Vietnam is already famous worldwide for their cuisine, especially street food, so it is not surprising that they also offer must-try drinks. During your Vietnam Tours, one of the things that you should never miss is Vietnamese simple yet amazing drinks.
1. Sugar Cane Juice (Nước mía)
This yummy and fresh treat is a famous drink sold on every small corner of Vietnam. It is the juice of the canes squeezed using an electric squashing machine. Surprisingly it is not as sweet as you would expect it to be. The drink is usually mixed with Calamansi, a tiny sour citrus fruit that smells like a mandarin. The finished product has a crisp grassy flavor that’s very refreshing on a sweltering hot day. It is not only delicious but also rich in electrolytes and antioxidants to fight dehydration. You will find sugar cane juice vendors everywhere, advertising their goods openly on the streets. They usually have buckets of sugar cane stalks displayed in the front of their stalls.
2. Fresh coconut water (Nước dừa)
Coconut water has been a popular drink in Vietnam for centuries and can be found easily on Vietnam’s streets. Coconut water is served straight from a coconut with the vendors chopping the fruit once you order it. They chop off the outer green husk and keep the small white inner shell, cut into a shape that won’t fall over when put on a flat surface. These white globes are usually kept on ice until you order one, then a giant machete is used to chop a hole in the top.
Generally, smaller coconuts tend to be sweeter than larger ones. Try coconut water on a hot day in Vietnam and you will fall in love with this simple drink immediately.
3. Sticky Rice Wine (Rượu nếp cẩm)
The unique wine is made using sticky rice that is fermented with yeast. The wine will contain as much as 29.5% alcohol. In Vietnam drinking wine or other alcoholic drinks is more of a masculine activity. Men gather in groups to drink a glass or two of this wine after a hard day of work. Sticky rice wine is smoother and sweeter than the regular rice wine, which can be quite fiery. When trying this out you can ask for snacks like barbequed meat or seafood which compliment the drink wonderfully. The best of sticky rice wine can be found in the North of Vietnam, and Hà Nội the capital, is famous for this drink.
4. Artichoke Tea (Trà Atiso)
The go-to drink for hungover Vietnamese men, artichoke tea is believed to have liver-cleansing and detoxifying properties. There are two versions of the tea, which is usually served with ice—the sweetened yellowish version made from the artichoke flower and the intensely bitter black version made from the artichoke stems. Artichokes are grown in Dalat in Vietnam’s cool Central Highlands but packets of artichoke tea are available in supermarkets throughout the country.
5. Hanoi local draught beer (Bia hơi Hà Nội)
Vietnam is one of the countries that consume the highest amount of beer in the world. Since the country people got introduced to this alcoholic beverage in 1900s, beer drinking has become a culture. Beer is wildly popular for its taste and coolness, which can immediately freeze the heat and thirst, especially in a tropical country like Vietnam where it is constantly hot and humid. Vietnamese can jokingly say that the next top visited place of a man, besides his mother’s or wife’s kitchen, is beer restaurants along the side walk or at every street corner. These places are always crowded in the early evening. At these street eats, roundly dozens of people drinking the cool beer on hand, cheering each other and chatting about their day over a plate of roasted or steamed peanut with shell. If you are coming to Vietnam, enjoying a glass of beer with some special snack on the street is definitely a must-do.
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