Ginger Lemongrass Drink

Ginger Lemongrass Drink Recipe

Xả gừng literally translates to lemongrass and ginger. I love lemongrass, and the flavor it imparts to the drink is very pleasant and refreshing on a hot day.

Lemongrass (xả) is very common in Vietnamese cuisine. It is considered a mild diuretic, tonic and stimulant. Lemongrass is typically sold in packs of 5 stalks, and can be quite expensive. Last year, I asked Lulu whether we could grow it at home, and in response he planted 4 "bushes".  They are doing quite well, and since it is a perennial, we keep getting fresh stalks. If you're planning on cooking a lot of Asian cuisine, consider investing in some lemongrass.


Yields: 6

2-1/2 cups superfine sugar, to taste
5 cups water
1/4 cup palm sugar
1 quart ice cubes
4 stalks lemongrass, + extra for garnish
2 chunks ginger, about 3 inches
1/4 cup crystallized candied ginger, cut in half


For the lemongrass: Wash the lemongrass. Remove all the white powder from the leaves and also a few outer leaves. Cut the stalks in half and crush them with the back of a chef's knife. Cut the remaining stalk into extremely thin slices using a chef's knife. In a mortar and pestle, grind the thin slices of lemongrass, then transfer and mix everything using a mini food processor. It should turn into a fine moist powder. Set aside.

For the ginger: Clean the ginger, carefully removing any dirt. You don't have to peel it. Thinly slice both chunks. Set aside.

For the lemongrass water: Combine the water and lemongrass powder. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Filter through a fine sieve.

For the caramel syrup: In a sauce pan, melt the sugar without any water over high heat. It's important to carefully watch the sugar; as soon as the edges of the pan start caramelizing, immediately lower the heat to medium-low. Gently jiggle the saucepan in circles. Do not use a spoon! Lower the heat to the lowest setting when there are only a few remaining non-caramelized pieces. Don't let the sugar get dark brown or you'll get a burnt taste.

Assembly time: When all the sugar is an amber color, remove from the heat, pause for about a minute (be careful of splattering when the water is added), then slowly add the boiling lemongrass water, palm sugar, fresh ginger and candied ginger. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Bring back to a full boil then let simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and cool completely.

Serve in tall glasses with ice; stir well and garnish with a stalk of lemongrass.

Enjoy with tea cakes or cookies.

Time to relax!


You can find lemongrass and palm sugar in most Asian stores. If you don't have any, you can always replace them with lime juice and regular sugar.

Fresh lemongrass picture

I like making the caramel first to give a nice amber color to the drink. If you don't mind a lighter color, just make a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar in about 2 cups of water; bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 minutes.

I prefer using superfine sugar. It's a fine-grained sugar and it dissolves much more quickly than the regular one.

You can strain the liquid right before serving if you want the lemongrass to infuse for a long time.

Lemongrass Ginger Ale

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 27, 2009.


[-] Ginger Lemongrass Drink - Guest-peachkins
I love ginger and this looks really refreshing..

peachkins Website Link
[ Posted at 6:29 AM on 8/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] nice drink - Guest-doggybloggy
this looks so refreshing - I can imagine the lemon grass and ginger mixing so perfectly with the caramel sugar....

doggybloggy Website Link
[ Posted at 12:51 PM on 8/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] ahhh - Guest-pigpigscorner
this sounds really refreshing and I can even enjoy it warm/hot during winter!

pigpigscorner Website Link
[ Posted at 1:56 PM on 8/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] Ginger Lemongrass Drink - Guest-Juliana260
Yummie...sounds and looks so refreshing...ginger and lemongrass. Great for a summer hot day! Great pictures as well.

Juliana Website Link
[ Posted at 2:16 PM on 8/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] Love lemongrass - Guest-DailySpud
I love the sound of a lemongrass & ginger drink and I would also love to try growing lemongrass - though I don't know where I'd get seeds or plants to start with. Meanwhile, I'll just keep buying it at the Asian market...

Daily Spud Website Link
[ Posted at 4:00 PM on 8/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] Re: Ginger Lemongrass Drink - Guest-GeraSweetsFoods
Jackie what a beautiful and refreshing drink!
I don't know if I can find lemongrass here but with lime juice can be good too.



Gera @ SweetsFoods Website Link
[ Posted at 5:22 PM on 8/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] How big is your garden? - Guest-JessicaFoodmayhem
You have everything!

Jessica@Foodmayhem Website Link
[ Posted at 9:11 PM on 8/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] Our garden - Jackie
My husband (Lulu) is a very good gardener and always try to please me by adding new herbs as I need them.
[ Posted at 10:38 PM on 8/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] Sugar Plum - Guest-Emily710
This drink looks so refreshing! I'd love to give it a try sometime.

Emily Website Link
[ Posted at 10:54 PM on 8/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] Ginger Lemongrass Drink - Guest-pixen
Lovely drink! I simply adore herbal drinks like this. My mom encouraged my youngest sis and me into Asian herbs. This drink is great for digestion after a rich heavy dinner. Not only that it helps freshen your breathe too :-D Sometimes, I added Soda water for a fizzy drink. Well done photos too.

pixen Website Link
[ Posted at 5:01 PM on 8/28/09 | Reply ]
[-] perfect for the weather - Guest-OysterCulture
With the recent heat wave, this drink looks like the perfect rememdy

OysterCulture Website Link
[ Posted at 6:59 PM on 8/29/09 | Reply ]

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