Kava Drinks

Explore the way people drink kava around the world

Kava Drinks

Kava drinks use ground kava root which grows in Pacific nations including Fiji, Vanuatu, Hawaii, and Micronesia.

Not only is it used for religious, medicinal, and cultural purposes but is also widely used as a social drink.

A coconut shell of Kava is the perfect way to clear your mind. Furthermore, it helps relieve the stress and anxiety that often come with everyday living.

Traditional Kava Drink

Kava in Australia

The Australian Government has recently allowed kava to be imported and sold. As such, this is a turn-around from over a decade of the popular drink being banned in Australia.  Anyway, as of December 1st 2020, kava is allowed to be imported and sold under a permit structure. What does this mean? Firstly, it means that people of the South Pacific who reside in Australia can once again drink kava without prejudice. Secondly, it also means that Australians wanting to try kava for the first time can do so. Consequently, many new kava retailers have opened up. For Australia Kava Buyers we can highly recommend Australia Kava Shop.

Preparation in different cultures

People drink Kava often in the Pacific and notably, they prepare Kava drinks in a range of different ways. Also, each nation has its own traditions and methods of preparation.

Furthermore, in Western countries like Australia and the USA, people create unique drinks such as cocktails, smoothies and Kava lattes.


In Fiji, Kava is the national drink. Accordingly, it is drunk often and the traditional method is the Yaqona Ceremony. So it is that our view is that any trip to Fiji would be incomplete without seeing a traditional Yaqona Ceremony.

Traditional Fiji Kava Ceremoney

Fiji Kava history

Yaqona is part of Fijians history and culture for many occasions. Including welcoming visitors, christening boats, making deals, and even settling arguments.

In Fijian culture, Yaqona is from the god Degei. This god represents everything from heaven to earth. He had three sons to whom he gave the sacred Kava crop – they, in turn, gave this to the Fijian people.

Fiji Kava drinks

This drink in Fiji is usually part of the Yaqona ceremony. As a result, you must dress formally and recipients sit in a circle surrounding the chief of ceremony.

They create Kava in a large wooden Tanoa. Once ready, the chief passes a Bilo bowl (half a coconut shell) to each member of the circle. After that, they take it in turns to drink the fresh Kava juice. If you decline the drink, they consider it an insult.

In Fiji, they grind Kava roots into a fine powder. In addition, they then mix the powder with cold water and drunk quickly after. The mixture has a light brown/yellow coloration and a slightly bitter taste.


This drink is immensely popular in Vanuatu. The plant is part of the nation’s history and traditions. The Vanuatuan people have grown and used Kava for over 3,000 years.

Vanuatu Kava Drink Preperation

Vanuatu Kava history

The Kava plant originates from Vanuatu. The ancient Lapita people used and cultivated the plant thousands of years ago. By the same token, it was from this island that stem cuttings passed to other Pacific nations. The main nations were Fiji and Hawaii.

In Vanuatu, kava is traditionally a ceremonial drink. In antiquity, the Vanuatuan people completed complex rituals involving the drink. Above all, these rituals were secret and only the most powerful men of the islands joined-in.

These traditions and ceremonies have evolved in modern society on Vanuatu. Kava is now a commonly used drink and is an integral part of the Vanuatuan people’s daily lives. For example, it is usually served as a welcome drink to guests. Or, on important occasions like weddings.

Vanuatu and Australian Prime Ministers drink kava

Vanuatu Kava drinks

As the ancestral home of Kava, Vanuatu has the widest variety of Kava plants. Furthermore, it also has some of the most potent brews too. With this in mind, always check if the Kava is noble or ignoble before drinking. Ignoble strains can cause a strong hangover.

The Kava drink in Vanuatu is traditionally drunk in the Nakamal which is a meeting hut in villages. You can also find Kava bars throughout the islands.

Serving in a coconut shell, the Kava is drunk completely. The taste is earthy and has a hint of grass clippings and dirt. Moreover, it is not unpleasant. Your pallet may take a few shells to adjust to the different taste sensations.


Although Kava is not native in the United States, it is becoming hugely popular. Indeed, a new wave of Kava bars is sweeping the country. For instance, Florida, in particular, has a thriving Kava bar scene. Similarly, there are currently 100+ Kava Bars in the US and that number continues to grow.

US Kava Bar in New York

USA Kava Drinks

Whilst Kava is drunk in its raw, traditional form in the Pacific, the States applies a western twist.

Kava cocktails and Kava smoothies are popular and help remove some of the bitterness. In Kava bars in the States you can usually find some brilliant drink varieties like:

  • Kava Root Latte
  • Ground Kava Smoothie
  • Coconut Kava Hot Chocolate
  • Guava Kava Colada

The Kava root latte, for example, mixes almond milk, kava powder, and maple syrup. Moreover, this heated mixture creates a sweet drink. A touch of cinnamon adds a pleasant taste.

HIgh Level Kava drinks
Contact us to learn more about Kava Drinks - including Kava Colada

Creative variations of Kava

Kava smoothies – Kava powder makes an excellent addition to a fruit smoothie. Any fruit is a great choice including bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and peaches. Ensure the smoothie blends thoroughly. As a result, this mixes the ground Kava or Kava powder properly.

Kava Milkshakes – This root also creates a brilliant milkshake. The best type uses coconut milk, sugar, and ice. Furthermore, other main ingredients like chocolate powder or fruit give flavor. As with the smoothie, ensure the milkshake blends properly.

Kava Fruit Juice – A simple but refreshing drink. Kava fruit juice gives the relaxing benefits of Kava powder. It also adds the fresh taste of the fruit. Add kava powder to any type of fruit juice such as strawberry or pomegranate. Serve with ice and a slice of orange or lime.

If you have any kava recipes that you think we should post here, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.