7 popular Vietnamese drinks to try while traveling
- on Mar 1, 2021       By: BN
Seven drinks that reflect the popular traditions of Vietnam and are so many deadly sins to indulge in on your next trip to Vietnam. On the sidewalk or comfortably seated, take a break between two visits to take the time to taste the 7 popular drinks of Vietnam.
It is truly THE national drink to absolutely taste when you stay in Vietnam since the country is the second largest coffee producer in the world. Sipping your little black has been elevated to the art of living by Vietnamese city dwellers. In Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An or Saigon, cafes are found on every street corner and sometimes offer original recipes.
If black coffee or hot or iced milk is still the most popular, we now see coconut coffee on the menu, smoothie coffee with tasty tropical fruits, yogurt coffee or the now famous egg coffee. The latter is a speciality created in Hanoi by Mr Nguyen Van Giang, the former bartender of the Sofitel Legend Métropole hotel in order to remedy the repeated breakdowns of milk during the Indochina War. This results in a creamy and deliciously smooth coffee!
Tea is one of the most consumed traditional drinks in Vietnam. Tea is traditionally served to welcome guests or at the end of meals. Around cups of tea, it is a moment of communion, friendship and peace. The Vietnamese taste the tea in small sips to savour all its quintessence. Iced tea is now a very popular drink, served abundantly in restaurants and cafes as an accompaniment to your meal and your coffee. Tea in Vietnam is very fragrant, resulting from the aroma of jasmine, green tea, lotus flower, artichoke, bitter cucumber which help to bring very rare, refined and remarkably original aromas to teas.
Rice alcohol is indisputably part of Vietnamese culture. New year, marriages, deaths, births or just for a meal with family or friends, rice alcohol is a part of every meal and every party in Vietnam. This drink accompanies the Vietnamese in their daily life both to animate an event and as an offering to worship ancestors. If you are lucky enough to stay with a local, your hosts will certainly invite you to share a few small glasses of rice liquor with them to seal the budding friendship. In the ethnic markets of Northern Vietnam, such as Bac Ha, part of the market is devoted to the sale of rice alcohol and another is dedicated to its consumption with some local specialties. As the Vietnamese adage goes, "the man who does not drink alcohol is like a flag without wind".
Drinking beer is a real popular cultural institution in Vietnam! Vietnamese like to get together with colleagues or friends after the workday to empty a few glasses of beer. For this, they like to meet in a bia hoi, a fluffy and bustling microbrewery where they serve a light draft beer at a low price. Do not hesitate to come and have a bia hoi to taste this special atmosphere and to immerse yourself in the local culture. In Hanoi, at the intersections of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets in the old quarter, called the "bia hoi corner", take a seat on the small plastic stools on the sidewalk to bring down a few beers while being in the front row of the show from the hectic nightlife. In the bia hoi, you also have the chance to taste some really typical Vietnamese specialties, far from the dishes served in restaurants for tourists.
Nuoc mia, or sugar cane juice extracted from the stem using a compressor mill, is a very popular refreshing drink, especially during hot weather. In town and country alike, you can find nuoc mia vendors everywhere who serve it with ice cubes and the juice of a small citrus fruit (kumquat or lemon) to balance the sweetness. It is a very popular, inexpensive and 100% natural drink.
Rich in essential trace elements and containing no fat unlike coconut milk, coconut water is the perfect drink to hydrate you and perform a little detox as a bonus. In the Mekong Delta, where coconut palms grow in the jungle, the coconut palm is considered the tree of life because like the pig, everything is good in the coconut palm. In Vietnam, the coconut palm is used for food, crafts, cosmetics and to build houses.
This is a gourmet drink very popular with Vietnamese but also travellers. The country has an impressive number of tropical fruits, each tastier than the next. Pineapple, mango, papaya, mangosteen, avocado… mixed with milk and crushed ice gives a healthy, refreshing and terribly addicting drink!