology

  • Cucumbers are one of the oldest known cultivated vegetables. They have been grown for at least 3,000 years and are believed to have originated in India. 
  • The early Greeks or Romans may have introduced cucumbers to Europe. Records indicate that the French cultivated them in the 9th century and the English in the 14th century. Then Spanish explorers brought cucumbers to the Americas in the 16th century. 
  • Pickled cucumbers, or pickles, may have been produced first by workers building the Great Wall of China or by people in Mesopotamia's Tigris Valley. 
  • A 1630 book called "New England's Plantation" by Francis Higginson, describing plants grown in a garden on Conant's Island in Boston Harbor, mentions "cowcumbers." The cucumber may have been dubbed cowcumber due to thinking at that time that uncooked vegetables were fit only for cows.
  • The word "cucumber" comes from late Middle English, from the Old French "cocombre," from the Latin "cucumis."


  • The cucumber is a creeping vine plant that is part of the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. Other members are melon, squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. Cucumbers grow on a vine, often in sandy soil. Sandy soil warms faster in the spring, giving cucumbers a more favorable growing environment. 
  • Cucumber length varies. Slicers are 6 to 8 inches, burpless 8 to 10 inches, and picklers are 3 to 5 inches long. 
  • Cucumbers have a mild melon flavor. Slicing cucumbers will have seeds in their flesh, preferably small, soft seeds. Burpless cucumbers are slightly sweeter with a more tender skin and are easier to digest. They may also have no or very few seeds.
  • "Cool as a cucumber" isn't just a catchy phrase. A cucumber's inner temperature can be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. This is because it consists mainly of water, which also applies to watermelons, and it takes more energy to heat the water inside the cucumber than the air around it. No wonder these are such summertime favorites! However, we don't say "as cool as a watermelon," so how did this expression become part of our vocabulary? It may have come from a poem in John Gay's Poems, New Song on New Similes from 1732. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Cucumbers are ready to be harvested 50 to 70 days after planting. They are ripe when they are firm and bright or dark green. Slicing cucumbers will be six to eight inches long. Avoid leaving them on the vine too long, or their taste may become bitter and their rind tougher. 
  • At the store, look for firm cucumbers without blemishes, wrinkles, or soft spots. Organic cucumbers are the best choice to avoid pesticide residue, if available. In addition, washing them reduces the amount of residue and pathogens. 
  • If you don't eat your fresh, uncut cucumbers immediately, store them in your refrigerator crisper drawer in a plastic bag for up to three days if unwaxed and up to a week if waxed. 
  • You can eat slicing and burpless cucumbers by themselves, slice or chop them into salads, or blend them into sauces and smoothies. 
  • Pickling cucumbers are pickled whole or sliced in brine, sugar, vinegar, and spices. There are several kinds of pickles, such as sweet, bread-and-butter, gherkin, and kosher dill. 


  • Cucumbers are 96 percent water, have very little fat, and are low in calories. 
  • Cucumbers contain small amounts of the vitamins you need every day and 16 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting.


What is a Chapman?

Photo by Red Confidential/
  • The Chapman is a non-alcoholic punch from Nigeria. It is usually a mix of orange soda, like Fanta, lemon-lime soda, like Sprite, angostura bitters, and red grenadine syrup and is garnished with cucumber and lemon slices.
  • A bartender, Sam Alamutu, created the drink for his favorite customer, named Chapman, in 1938 at the Ikoyi Club in Lagos, Nigeria.

Let's Learn About Nigeria!

Photo by Riccardo Mayer/
  • Nigeria is a West African country officially called the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is made up of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, the location of the capital city, Abuja. The largest city is Lagos.
  • The total area of Nigeria is 356,669 square miles. That is bigger than the US state of Texas but smaller than Alaska. 
  • Nigeria has the most people of any country in Africa, with over 225 million people. The population is very diverse, with more than 250 ethnic groups. However, the largest groups are the Hausa, the Yoruba, and the Igbo. They make up about 60 percent of the population.
  • The Nigerian government is a Federal Presidential Republic with a President, Vice President, National Assembly (legislature), and Supreme Court. 
  • Nigerian Independence Day is October 1, the biggest festival in Nigeria, when they celebrate Nigeria's independence from Great Britain in 1960. They had been a British colony since 1850, which explains why the country's official language is English. Their national languages are Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.
  • The climate in Nigeria is usually hot—Nigeria averages around 90 degrees most of the year, and there are only two seasons: rainy and dry!
  • Zuma Rock is a natural monolith (a single massive stone or rock) that is 980 feet higher than its surrounding area. It is the highest point in Nigeria at 2,379 feet in elevation and is a 45-minute drive from Abuja, the capital. A picture of Zuma Rock appears on the 100 note of Nigeria's currency, the "naira." It is known not only for its size but for the face that appears on one of its sides.
  • The Sclater's guenon is a rare monkey that calls southern Nigeria home, living in swamps and forests. The African (or West African) manatee weighs about 1,000 pounds and lives in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.
  • The hundreds of ethnic groups in Nigeria contribute to the country's cuisine. Their dishes include "akara" (a fried bean fritter), "dodo" (fried ripe plantains), "jollof rice" (a one-pot dish of rice, tomato, onion, and meat or fish), "moin moin" (a savory bean pudding with onions, peppers, and black-eyed peas), and "suya," (skewered, smoked, and spicy sliced meat). 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Nigeria?

  • The school year in Nigeria runs from January through December. Typically, there are three semesters, with a month off following each one. Since English is the national language in Nigeria, it is spoken in schools.
  • Most schools have strict dress codes. There are required uniforms and rules about everything from hairstyles to shoes to jewelry. This can be difficult for kids because Nigerians are known for wearing colorful traditional outfits.
  • Many Nigerian extended families live in the same home or separate homes clustered very close together.
  • Age equals respect in Nigerian families. For example, an older sibling may be called "Senior Brother" or "Senior Sister" instead of by their actual name. 
  • "Ayo" is a fun board game found everywhere. You use seeds, pebbles, or dried beans and twelve cups to play. Checkers and hand-clapping games are also popular.
  • Soccer is a national obsession in Nigeria (like in much of Africa). Kids also enjoy volleyball and wrestling.
  • For snacks, kids may eat "puff puff," Nigerian doughnut balls, or "chin chin," crunchy fried pastry, like cookies.

That's Berry Funny

What’s green and very noisy? 

A cucumber playing a drum!

That's Berry Funny

"Doctor, doctor, I’ve got carrots growing out of my ears! How did that happen?"

"I don’t know, I planted cucumbers there!"

That's Berry Funny

How does a cucumber become a pickle? 

It goes through a jarring experience!

The Yolk's On You

What did one pickle say to the other? 

"You mean a great dill to me."

Lettuce Joke Around

Why was the cucumber mad? 

Because it was in a pickle!

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call a pickle lullaby? 

A cucumber slumber number.

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