Guava Fruit Juice( Nam Farung )

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Spring is coming, well at least in the Northern hemisphere! As with previous years, I'll be doing lighter food and drinks for the coming summer like this one. If you can get fresh guava, this is one of the most delicious ways to use it. It is a juice, really a smoothy, made from the pulp of the guava fruit.
Use larger older guava for this recipe, it will give a sweet/sour taste to the drink.

120 gms Guava Fruit
5 Tablespoons Sugar Syrup (50-50 sugar & water solution)
236 ml water ( boil )

1. Peel the guava, take only the outer flesh minus the seeds in the middle.
2. Mix the guava, syrup and water and blend in a food processor.
3. Pour over crushed ice.
4. Optionally a tiny pinch of salt over the top fills out the flavours.

Thai Basil Seed Drink (Nam Manglak)

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This is an unusual cold Thai drink available in cans, but here we make it fresh. It looks like frog spawn, but don't let that put you off, those little gelatin lumps with black centres are actually Thai basil seeds. Thai basil has a smaller leaf than you see in Italian cooking, but the seeds are widely available. When you add water the seed swells into small soft balls and these give an unusual texture to the drink. The traditional flavouring is rose water, but you can flavour it with vanilla or peppermint essence if you prefer, or try adding the seeds to Iced Tea for tea with texture!

Ingredients for 2 Drinks
5g Thai Basil Seeds
500ml Water
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Honey
200ml Rose Water
Crushed Ice for Serving

1. Using a tea strainer to hold them, rince the seeds under a tap to clean them.
2. Soak the seeds in 100ml water.
3. With the other 400ml of water, warm it with the sugar and honey until the sugar is fully dissolved. Taste it, you can adjust the sweetness to your own preference at this point, remember that the drink will be slightly more dilute once the other ingredients are added.
4. Leave to cool back to room temperature.
5. Once the water is at room temperature, and the basil seeds have swelled mix them all together, the rose water, the sweetened water and the water with the basil seeds.
6. Chill and serve over crushed ice.

Herb Infused Spirit ( Ya Dong )

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Ya Dong is a herb infused spirit, reputed to have many medicinal qualities. If you ask a Thai person what's in Ya Dong, they will tell you all sorts of strange stories of lizard penis' and narcotic herbs. The truth is rather more boring, there is no set ingredients for Ya Dong, each person makes their own blend and it's usually nothing more than regular herbs like ginseng, plaonoi, tree bark and vodka or whiskey.

I'm not sure what's in my jar (above), it has been handed down between my friends, and I just top it up with vodka every month or so. I drink it with lime to kill the flavours a little. I'll try to find out what the herbs are and update this blog entry. (Anyone?)

Lychees & Grape Juice ( Narm Lychee )

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Lychees on their own have plenty of taste, but little juice. To make a refreshing drink from them, we dilute it down with grape juice and a little lemon or lime juice to sharpen it up. Although I've photographed it with a lychee and lime slice, that's just to make the photograph a little more interesting. The drink itself doesn't look like much!

Ingredients per 100ml
80 ml Grape Juice
20 ml Lychee Pulp
A squeeze of Lemon

1. Blend the lychee to a purée, add the grape juice and lemon and serve cold.

Papaya Drink ( Nam Maragor )

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Papaya smoothy drinks are easy to make, but it does need a little sugar syrup to sweeten it, otherwise it can taste like a health drink.

200 gms Fully Ripe Papaya or a Tin of Papaya
200 gms Sugar Syrup
100 gms Crushed Ice

1. I prefer to use a canned papaya for this, the fruit is already soaking in syrup and the syrup has it's flavour.
2. Chop the papaya into pieces, and the syrup from the can, and wizz in a blender until smooth.
3. Crush the ice, and pour the drink over the ice.

Tamarind Drink ( Nam Ma Kham Wan )

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Tamarind is a very sour fruit, you can see them in the left of the photograph. This drink is made from Tamarind pulp, the brown date like pulp used to add a sour taste to Thai food. It is a combination of sourness and sweetness.

40 gms Brown Sweet Tamarin Pulp
400 ml Boiled Water
A Pinch of Salt
100 ml Sugar Syrup
50 gms Crushed Ice

1. Mix the tamarind pulp and water together, in a blender.
2. Bring to the boil, add the salt and syrup, stirring as it warms up.
3. Leave to cool.
4. Sieve to remove any pulp.
5. Serve over crushes ice.

Roasted Young Coconut Juice ( Ma Praw Parw )

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One of the nicest ways to drink coconut juice is roasted over a fire or barbecue. For this you will need the young green coconut (not the brown husk older coconut). Cut off the outer husk as much as you can, then place it in the coals and keep turning it until its blackened and roasted all over.
It's very easy to open after it's roasted, you can simply push a knife into the eyes of the coconut and pour out the juice. Drink it while it's warm.

Yoghurt Soda

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I want to show you some of the many Thai drinks we have, and try to recreate the flavours of them. This one has a smooth cream soda like taste with a slight acidic after taste. The ingredients list says soda, sugar and a little drinking yoghurt, but when I tried that it didn't work. After some experimentation I found that full yoghurt is needed to get the creaminess, and that a squeeze of lemon juice adds the bite.

500 ml Soda Water
50 ml Sugar Syrup
4 Tablespoons Yoghurt
Squeeze Lemon Juice.

1. Use a thick sugar syrup, you don't want to dillute the soda too much.
2. Chill all the ingredients.
3. Mix the yoghurt and sugar syrup, then stir it into the soda, then add a squeeze of lemon juice. Not too much lemon or the yoghurt will curdle.
4. Serve immediately.

Hales Blue Boy Ice Cone ( Nam Kang Siy )

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I wasn't sure whether to put this under 'drinks' or 'desserts'. It is a cone of shaved ice, with the Thai drink syrup known as 'Hales Blue Boy' (Helbruboy) poured over it and dressed with condensed milk. The taste is sweet and creamy, like an ice cream version of cream soda.

150 gms Shaved or Crushed Ice
2-4 Tablespoons Hales Blue Boy Drink Syrup
1-2 Tablespoons Condensed Milk

1. Make a cone of crushed ice, I pack it into a beaker and upturn the beaker normally.
2. Pour some of the drink syrup over it.
3. Drissle some condensed milk over the top.

Serve With
Hot Summer Days

Bael Fruit Iced Tea ( Nam Matoom )

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This is considered a health drink in Thailand, it's supposed to be good for cleansing the stomach and helping digestion. You can see Bael fruit, it's available dried in packets from Asian grocers. Serve warm or cold.

4-6 Dried Matoom Pieces
4-6 Tablespoons Sugar
400 ml Water

1. Boil the water in a pan.
2. Add the matoom and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
3. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved, adjust the sweetness to your own tastes.
4. Leave to cool.
5. If you want iced tea, chill it in the fridge and serve over crushed ice. For iced tea, it is better to slightly over-sweeten it, as it won't taste so sweet when it's cold.

Bi Tua Drink ( Nam Bi Tua )

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Bi tua is a Thai green reed that can be purchased in asian grocers. When you pulp it in water, it makes the water green and releases a bubblegum like flavour. This drink is a completely natural taste without any of the artificial flavours of factory made drinks!

20 gms Bi Tua
250 ml Water
120 gms Sugar
50 gms Crushed Ice

1. Chop the Bi Tua into 2 cm lengths, put into a food processor together with the water and blend until the fibres are completely broken into the water.
2. Sieve the liquid to remove any pulp, and put into a saucepan.
3. Add the sugar, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then leave to cool.
4. To serve crush the ice, pile the ice in a glass and pour the drink over it.