Fruit juices

Fruit juice

Water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated.  Most road side stands will make blended juices.  Look behind the counter though, because if there isn’t a blender, or fresh fruit there, then they are making the juice from syrup or a powder.  While this is alright, this isn’t what you came to Southeast Asia for, is it?

Food courts will often have a drink stall.  They will have the best selection when it comes to fresh fruit juices.  Restaurants will often be hit or miss when it comes to juice.

Even if you do see fresh fruit, some of the juice choices will be syrup or powder.  Feel free to ask, no one will be offended.  If added sugar is something you worry about, you should ask if they add sugar or syrup.  Some places will bring you the syrup on the side so that you can sweeten the drink to your taste.

Fruit juice is a great way to keep children hydrated.  My children are particularly fond of watermelon juice.  They also gravitate toward lychee juice.  Watch out for lychee juice though, because it is, more often than not, made from canned lychees.

Here’s a list of tropical juices that we’ve been able to find in our travels.

  • Mango – seasonal.
  • Papaya – often needs to be sweetened.
  • Watermelon
  • Guava
  • Pineapple
  • Coconut water – can be opened in front of you and served from the coconut.  Added bonus, you can eat the flesh from the coconut as well.

Lassis and yogurt drinks

Indian and Mahmak restaurants will serve lassi, a yogurt drink.  These can be plain, sweet, or blended with fruit.  The creaminess of the yogurt drink can calm down the heat of spicy Indian dishes.

A friend’s son ordered a banana-mango lassi.  This is not on the menu and it took some convincing for the waiter to put in the order, but it is all he’ll drink at that particular restaurant.  All that to say, experiment, and you might find something extra special.

Do you have a favorite tropical drink?

Share your special finds in the comments below.