Famous for being a food paradise, Singapore is also home to many eclectic and colourful drinks. It’s always hot and humid in Singapore with temperatures averaging 28 – 32 degrees Celsius. You may be here for the food but the accompanying beverage is just as important to quench your thirst on your food tour.
Drinks in Singapore are just as colourful as the local cultures and are not to be missed during your travels. Here are some quintessential beverages you should order to drink like a local.
1) Teh Tarik
The spectacle of how Teh Tarik is prepared is reason enough to order this delicious drink. Teh Tarik literally means “pulled tea” and its popularity means it can be easily ordered at any coffee shop in Singapore.
Hot black tea is sweetened and stirred with condensed milk to give it a light brown complexion. The server then repeatedly pours it from one cup to another from a significant height. All of this is to fully blend the milk with the tea, cool the drink and produce its iconic frothy top.
Perfect with a plate of roti prata for breakfast.
2) Grass jelly / Cincau
Don’t worry, you won’t be eating actual grass but will instead be slurping jelly made from the extracts of the stalks and leaves of the Chinese mesona plant.
A local favourite that can also be found in the form of canned drinks in convenience stores, the grass jelly drink carries a slightly herbal and minty flavour though the drink is usually sweetened.
A popular way to consume the grass jelly drink is to have it mixed with soya bean milk which produces a beautiful swirly effect and heavy milky texture. This option should be available at all coffee shop stores though you’re not sure how to order this, it’s unofficially named the “Michael Jackson”.
Be careful though, the drink is addictive and you won’t be stopping til’ you get enough.
3) Sugar Cane Juice
In the sweltering heat of Singapore, a glass of sugar can juice always hits the spot. Made from freshly pressed sugar canes, it is mildly sweet and very refreshing with many drink stalls serving it with a slice of lemon to balance that sweetness with a tang of sour.
A drink that always catches the eye due to its fluffy light pink colour. Its roots are based in Indonesia with the name “bandung” translating to the term “pairs” as the drink is made up of 2 key components – bright red rose syrup turning a light shade of pink thanks to an added serving of evaporated milk.
The effects are usually beautiful with milky swirls mixed with the ruby red rose drink to great effect. Modern iterations also include the addition of grass jelly for added texture with every sip.
5) Milo Dinosaur
If Milo is said to be the best kept secret outside of the USA and Europe, then there is no better way to be acquainted with Milo than with its big brother, Milo Dinosaur.
For the uninitiated, Milo is a sweet chocolate malt drink that can be described as a dessert drink despite it being marketed as a sports beverage.
With the Milo Dinosaur, your iced Milo drink gets a heavy topping of the Milo powder. Expect clumps of the power to stick to your teeth and the top of your mouth while you sip on an already decadent chocolate beverage.
Many coffee shops also serve the “Milo Godzilla” which adds a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of your Milo Dinosaur.
Order these monsters – if you dare.
If there ever was a drink made for Instagram, the Chendol would be at the top of the list. Chendol is usually served as a bowl of dessert but some places do sell it in the form of a drink.
The composition is similar in both instances – coconut milk and palm sugar syrup are poured over copious amounts of shaved ice and strips of green jelly. For texture, many stalls include red beans at the base of the drink.
A most refreshing treat after a long hot day on foot in Singapore.
Are there any drinks from the list you’re really keen to try? Join our food tour and you’ll be able to slurp on these delicious beverages while sampling the best food Singapore has to offer.