For as long as I can remember there has been this fascination with the large red cocktail more commonly pronounced by the average Nigerian as ‘Shapman’. It has become synonymous with the popular orders made at our local Chinese restaurants, Recreational Clubs and more recently, weddings (though our wedding planners are notorious for being extremely selective with Chapman distribution – I‘ve never been offered any to date). Its origin is arguably in Nigeria but no one knows for sure. It isn’t necessarily expensive to buy (between N300 and N1000, i.e. $6 max.) nor is it difficult to make. But I think I know why there’s such a fuss over this bitter-sweet refreshment – it just tastes so damn good!
Today I’m running a small Chapman factory in my apartment (okay, not really but I do make them rather frequently) and I want to share the recipe for you to enjoy. Learn how to make Chapman is 6 easy steps!:
CHAPMAN RECIPE FOR 1 PERSON
Get a large tumbler/glass mug (necessary if you want to make your Chapman-experience last a bit)
Fill the glass halfway with ice cubes
Pour a capful of Grenadine or any blackcurrant cordial into the glass (for that red glow)
Pour in 2shots of Bitters – Any bitters you can find but you can also use Campari (In Lagos, Angostura Bitters is available at Goodies for N3,200).
Pour in equal amounts of…believe it or not…Fanta and Sprite then mix it up
Throw in a slice of lemon, garnish with a cucumber slice and dip-in a bendy straw
Sip slowly and try not to hum too much as your taste-buds go into a frenzy.
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Well there you have it. Simple, isn’t it? So the next time you’re sitting by your computer and one of your (anti-social) friends sends you a mouth-watering cocktail…via Facebook, make a Chapman to quench that insatiable thirst your ‘friend‘ created (remember to do point 7 ^^)…and then proceed to delete that friend from your Friend list (optional).
CHAPMAN RECIPE FOR 100 people
You’d need the following (if you are serving in small plastic cups):
– 1.5 litres of Ribena/Blacurrant cordial/Grenadine (about 1 big table spoon poured at the base of each cup) – 50 cans of Sprite (half of each can poured into a cup) – 50 cans of Fanta (half of each can poured into a cup) – 10 medium lemons (each sliced in 10, making 100 slices) – 10 medium cucumbers (each sliced into 20 and served two pieces per cup) – 4 bottles of Alomo bitters or 3 bottles of Angosturra bitters (a capful poured into each cup) – Probably 500 ice cubes equivalent (cheaper if you have ice trays at home. 5 cubes per cup) – 100 bendy straws. – Mixers (long plastic stirrers) are optional as you can use the straws to mix the drinks
N.B – If you use large mugs instead of plastic cups then use 100 cans of Sprite and 100 cans of Fanta (1 can of Sprite and Fanta per mug). Everything else remains the same.
At most wedding ceremonies I’ve attended in Lagos I was a mere spectator; marveling at such things as the reprimand of poorly clad bridesmaids by the priest, the sometimes risqué shenanigans of the MC or the conversion of the dance area to a bureau de change for showering the newly weds with. But back in London I got my first taste of participation when I was asked by my good friend (and university classmate) to be his Best Man. Wedding 1: Role – Best Man (Novice)
I substituted the groom’s shadow for the duration of the wedding ceremony
I was entrusted with wedding bands which I had no choice of forgetting…or else
I served as an eye-witness and co-signatory on the marriage certificate
I had to give a (memorable) toast at the reception without shooting myself in the foot
Wedding 2: Role – Best Man (Fairly experienced)
I was approached by a colleague at work whom I knew fairly little about
My selection was based on: looks, availability, and capacity to afford a new suit
I was armed with handkerchiefs to wipe the sweat off the groom’s face
I had to pick all the cash thrown at the dancing newly weds for about an hour or so
I had to give a best man speech…about a guy whom I knew fairly little about
Wedding 3: Role – MC and Groom’s man (Experienced)
I was the impromptu MC at my younger sister’s traditional wedding ceremony
I helped usher different veiled women who came to deceive the groom but failed
Some months later I was a groom’s man at the follow-up white wedding
I bought yet another custom suit
As for the entertainment, let’s just say Michael Jackson would have been proud!
Wedding 4: Role – Best Man (Veteran)
I had to purchase a plane ticket, charter a taxi which drove me over 6 hours to Oz
I bought yet another custom suit and a pair of shoes.
Resumed cash collection duties and exchanging small denominations for the large
I gave the proverbial toast…to an audience unwilling to raise their glasses *hmm…*
And now for the grand finale – who got a refusal at the fifth wedding; the bride or the groom?
The answer is BOTH. It was I who categoricallyrefused to be their best man just so I don’t I become the butt of some MC’s joke (e.g. ‘Wait a minute, weren’t you the best man at the last wedding I performed at?’). I thought to myself, ‘The next wedding I get actively involved in will be my own so help me God.’
