Authentic Thai Beverages

KetchupMoms is excited to introduce writer Orana’s favourite and authentic Thai Beverages

Writer Orana was born in Peru but lived in the US as a teenager and then Argentina. Inspired to be an artist herself, she grew up playing in art studios. For ten years, she worked as a Makeup Artist, FX Artist and hairdresser. After seven years in Lima, Orana and her husband decided it was time for a change and their small family moved to South East Asia. First stop Laos, then Bangkok, Phuket and now settled in Bali, they travel around the area on a regular basis. Now that writing is part of her daily life, Orana started a blog about her family and their Crazy Little Family Adventures.

On the busy city corner of Sukhumvit Soi 23 and Soi Cowboy, two blocks from our Bangkok Apartment building, you can find the greatest little coffee cart in the world. OK so there are hundreds, even thousands of these all over Thailand, but you always remember your first right?

I can recall the lady very clearly; she wore a funny hat that held in all her hair, and a blue apron. Her icebox had a small dent on one side and next to her stall was another one that sold Khao Pad (Fried Rice).

Thailand is known for its special way of drinking coffee and tea. It really is nothing like the Italian coffee machines, or coffee makers you might be used to. The tea is stronger, its sweeter, and it’s orange! The coffee is dark and thick and oh so refreshing over ice. 

As the years passed, we got quite familiar with many of these coffee and tea carts in Bangkok and Phuket. After some Thai language exploration we discovered all the other beverages you can get from them. Coffee and Tea were just the most common. You could get Ovaltine chocolate milk, lemon and honey concoctions or soda water with different flavor syrups. Some of the stalls had dried salted plums to make a drink with soda water. You could have a strong and powerful iced mocha or an orange tea with milk.

With time we all had our favorites, and depending on the occasion and the time of day we would choose different beverages. All these drinks can be made at home, although you might not be able to steep the coffee and tea in the same way unless you have a cloth bag filter. Today I will tell you how to make some very Thai drinks that you can get at the Thai food stalls.

Authentic Thai Beverages For Kids

1) Daeng Soda Manao – Daeng = Red, Manao = Lime

In the coffee carts, there is always a row of glass bottles with colorful syrups. The two most common are the red and green syrups that are used for quite a few different drinks. Our kids favorite was Daeng Soda Manao which is chilled soda water with squeezed lime and a big fat squeeze of the red sala syrup. Sala (Salak) is a Thai fruit and this syrup is so nice it’s addictive. There is also a green version that tastes like cream soda and a white version that tastes like jasmine.
The Brand you see in the coffee and tea carts is Hale’s Blue Boy Syrup. I’m sure you can use other kinds of syrup too but if you want it to be like in Thailand then you can try and find this stuff at the Asian Food markets.

A chilled bottle of soda (sparkling water)
A Lime cut in wedges or a tablespoon of lime juice
Sweet Red syrup (or any strawberry syrup or cordial)


  1. Put ice in a glass, squeeze the lime or pour the lime juice over the ice and then fill the glass with soda water leaving space for the syrup.
  2. Pour about a shot of syrup and mix.
    Kids will love it!

2) Lemongrass and Mint Refresher

These beverages are not really from the coffee stalls but actually from the food stalls that are also all over Thailand. They are both delicious and sweet and refreshing. My daughter loves the lemongrass and my son really likes Matoom.

Five lemongrass stalks
A litre of water
Three or four sprigs of mint
Coconut Sugar
Ginger (depends on if your kids can handle a little spice)
A pot


  1. Clean and cut the lemongrass and put in a pot with the litre of water. While it heats up, wash the mint and set aside.
  2. Let the lemongrass boil for five minutes and then turn off.
  3. Add the mint into the pot. Add some sliced ginger if your kids like it.
  4. Let sit for five more minutes. Pass through a sieve and add coconut sugar to your liking. Put in the fridge or pour over ice.

Comments (14)

Lisa Lewis, MD Posted on Mar 02, 2016

These drinks sound wonderful! We plan to try the lemongrass and mint refresher. Always looking for a healthy treat that tastes great.

  Reply   View Reply

Samantha C. Posted on Feb 28, 2016

Thanks for this guide. Will keep this in mind for my Thai trip! :)


Dorothy Mae C. Torretijo Posted on Feb 27, 2016

I love coffee shops! Lemongrass and Mint Refresher sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing xx


Georgia Posted on Feb 26, 2016

The lemongrass and mint one sounds so refreshing and one I can defintely make here at home in the UK! Great recipes thanks


Joanna Posted on Feb 26, 2016

The Lemongrass and Mint Refresher sounds amazing for a hot summer day. I have never heard of coconut sugar, how is that? I bet it's healthier than normal sugar, everything coming from coconuts, these days, seem to be miracle makers. :)


Nurse Alpha Posted on Feb 26, 2016

Looks delicious and refreshing. I hope I could taste the Daeng Soda Manao, I could imagine the flavor of it based on your description haha. :)


charity marces Posted on Feb 26, 2016

I sure want to try the Lemongrass and Mint Refresher! That would be perfect for the upcoming swealtering heat of summer.


Milton Coyne Posted on Feb 26, 2016

I haven't tried any Thai beverages yet.. only Thai noodles but of all the seemingly refreshing beverages listed here, I think I find the Lemongrass and Mint Refresher most interesting... I would love to try these drinks if ever I got a chance but that Matoom sounds very intriguing too.. I saw a couple of Thai restaurants near my place and I guess it is time to explore them and see what kind of dishes they have to offer! Thanks for sharing


Sabine Posted on Feb 26, 2016

I love lemongrass !!! Thanks for the recipes. I will try them for ME hahah!!


Capers Rouge Posted on Feb 26, 2016

Thanks for sharing this. I am a Thai food lover but I've never tried the Thai beverages. These certainly look refreshing and I'll try them out very soon .


Karen Posted on Feb 26, 2016

It's good to know that ovaltine chocolate milk is also served which by the way is my kids' favorite. But when we visit place, we discover culture and many other things and your post has given me idea what to order for my children the moment we visit Thailand.


ROBERT LEE Posted on Feb 26, 2016

I am pretty sure we have a much choices and varieties of food in the Philippines too. Why is it that you made it appear so much better there? Ahhh, I get it. It's the photos! It sort of made me focus instead of seeing without seeing!


ROBERT LEE Posted on Feb 25, 2016

I love coffee shops! Could you perhaps post more pictures of what they look like?


Salma Posted on Feb 25, 2016

These all sound delicious and refreshing!


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