Drink Recipes

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Ginger Lemongrass Drink Recipe

Ginger Lemongrass Drink

08.27.09 by Jackie

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.


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Thai Iced Tea (Tra Thai in Vietnamese) Recipe

Thai iced tea (trà Thái in Vietnamese) is my favorite drink whenever I go to a phở house. I really like the contrast of flavors and temperatures between the hot broth and the cold tea.

The procedure for making trà Thái is similar to cà phê sữa đá (iced coffee). The tea is brewed for a long time to achieve a strong flavor, then sweetened with Asian rock sugar and condensed milk. It's served chilled with a lot of ice and a splash of evaporated milk.


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Mint and Cardamom Flavored Arnold Palmer (Lemonade with Iced Tea) Recipe

An Arnie Palmer is quite refreshing on those dog days of summer. The drink is named after the American professional golfer, Arnold Palmer. Legend has it that while golfing in his country club in Colorado, he requested that lemonade be added to his iced tea but the bartender initially refused.  After some cajoling, the bartender finally relented. And thus the Arnold Palmer was born.

I infused some fresh mint from the garden in the tea and some cardamom seeds in the lemonade. You can of course either just make a Morrocan tea or a cardamom lemonade but the combination of the two is simply divine.

This drink is dedicated to our friend Scott who is an avid golfer. Summer is on its way and I bet he's going to be back on the greens very soon. Scott: I promise that next time you stop by the house, I'll make an Arnold Palmer for you and Lulu.


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Baji's Masala Chai Recipe

Baji's Masala Chai

01.29.09 by Jackie

Masala Chai is a very strong tea flavored with a lot of Indian spices. You might have tried it at your neighborhood coffee shop, but this is an authentic recipe I got from my husband's late grandmother. Everyone called her Baji. 

The first time I had some, I stayed up all night, and not knowing what to do, I cleaned, ironed, vacuumed and shopped online. I finally collapsed in exhaustion the next morning at 10 a.m. So beware if like me, you're not used to too much caffeine, it's very strong! Or drink it in the morning. Enjoy!


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Ca Phe Sua Nong (Vietnamese-Style Coffee) Recipe

A while ago a guest brought us some Fair Trade coffee beans and it's been sitting in our pantry ever since.  We're not big coffee drinkers. The only coffee I ever make at home is Vietnamese coffee, and I only make it when we have guests over. To make cà phê sữa nóng (literally Hot Milk Coffee in Vietnamese) you need a strong coffee, and the dark, extra bold French roast blend from Africa that our guest gave us was perfect for the job. My husband's friend Andrew came over today and he is addicted to Vietnamese coffee, so I made him several cups. Somehow the caffeine does not seem to stop him even late in the evening...

Making the coffee took me back in time. It reminds me of the coffee I used to make for my dad when I was a little girl growing up in Paris. He still lives there today. I would fall into a trance-like state watching the coffee drip, drop by drop into the tall glass of luscious condensed milk. Later on, we got an espresso machine but I was still making coffee for my papa every morning. I think about you, Papounet. I miss you dearly.


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