It’s no secret that we Fijians enjoy a mix of yaqona on any given day. That’s all well and good however only a select few have a high tolerance level for the “muddy water.” Whereas others are commonly referred to as “bongo.”

Grog, known as yaqona or kava in Fiji, holds a place of great cultural and social importance. This traditional beverage, made from the roots of the kava plant, is central to many Fijian ceremonies and gatherings. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, understanding the nuances of yaqona drinking is crucial in order to remain sane (or mostly sane) for the majority of the session. Here are some tips to ensure that you don’t fall victim to the effect of yaqona too quickly:


  • Prepare Yourself:
    Eat a light meal to help absorb the yaqona and minimize any potential stomach upset. Stay hydrated by drinking water before attending a yaqona session.


  • Dress Appropriately:
    On rare occasions, the dope induced by grog can be sped up by climatic factors. Make sure that you dress comfortably in accordance with the current temperature. Don’t be afraid to take along a fan or blanket if needed.
  • Pace Yourself:
    Yaqona can have a strong effect, especially if you are not accustomed to it. Sip slowly and pay attention to how your body responds.
  • Stay Hydrated:
    Drink water between servings to stay hydrated and mitigate the dehydrating effects of yaqona. Also, don’t be afraid to reach for a chasseur or two. Sure your friends might say that you’re a hungry hippo but at least you’ll stand at the end of the session.
  • Relax and Reflect:
    Yaqona’s effects can linger, leading to a relaxed state. Take time to rest and enjoy the calm feeling.
  • Monitor Your Well-being:
    Pay attention to how your body feels in the hours following the session. If you experience any adverse effects, seek medical advice.



drinking grog, or yaqona, in Fiji is more than just consuming a beverage; it’s participating in a rich cultural tradition. By preparing appropriately, engaging respectfully during the ceremony, and taking care of yourself afterwards, you can fully appreciate the depth and significance of this practice. Remember, the essence of drinking yaqona in Fiji lies in its communal and cultural value, making respect and mindfulness paramount.