10+ Delicious Beverages In Thai: Drinks You Shouldn’t Miss

A photo of a Thai girl holding a glass with beverages in Thai.

Picture yourself wandering through the streets of Bangkok. The warm sun on your face and the aroma of fragrant Thai dishes fill the air. 

Suddenly, you feel thirsty – but don’t worry, you’re in Thailand!

With a diverse range of beverages, from traditional drinks to modern concoctions, there’s something for everyone to satisfy their thirst.

But what exactly are these beverages in Thai? Why do they hold such a special place in the hearts of locals and tourists? 

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the most popular and unique drinks in the Land of Smiles.

So, grab a glass, sit back, and let’s get to know Thai beverages – the perfect companion on your Thai language learning adventure!

Non-Alcoholic Thai Beverages

First, let’s talk about non-alcoholic Thai beverages. They’re as diverse as they are delicious, and you’ll find them everywhere – from street corners to upscale restaurants.

Traditional Thai Drinks

These beverages have deep roots in Thai culture and have been enjoyed for generations. They’re refreshing and give you a taste of Thailand’s rich history.

1. Cha Yen ชาเย็น (Thai Iced Tea)

One such beverage is Cha Yen or Thai Iced Tea, a variation of Thai milk tea. This sweet and creamy drink is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Ingredients and preparation:

Cha Yen’s ingredients include strongly brewed black tea, sugar, and condensed or evaporated milk.

The tea leaves are often spiced with flavors like star anise, tamarind, and orange blossom.

Once brewed, it’s poured over ice and topped with a layer of milk, creating a visually stunning and mouth-watering treat.

Cultural significance:

Cha Yen has been a staple in Thailand for decades. It’s often enjoyed with a meal or as a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up.

The drink’s unique flavor profile and vibrant orange color make it easily recognizable and deeply connected to Thai identity.

A photo of a grass jelly drink topped with caramel served in a wooden tray.

2. Grass Jelly Drink วุ้นเส้น (Nam Manglak)

One of Thailand’s most famous non-alcoholic beverages is grass jelly drinks, known as Nam Manglak in Thai.

This refreshing drink is made using grass jelly, a gelatinous dessert made from the leaves and stalks of the platosma pelustre or mesona plant.

Ingredients and preparation:

The grass jelly cubes are mixed with sugar syrup and poured over ice to create a refreshing drink.

For added flavor, some drink variations include fresh fruit, such as lychee, mango, or coconut milk.

Cultural significance:

Grass jelly has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The drink is often enjoyed for its purported health benefits.

In Thailand, the grass jelly drink is also enjoyed for its cooling properties, making it a popular choice during hot weather.

3. Oliang โอเลี้ยง (Thai Iced Coffee)

Next, let’s talk about Oliang or Thai Iced Coffee. This strong, sweet, caffeinated beverage is the perfect way to kick-start your day or keep you going during a busy afternoon.

Ingredients and preparation:

Oliang’s ingredients include Thai coffee, coffee beans, corn, and soybeans. It’s sweetened with sugar and sometimes flavored with spices like cardamom.

The coffee is brewed using a traditional cloth bag filter called a “tung tom kah fe.”

Then, poured over ice and mixed with sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk for a creamy finish.

Variations and regional differences:

Some regions might add ground tamarind seeds, sesame seeds, or even rice to their coffee blends, giving each version a distinct flavor profile.

No matter where you are in Thailand, you’re sure to find an Oliang that suits your taste buds!

A photo of a lime juice with slices of lime around it.

4. Nam Manao น้ำมะนาว (Lime Juice)

Now, let’s move on to Nam Manao or Lime Juice. It’s a simple yet invigorating drink perfect for those sweltering Thai afternoons.

Ingredients and preparation:

The ingredients for Nam Manao are as straightforward as they come: freshly squeezed lime juice, water, sugar, and ice.

To prepare it, simply mix the lime juice with water and sugar, adjusting the sweetness to your liking.

Then, pour the mixture over ice, and voilà – a refreshing beverage is ready to be enjoyed!

Health benefits:

Nam Manao offers some notable health benefits, thanks to limes’ high vitamin C content.

This vitamin is known for its immune-boosting properties and helps keep your skin looking fresh and healthy.

