Myanmar, with its rich history and cultural heritage, offers an exquisite range of non-alcoholic beverages that perfectly capture the essence of the land. Whether you’re a traveler wanting to dive deep into authentic Burmese flavors or simply looking for a refreshing, non-alcoholic cocktail, here are the top 5 must-try drinks in Myanmar.
1. Shan State Avocado Smoothie: Locally known as Alhpukat Zeebwe, this creamy smoothie from the Shan State is a local favorite. Avocados grown in the hilly Shan region are blended with sugar, condensed milk, and ice to make this velvety delight. Its creamy texture is complemented by a slight sweetness, making it a perfect midday treat.
2. Myanmar Lemonade: Than Yat, as it’s called in Burmese, is the quintessential refresher for the country’s tropical climate. This isn’t your regular lemonade. Made using local calamansi-like limes, Than Yat has a unique tang. Often mixed with jaggery or palm sugar for sweetness and sometimes a hint of ginger, this drink will invigorate your senses.
3. Toddy Palm Fruit Drink: Htan Nyat is a sweet drink made from the fruit of the toddy palm tree. The jelly-like seed of the palm fruit is extracted and blended with syrup and ice. The resultant mixture is a delightful, naturally sweet, and cooling beverage. Traditionally served during the Thingyan Water Festival, it’s now widely available throughout the year.
4. Burmese Sweet Tea (La Phet Yay): Burmese tea culture is unique, and La Phet Yay stands testament to that. It’s made by brewing strong black tea and mixing it with condensed milk and evaporated milk. The tea is then served either hot or cold. Often enjoyed with Burmese snacks or breakfast staples like Mohinga, this rich tea is a must-have for every visitor.
5. Pennywort Juice: Myin Kwa Yuet is a healthy beverage made from the fresh pennywort plant. The green, leafy plant is juiced, often with a touch of lime or honey, resulting in a slightly grassy, invigorating drink. Touted for its health benefits, pennywort juice is not only tasty but also aids digestion and is a popular detox drink among locals.
Myanmar’s non-alcoholic drink landscape is a delightful mix of traditional flavors and innovative concoctions. Each drink tells a story of the region it originates from, making the experience even more immersive. So, the next time you find yourself in Myanmar, or at a Burmese restaurant anywhere in the world, ensure you savor these beverages and take a sip of the country’s rich heritage.