The year-round heat and humidity mean that staying hydrated on your visit to Thailand is one of the most critical concerns a traveler will have. Luckily, Thailand is home to some of the most delicious drinks in the world, including some you’ll never have tried before! Here’s our list of the must-try Thai drinks that we compiled after living in Thailand for almost 2 years.
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What To Drink In Thailand
From rich milk teas to grass jelly drinks, Thailand beverages have unique flavors and textures to quench even the most incredible thirst. So whether you like sweet, savory, or something in between, there is a Thai drink out there for you. Choose from popular Thailand beverages like teas, coffees or go for something more robust and sample the tasty Thai alcohol in one of the country’s many party districts.
We’ve come up with a list of 12 drinks from Thailand for you to sample during your visit to get you started.
Learn more about eating and drinking in Thailand:
Mekhong Thai Spirit
Thai whiskey is a bit of a misnomer for this tasty spirit. Formerly known as Mekhong whiskey, this Thailand alcohol is actually closer to a rum! Distilled from 95 percent molasses, this sweet drink from Thailand comes in many different flavors, and is a popular addition to the giant cocktail buckets found on Khao San Road in Bangkok. You’ll discover Mekhong Thai spirit in convenience stores or even some market stalls. The perfect refresher for a hot summer’s day, mix with fruit juice and plenty of ice for a cheap and cheerful alcoholic drink.
While Thailand isn’t well known for its alcohol, sang som is one spirit you want to add to your list. Sweet, oaky, and rich, this Thai drink packs a punch when paired with juices and sodas in hot weather.
Forty percent alcohol by volume, sang som is another popular addition to beachside cocktails and party punches in the tourist districts of Thailand. First introduced to the market in 1977, this Thailand alcohol quickly became the best-selling spirit on the southeast Asian market.
Like Mehkong Thai spirit, sang som is distilled in oak barrels and blended with herbs and spices for a rich, earthy flavor. Look for this beverage in Thai bars, convenience stores, and markets.
Nom Yen, or ‘pink milk,’ is a delightful iced milk drink with sugary sala syrup. Famous for its vibrant color and fruity taste, this drink from Thailand is often compared to commercial strawberry milk. Popular with children, you’ll find Nom Yen sold in plastic bags by street vendors in most Thai cities alongside juices, sodas, and Thai energy drinks.
One thing you may not know is that energy drinks in Thailand are one of the biggest beverage markets in the world. Make sure you check out Krating Daeng – also known as Thai Red Bull. The name literally translates to ‘red bull’ and is believed to be the inspiration behind the world-famous taurine-laced beverage. Look for the black and green Thai energy drink cans in convenience stores, cafes, or even occasionally sold as an accompaniment to crunchy fried street foods.
If you’re craving something for your sweet tooth, then make sure you grab a bottle of sugarcane juice! Commonly sold at markets, this Thailand drink is one of the most popular beverages in Thailand for tourists and locals alike. This sweet, viscous liquid is made by putting sugarcane stalks through a powerful processing machine, creating a perfect milky drink for quenching thirst. Sugarcane juice is incredibly sweet, so make sure to sip it slowly to avoid the inevitable sugar rush.
Whether you like your coconut water from young coconuts, or poured into bottles, this is one of the most well-known drinks in Thailand. Fresh coconut water is prized for its delicious taste, refreshing properties, and high nutritional value.
If you buy this Thai drink from a market, the vendor will most likely include thick, juicy slices of coconut shaved into the ice-cold liquid. Drink this Thai beverage on its own, or mix it with fruit juice or sugar water for an extra sugar hit!
Thai Iced Milk Tea
Thai iced milk tea, or chai yen, is one of the most well-known drinks from Thailand. Visit any major city, and you’ll likely see Thai commuters swinging bags of this tasty liquid from one wrist. Bright orange in color, Thai iced milk tea can seem like an intimidating drink choice for tourists.
The bright orange hue comes from the lengthy steeping of tea leaves and Thai spices, lending a herbaceous flavor to this unique Thailand beverage. However, if you can get past the appearance, this Thai drink is a sweet, syrupy refreshment that not only quenches thirst but also feels almost dessert-like!
Chang And Singha Beer
The most well-known Thai beer outside of Thailand is Singha. This Thailand alcohol is heavily associated with international sports clubs, like Manchester United, and even partners with the Red Bull F1 Racing Team. However, just as distinctive is Singha’s alcohol content; while most lagers sit around 3-4 percent by volume, this famous Thai beer is known for its whopping 6 percent APV. With a rich malty flavor, Singha is the perfect choice to accompany a salty Thai curry.
The other well-known Thai beer, Chang, isn’t likely to be appearing on many lists of top Asian beers any time soon. However, it is by far the best value Thai alcohol on offer. Characterized by its pale color and light taste, the next day’s headache is often referred to as a ‘Changover’ by overzealous tourists. And, we’ve both been subject to multiple changovers over the years.
Oliang Thai Iced Coffee
Do you want something cold, refreshing, and incredibly caffeinated? Forget Starbucks; Thai iced coffee is just the thing. Sweet, rich, and most importantly strong, this beverage from Thailand is extremely cheap and sold on every street corner. Particularly popular around beach areas, Thai iced coffee is the perfect thirst quencher when served over ice. If you’re after something with a bit more kick, add some sang som for an authentic Thai experience.
Milo Chocolate Drink
If you’ve been anywhere in Southeast Asia, you’ll know just how famous Milo is. This creamy Australian malt beverage is easily the most well-known drink in Thailand and is a favorite for locals of all ages. Sold in most cafes, restaurants, or by the tin in convenience stores, Milo is just as beloved, whether hot or cold. Creamy, malty, and delicious, this favorite drink in Thailand is definitely one to try during your visit!
Grass Jelly Drinks
No matter where you are in Thailand, you’ll notice one thing – everyone in Thailand loves grass jelly. These gelatinous cubes are made from plant proteins and are naturally sweet. Sometimes you’ll find fruit or even chocolate flavors, but for the most part, Thais prefer the natural taste and texture of the jelly as it comes.
There’s no specific type of grass jelly drink – these tasty blobs often accompany teas, juices, and sodas. Many vendors will even sell cups or bags partly filled with grass jelly, so you can top up with any Thai beverage you feel like. If you’re not up to drinking your jelly, try it with coconut milk sprinkled with brown sugar for a traditional Thai dessert.
Learn more about food and drink in Thailand:
M-150 Energy Drink
Energy drinks in Thailand are popular with locals and tourists alike, and M-150 is one of the leaders of this booming market. With one of the highest caffeine contents of any energy drink, this Thai beverage is perfect for a quick boost of energy in the heat of the day. M-150 comes in several unique flavors, including lychee and sala, but the most popular one is by far the original! So if you’re feeling a little run down, grab a cold bottle from a Thai convenience store and see what all the fuss is about.
Thai Drinks For Every Taste
The weather in Thailand can be just as hot as the delicious food. No matter what you’re craving, the wide variety of Thai drinks will quench your thirst. From the rich and creamy to the refreshing and fruity, you’ll find fantastic beverages on every corner – some that can’t be found anywhere else in the world! So drink up – you might even discover something you love!