Plus, the drink’s tangy, revitalizing taste makes it an ideal thirst quencher in Thailand’s tropical climate.

Fresh Fruit Juices And Smoothies

Thanks to the country’s abundance of tropical fruits, fresh fruit juices and smoothies are a staple in Thai cuisine.

These refreshing beverages showcase the incredible flavors and natural sweetness of Thai fruits. They’re not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients.

Overview Of Tropical Fruits In Thailand

Thailand boasts a wide variety of tropical fruits, including popular favorites like mangoes, pineapples, and coconuts.

There are also exotic options such as dragon fruit, longan, rambutan, and the renowned durian, giving fruit lovers countless opportunities to explore.

Among the popular fruit juice combinations, you’ll find mango and passion fruit, pineapple and coconut, and watermelon and lychee.

Another famous combination is freshly squeezed pomegranate juice mixed with orange or lime, which perfectly balances sweet and tangy flavors.

These combinations of fruits in Thailand showcase the vibrant flavors and natural sweetness of the fruits and provide a refreshing and nutritious boost.

A photo glass bottles of beer with ice on a dark background.

Alcoholic Thai Beverages

Alcoholic beverages in Thai are a celebrated part of Thailand’s vibrant drinking culture, with various beers, rice wines, and whiskey to choose from.

Each type of beverage offers unique and enticing flavors, catering to an array of tastes. Let’s delve further into these delightful alcoholic options.

Thai Beer

Thai beer is a favorite among drinkers. It features a range of brands with diverse flavors.

1. Singha สิงห์, Leo เลโอ, And Chang ช้าง

Singha, Leo, and Chang are top Thai beer brands that locals and tourists love.

Singha is known for its smooth, balanced taste, while Chang stands out with its slightly sweet, stronger flavor.

On the other hand, Leo is light and easy to drink, making it an excellent pick for relaxed gatherings.

Local brewing traditions and methods:

Thai brewing traditions emphasize quality and flavor, often incorporating jasmine rice as a key ingredient for a distinctive taste.

Thai breweries take pride in their innovation and craftsmanship, ensuring each beer offers a satisfying and enjoyable drinking experience.

2. Satho สาโท (Thai Rice Wine)

Satho is a traditional Thai rice wine. It offers a unique tangy flavor and rich cultural history.

Ingredients and preparation:

The production of Satho involves steaming glutinous rice, which is then combined with water and yeast.

The mixture is left to ferment for a few days, resulting in a mildly alcoholic beverage with a distinctive taste.

Cultural significance and regional variations:

Satho holds significant cultural importance in Thailand, particularly in the northeastern Isaan region.

It is often enjoyed during social gatherings, festivals, and celebrations.

Different regions of Thailand have unique variations of Satho, with varying flavors and strengths to suit local preferences.

3. Mekhong แม่โขง (Thai Whiskey)

Mekhong is a renowned Thai whiskey. It has an intriguing history and appeals to whiskey connoisseurs worldwide.

Ingredients and production:

Mekhong is crafted from a blend of molasses and rice.

The mixture undergoes fermentation and distillation before blending with various indigenous herbs, resulting in its unique and distinct flavor profile.

History and popularity in Thailand:

The history of Mekhong dates back to 1939, when it was first produced by the Chulalongkorn Distillery, a state-owned enterprise.

Mekhong was named after the Mekong River, a vital waterway and symbol of unity for the Southeast Asian region.

Over the years, Mekhong has become a symbol of Thai culture and a testament to the country’s rich traditions.

A photo of friends drinking Thai beverages on a wooden white table on the streets of Thailand.

Enjoying Thai Beverages Responsibly

To fully experience Thailand’s local drinking culture, it’s essential to enjoy Thai beverages responsibly.

Here are some tips to make the most of your Thai beverage experience:

Adjust Sweetness

Thai drinks can be sweet, so communicate your preference with vendors.

You can ask for less sugar or sugar substitutes by saying “mai sai nam tan” (no sugar) or “nam tan peuak” (less sugar).

Ensure Hygiene

Check if the ice used in your drink is from a reliable source, and look for high-turnover street vendors and markets to ensure freshness.

Opt for bottled water when possible, and avoid public intoxication.

