Image via WikipediaOver the years, I have read dozens of books depicting actual voyages of folks cruising all over the world. Lynn and Larry, Tanya, Herb and a slew of others have written about their journeys and all of them had something in common. When in the South Pacific, especially on the island of Vanuatu, they all were lucky enough to be involved in a Kava ceremony. Kava is a drink made from the Kava root that from all accounts I have read, has a muddy texture and tastes, well, like mud. However, the affects from Kava range from tingling lips to all out euphoric feelings.
I have always wanted to taste Kava but never figured it would happen. Well, that is going to change. Check this out...
Kava Bar opens in downtown Asheville
From a recent press release:
Vanuatu Kava Bar, the first nakamal – or traditional kava bar — in North Carolina, has opened for business in Downtown Asheville behind the Orange Peel just south of Hillard. Although a grand opening is planned for July 9th, doors are already open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m. Offerings will gradually expand to include numerous specialty drinks and light island fare.
Of course, already on the menu is fresh-squeezed kava-kava juice, made from the milled root of Piper methysticum, or the “intoxicating pepper.” The elixir has been used as both a relaxing social beverage and ceremonial libation by tribes throughout the South Pacific for centuries, and is said to have relaxing, euphoric qualities.
The kava at Vanuatu Kava Bar comes from Vanuatu — thought to have the strongest varieties in the world. The nation’s laws mandate organic growing of all kava as well as a minimum-per-kilo rate that is paid to growers, to ensure fair-trade. Pictures of those who harvest and clean the kava for VKB adorn the walls, involved in various stages of the process, scribbled with “best wishes” and words in Bislama.
Vanuatu Kava Bar strives to be a true nakamal, the Vanuatu word for a place to drink kava, which translates as “place of peace.” Thus, there is no alcohol served, but with the selection of drinks and herbs, there is really no need for it. The space also functions as a gallery for handcrafted tikis and cypress furniture that is available for purchase.
The planned grand opening will happen on July 9th, with “Stereo Afro,” featuring members of Discordian Society, at 8 p.m. A kilo of kava root will be squeezed into several gallons of the elixir, and the relaxing potion will be served free until it is gone. The giveaway is a way to introduce people to something they might not otherwise try. Doors will open at 4pm, and there will be 2-for-1 drinks until the free batch is brought out and events start.
The Vanuatu Kava Bar is located at 151 S. Lexington in downtown Asheville. For more information, call 505-8118.
When I get a minute to go, I will tell you all how it tastes and what effects it actually has. Should be fun...very cool.