Four years down the line this became my reality! My Crazy Nigerian wedding – that’s a post for another day 🙂
Whilst I congratulate Prince William on finally proposing to his erstwhile girlfriend whom he’s been with for 8years now, I’m pretty skeptical about his reason for giving Kate an engagement ring that belonged to his late mother Princess Diana.
The only reason Prince William gave was that it was a way to ensure that his late mum did not miss out on any of the excitement. That seems innocent enough. But in my strict opinion this reason is not plausible. Lets not forget that despite sporting a big blue Sapphire rock when Prince Charles proposed, their marriage sure went ahead to be a rocky. Their marriage was a mess, courtesy of Prince Charles’ infidelity. Why then would Prince William want to impose such a jinx on his impending marriage to Kate? Or is he not superstitious? Looking down the Royal bloodline they’re not exactly boasting of a load of happy weddings: Duchess of York & Prince Andrew, Princess Ann & Andrew Parker Bowles, Prince Charles & Princess Diana, etc. There isn’t a role model in sight for the next king of England it seems.
What I really want to know is what Kate feels about the ring. Is she truly elated about wearing a ring that wasn’t handpicked specially for her? Does she want a constant reminder of Princess Diana on her own finger? Is she just trying to please the Prince since it has taken this long for him to propose (‘ooh, better not stir up anything now else it may be another 8years before he pops the question again’) Is it that she is just as driven as Princess Diana was to become a Princess? I only hope that she keeps that ring on after the wedding because Prince William will definitely be keeping a close eye on that finger (and so will the media). I also hope Prince William is not planning on using the wedding rings of his parents – that would be the final straw! I wonder what Kate’s parents think about the ring. I know what some of Sky News reporters think after I watched them converse on yesterday’s breakfast show…
Anyway, I’ll throw it out in the open – Late mum’s engagement ring from a loveless marriage given to your fiancée. Romantic or not?
Today was not just any ordinary day. Today I was decked up in a dashing dickie-bow tie, tux and bad-ass chelsea boots – The ideal gentleman if I do say so myself. But it wasn’t quite the picnic I expected it to be. Being the best man (at least back here in Nigeria) is a bit like being the errand boy/houseboy/servant…call it what you want. I was at their service – holding the sweaty hankies, fetching the relatives who were scattered across the hall, picking up ALL the money sprayed unto the couple whilst they were dancing…yes, all in my £150 tuxedo. My head was drenched in sweat but I was armed with 2 hankies. I didn’t get a chance to eat – all I had was bottled water for breakfast, sweets during the church service and a malt drink during the reception (my stomach and I kissed and made up when I got back home to chow down). But it was all worth it. In fact, I feel like wearing it once in a while just for the look of it. And then I look in the mirror, adjusting my cuffs which obviously dont need adjusting like they do in the movies, with a smirk on my face and then I go ‘The name is Nigerian…Crazy Nigerian 😀
I went to a wedding in another state in Nigeria – Oyo state. It was supposed to be a 3 hr drive from Lagos but ended up being 4hrs with all potholes we had to dodge. The wedding was quite grand and I was served the best dishes, wine and got exceptional service…or at least I thought so. I looked to the table beside me and they were getting everything I didnt – they got big succulent fish…I got small pieces of tough beef, they got alcohol wine from South Africa…I got grape juic in a wine bottle both made in Nigeria, they got chilled soft drinks, but though I was served mine first, they were warm – obviously their’s was stored close to ice.
I didn’t want this experience to spoil my road trip but I must admit it hurt a bit. As if to compensate me and those at my table, we all got gift items/souvenirs of the wedding to take home – a dish and a couple-name engraved tea mug all in a recyclable nylon bag(not bad eh?). On leaving the shindig, getting into my car, I noticed a gentleman no more well-dressed than myself but carrying a luxurious branded shopping bag of premium goodies. Life is not fair at all…
But on the upside, My blog will soon have more than 1000 views, yay!!!
When I think about growing old a number of thoughts spring to my mind: Grey hair, Arthritis, Denches, walking stick, strollers, flat flexi-shoes, copious amounts of medication/suppliments, thick-lensed eye glasses, frail fingers, sagging ear lobes, wrinkles, slow-motion body movement, talking gibberish, forgetfulness, old people’s home, intensified OCD, grumpiness, long naps, chicken soup, tomato soup, brocolli soup, cauliflower soup…well if you haven’t got teeth at 80 and you don’t want to get food stuck in your denches then soup’s what you’ll probably lean to reluctantly…it’s a scary thought.
It doesn’t mean I want to die young and still have a fine looking corpse. I want to have children, I want to watch them grow, I want to guide my children through life and ensure they grab opportunities I missed in my youth, I want to attend their weddings, I want them to have my grandchildren, I want my children to take care of me but not to point where I seem like an absolute burden, I want to have my whole family close by, I don’t want to be alone when I die…