The two most popular ways to drink local coffee are cà phê sữa đá (iced coffee with condensed milk) or cà phê đá (iced black coffee). My favorite is the sinh tố mãng cầu (soursop smoothie), a refreshing sweet-and-tart treat made from a fruit that's native to South and Central America and popular in Southeast Asia for a creamy flavor reminiscent of both strawberries and pineapples. Whole coconuts are unwieldy to store, so vendors will 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. Silken Tofu in Ginger Syrup (Tau Hu Nuoc Duong) is a light and delicate Vietnamese/Chinese dessert. Pandan leaves (the vanilla extract of Southeast Asia) is then added to steep and flavor the sauce. In the past, refrigeration wasn't common, so drinks were room temperature until poured over ice, and in the always hot-and-steamy south of Vietnam, a warm beer or soft drink doesn't really hit the spot. It's usually sold by street vendors, who use electric squashing machines, not unlike an old-fashioned wringer, to squeeze the juice from stalks of sugar cane. I order soda chanh "không đường" (no sugar) or "ít đường" (a little sugar) because the standard serve has a lot of sugar—so much that it can block the straw if you don't mix the drink before taking a sip. Large-scale ice production is one of legacies of French rule, and there are many sanitary ice factories throughout the country that use filtered water and package ice untouched by human hands. Ingredients 5 oz dried lotus seeds (Hat Sen) 5 oz pearl barley (Bo Bo) 2 cups thinly sliced dried seaweed/kelp (Rong Bien) 5 oz You can have this all times of day, and I used to travel far to get my hands on one of these babies. Serve: Warm or Cold Bring the pot to a boil. Cook the lotus seeds on a low simmer until softened (about 15-25 minutes). Plus, it's not too sweet. In Vietnamese, the phrase "di nhau" means "to go drinking." It is then steamed with coconut milk and sugar, then topped with a mixture of freshly grated coconuts, toasted sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, sugar and salt. Vietnamese Refreshing Iced Dessert Drink with Seaweed, Lotus Seeds, Jujube, Longan and Pearl Barley (Che Sam Bo Luong). Smoothies are everywhere in Vietnam, and we're not just talking strawberry-banana. Drinks to seek out in Vietnam. The exception, of course, is a boozy drinking session, where the focus is on the alcohol and the food is considered an accompaniment. With each drink you try in Vietnam, you experience the influence of one hundred years of French and a thousand years of Chinese rule—the Chinese contributed the concept of food and drink as medicine, and the French introduced coffee in the 1800s. In Vietnam, cendol is a popular street food known as Che Banh Lot. Vietnamese Coconut Pandan Waffles (Banh Kep La Dua) is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Some HTML is OK: link, strong, em. This version utilizes a pancake premix so it’s easy, quick and delicious. Remove with a large strainer. This sweet and nutty Vietnamese herbal tea is usually served over ice, making it perfect to sip in the chaos and noise of a Vietnamese wet market on a steamy day. Vietnamese people don't usually drink while they dine, perhaps because most meals are either soup-based or include soup at the end, to fill up any "last holes." You can't walk a block of any street in the country and not see someone enjoying a coffee in one form or another. You won't see the packaged stuff, though: here, it's drunk straight out of the coconut—and this coconut water is grassier, sweeter, and more full-flavored than anything you'll find in a package—trying it is like drinking raw milk for the first time. Che Sam Bo Luong is a refreshing Vietnamese iced dessert drink made with an assortment of dried Chinese/Vietnamese herbal ingredients, including red jujubes/dates (Tao Do), thinly sliced seaweed/kelp (Rong Bien), longans (Nhan Nhuc), lotus seeds (Hat Sen) and pearl barley (Bo Bo). It is made by simmering coconut milk and sugar, and thickened with a bit of tapioca starch. It translates to “orchid cake.” Because of the whipped egg whites, the cake bakes up like a souffle, resembling a blooming orchid. Other variations include snow fungus, cassava roots, ginger roots, lotus roots, and goji berries. Artichokes are grown in Dalat in Vietnam's cool Central Highlands but packets of artichoke tea are available in supermarkets throughout the country. Longan flesh is sweet and contains niacin, which aids metabolism and keeps the skin, nervous, and digestive systems healthy. It’s made with eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy. Add jujubes/dates to the pot with the lotus seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes. While most guidebooks will tell you to always avoid ice when you travel in Southeast Asia, in Vietnam the ice tends to be safe.