8 Asian Drinks You Need to Try
Anyone feeling thirsty?
When most people think of Asian drinks, the ones that usually come to mind are boba or matcha. Perhaps even banana milk, sake, or soju. But why limit yourself to just a handful of drinks when there’s a whole plethora of them waiting to be tried? Below, we’ve listed down some Asian drinks for you to try. And while some of them may seem a little unique, I guarantee that you will find at least one thing here worth trying out. (And seriously, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!)
To start this list, we’ve decided to include an iconic drink that packs a pretty solid punch of health benefits. Lassi is a drink from India made of yogurt, sugar, water and sometimes an additional fruit or spice. You can also get them without the additional fruit flavor or perhaps with salt if you want something on the savory side. In addition to flavors, Lassi also boasts of health benefits due to it mainly being made of yogurt. Some consider this to be a great way to get some probiotics and protein, ensuring a healthier gut and overall healthier body.
2. Sago't Gulaman
Next on our list, we have a classic Filipino favorite. Compared to most drinks on this list, it seems relatively simple. It definitely falls on the sweeter side since the liquid itself mainly consists of brown sugar syrup and not much else. But what makes this drink stand out is really its extra toppings. Sago’t Gulaman has a combination of both tapioca pearls and grass jelly. And while the flavor profile might seem simple, it’s usually a great pairing for most Filipino street foods. This drink is also usually served ice cold, making it a great way to cut through the heat.
Milkis is a common staple from South Korea that has been manufactured by the major drink company, Lotte Chilsung, for nearly 30 years. Unlike most milk drinks, Milkis stands out due to the addition of carbonation and its slightly tart and yogurt-like taste. This gives it a creamy but also refreshing flavor, making it a great pairing for spicy and oily foods. Some also enjoy adding it to other drinks to create both alcoholic and non-alcoholic mixes. In addition to its unique taste, Milkis also comes in multiple fruity flavors, including Banana, Orange, Melon, Peach, Mango, and Apple.
4. Hojicha Tea
Hojicha is a great option for anyone looking for a tea option with a little less caffeine. Similar to Matcha, this tea hails all the way from Japan. And while it does technically classify as a green tea, it has a unique smoky flavor that stands out against most other green tea types. This taste mainly stems from how the tea is first roasted before being packaged into consumable tea leaves. Hojicha had originally been made in an attempt to reduce unused trimmings that were wasted during the rise of machine trimming in Japan. And while most Hojicha teas are not usually made of the same excess product anymore, the modern version of it is just as good. If you’re hoping to try a different type of latte, Hojicha tea might just be for you!
5. Milo Dinosaur
Milo dinosaurs might seem like somewhat of a kid’s snack, but it really is a great drink for all ages and people alike. It’s incredibly common in Malaysia and Singapore, where the chocolate malted-milk drink, Milo, is popular amongst children and adults alike. Milo dinosaurs are usually made with Milo powder, water, and condensed milk. Other versions sometimes substitute condensed milk with vanilla ice cream. But what really defines this drink is the excessive Milo powder piled on top as a topping. Milo dinosaurs are also usually served iced as a means to help deal with the humid weather and help prevent the Milo powder topping from dissolving. Fans of the drink also recommend eating the powder-coated ice cubes once most of it has been consumed.
6. Barley Tea
Barley tea is somewhat of an old-timer, in the sense that this drink has been in existence for nearly a thousand years. This drink is consumed all across East Asia, specifically in China (Damai Cha), Japan (Mugicha), and Korea (Boricha). And while some may say it is an acquired taste, it has a great deal of health benefits that might be worth looking into. Being primarily made of barley, this tea is non-caffeinated, making it a great option for those sensitive or perhaps hoping to avoid caffeine. Additionally, it’s packed with antioxidants and is a great sleep-aid due to the naturally-occurring melatonin in barley. If you’re looking for a good night’s rest, it might be worth looking into taking a cup before bed.
Similar to Milo Dinosaurs, Kopi is another incredibly common drink in Malaysia and Singapore. And while it technically is just coffee, what makes this stand out is the fact that it comes in multiple variations that can be offered in most Kopitiam shops. Depending on the variation, you can adjust either the milk and/or the strength of your coffee. If you order Kopi, you’ll most likely be given a strong black coffee with condensed milk mixed in. Kopi-po would get you a weaker coffee but with a similar infusion of condensed milk as well. If you’re hoping for something a little lighter, Kopi-C will get you a regular coffee with evaporated milk and sugar. Or if you just want to have coffee in its truest form, Kopi-Kosong will get you plain coffee akin to an Americano.
8. Egg Coffee
There is no doubt that Vietnam has mastered drip coffee, but this isn’t the only coffee variation they have to offer. Egg coffee, otherwise known as Cà Phê Trứng, is a unique take on coffee that replaces traditional creamers with either an egg yolk or some sort of egg-based concoction. This drink had been devised as a way to serve coffee when milk supplies had run low during the first Indochina War. As a result, Nguyen Van Giang came up with the ingenious idea of substituting milk with an egg yolk as a creamer for coffee instead. Today, most Egg Coffees are served with a mixture of egg yolk, condensed milk, and sugar. As to whether it’s a dessert or a coffee drink is up to you.
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