Palm wine, also called palm toddy or simply toddy, is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree The drink is particularly common in parts of Africa where it is known as Legmi;
The sap is collected by a tapper. Typically the sap is collected from the cut flower of the tree. A container, often a gourd or bottle, is fastened to the flower stump to collect the sap. The white liquid that initially collects tends to be very sweet and non-alcoholic. An alternate method is the felling of the entire tree. Where this is practiced, a fire is sometimes lit at the cut end to facilitate the collection of sap. Palm wine tapping is commonly done in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The tappers collected a sticky white liquid from the head of the tall tree.
Palm wine plays an important role in many ceremonies in parts of the DRC and elsewhere in central and western Africa. Guests at weddings, birth celebrations, and funeral wakes are served generous amounts. Palm wine is often infused with medicinal herbs to remedy a wide variety of physical complaints. As a token of respect to deceased ancestors, many drinking sessions begin with a small amount of palm wine spilled on the ground (“Kulosa malafu” in Kikongo ya Leta). Palm wine is enjoyed by men and women, although women usually drink it in less public venues.