Respect Local Customs

Adhere to local laws and regulations regarding alcohol consumption, such as the legal drinking age, alcohol sale hours, and drunk driving penalties.

You can say, “Sawatdee krap/Kha, mai sai kum” (Hello/Hi, I don’t drink alcohol) if you don’t drink alcohol.

Thai Beverages Useful Vocabulary

It’s time to familiarize yourself with Thai vocabulary to make ordering drinks and communicating with vendors a breeze.

Here are some essential terms to help you confidently navigate Thailand’s delightful beverage scene.

EnglishThaiPronunciationSound
Teaชาcha
Coffeeกาแฟgaa-fae
Waterน้ำna-am
Smoothieน้ำปั่นna-am bpan
Honeyน้ำผึ้งna-am phe-yung
Beerเบียร์bia
Rice Wineไวน์ข้าวwai kha-ao
Whiskeyวิสกี้wis-key
Sugarน้ำตาลna-am dtan
Milkนมnom
Iceน้ำแข็งna-am kaeng
Fruitผลไม้phon-la-mai
Limeมะนาวma-na-ao
Sodaโซดาso-daa
Coconutมะพร้าวma-phra-ao

Don’t hesitate to practice your newfound vocabulary while ordering drinks and chatting with locals.

After all, mastering the language is essential to fully immerse yourself in the delightful flavors and cultural experiences that Thai beverages offer. Enjoy!

How Do You Say Beverage In Thai?

The Thai word for beverage is เครื่องดื่ม (khrʉ̂aŋdʉ̀ʉm)

If you want to talk about Thai beverage, you can say ‘This Thai beverage is …’ or Khrʉ̂aŋdʉ̀ʉm thay níi khʉʉ เครื่องดื่มไทยนี้คือ

Other Vocabulary For Beverage In Thai

Now that you know how to say ‘This Thai beverage is …’ in Thai, you can try practicing talking about Thai beverages with these example sentences.

EnglishThaiPronunciationSound
This Thai beverage is…เครื่องดื่มไทยชนิดนี้คือkhrʉ̂aŋdʉ̀ʉm thay níi khʉʉ
This Thai beverage is sweet.เครื่องดื่มไทยนี้หวานkhrʉ̂aŋdʉ̀ʉm thay níi wǎan
This Thai beverage is refreshing.เครื่องดื่มไทยนี้สดชื่นดีkhrʉ̂aŋdʉ̀ʉm thay níi sòtchʉ̂ʉn dii
This Thai beverage is sour.เครื่องดื่มไทยนี้มีรสเปรี้ยวkhrʉ̂aŋdʉ̀ʉm thay níi mii rótprîaw

Frequently Asked Questions About Thai Beverages

Thai Iced Tea (Cha Yen), Thai Iced Coffee (Oliang, Lemongrass Tea, Nam Matoom (Bael Fruit Juice), and Coconut Water.

What Is Thailand’s National Drink?

Mekhong is Thailand’s national spirit and named after the mighty Mekhong River, which flows along its border. Mekhong has a wonderfully smooth aroma and inviting taste that will instantly remind you of the tropics of Southeast Asia.

What Are Some Non-Alcoholic Drinks To Eat With Thai Food?

Citrus-infused soda or cucumber lemonades are super-refreshing and light. They’re the perfect complement to Thai salads like Som Tum or our Thai Ginger Green Salad. Most fruit juices go well with Thai food, too. And sparkling mineral water’s a good thirst quencher to let the flavors of your Thai meal shine through.

Learn Beverages In Thai With Ling!

So, there you have it – a comprehensive guide to beverages in Thai, complete with helpful vocabulary and cultural insights.

Ready to take your Thai language skills to the next level and dive deeper into the world of Thai drinks? Try the Ling app.

The Ling app offers engaging, interactive lessons to help you quickly learn Thai and 60+ other languages.

With the Ling app, you’ll master essential vocabulary, grammar, and conversational skills while having fun.

Why not try it and unlock a whole new world of language learning?

Download the app from Google Play or App Store now!

One Response

  1. Hello, thanks for the sharing this blog, this is very helpfull for me , if you want any help regarding mixology menu in Bangkok then contact with Finch Bnagkok.

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