Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Exotic Drinks

Thai Style Tropical Drink
Lately, I've been drinking this Thai Style Tropical Drink a lot. I absolutely love it, the flavours are so intense. So I thought I would write about some other slightly more exotic drinks that I like. They're probably not exotic to Asians but will most likely be to Westerners. The photo on the left is the Thai Style Tropical Drink. It's extremely easy to make and consists of durian, jack fruit, water date palms, lychees and jelly strips all mixed in with coconut milk and crushed

If you have never heard of a durian, it looks something like the photo below left. It is an extremely pungent fruit, and people who don't like it describe it as smelling like a rubbish tip. For lovers of durian, such as myself, the smellier the fruit is, the better. There are actually a number of varities of durian but since it is not grown commerically in Australia yet, we only get the one type known as the Golden Pillow imported from Thailand.

A jack fruit, pictured below right, looks kind of similar to a durian. It's usually very large and also has very sweet flesh. While a durian is extremely creamy in texture, jack fruit has a texture that is slightly crisp and slighty chewy. More people tend to like jack fruit as the flavour is just sweet and clear, rather than pungent.

The flavours of all these exotic fruit mixed together create a drink that is different with every bite. You can always put in other fruits and leave out things you don't like. Its up to you what you put in it, but I do find these flavours are very nice together.

Bubble Tea
Another drink that I have grown to love is bubble tea, otherwise known as milk tea with sago pearls. This drink is extremely popular in Asian countries. Traditionally it's red tea mixed with milk and sugar and then with black sago pearls added to it, like the one pictured on the left. However nowadays, there are a million and one combinations of flavours. I really love the honeydew melon tea with coconut pieces. The drink is red tea again, but with added honeydew flavourings. Then there is the milk but instead of sago pearls, I like to have coconut pieces that have been soaked in sugar. The coconut pieces has a nice crunch to it and adds its own flavour.

Milk tea with sago pearls is very easy to make at home. Just get your regular Lipton tea bags and make yourself a cup of tea as usual, then add your milk and sugar to taste, then go and buy a packet of sago pearls from your local Asian grocery store, cook them as instructed and add those to your tea. Add lots of ice and drink away. For something a little bit different, add a cup of milk coffee to your tea. It's a very interesting mix, and if you get the right amount of each, makes for an extremely nice drink. Milk tea mixed with milk coffee is known as "Ying Yang", as in the black and white circle you always see since it a mix of two very different things.

Avocado Milkshake
Finally, there are the exotic milkshakes. You've probably had a banana milkshake or even a strawberry one, but how about an avocado one. I've been mixing these for years and only until recently did the Chinese cafes around my area start to sell them. An avocado smoothie is made by blending avocado, milk, condensed milk and ice. If you want it a little bit richer even, add a spoon of vanilla ice cream. Trust me, its delicious, so give it a try.

Want even more exotic than an avocado milkshake, how about a durian milkshake. Same ingredients as the avocado one, but omit the avocado and substitute with creamy pungent durian. In fact, any tropical fruit can be substituted. I've tried lychees, jack fruit (another good one), custard apple, longans or even red or green beans.


  1. Im going to have to make a milkshake now. Aswell as scour the country for crispy creme doughnuts...Thanks Thanh.

  2. I really recommend you try an avocado milkshake. And if you can find jack fruit, try that too, its delicious. And if you're really game James, try durian milkshake. That is definitely an acquired taste, you either hate it or love it, there is no in between.