Thursday, February 23, 2012

Drinks in Singapore

Little R greedily drinking lime juice
Perhaps because of the tropical climate, Singapore has a really good selection of drinks for every taste. The coffee is good, tea is ubiquitous, but in addition to caffeinated beverages, there are all sorts of delicious sodas, juices, shakes and milks also. 

Every hawker centre (the Singaporean equivalent of a food court, but with delicious local specialties instead of disgusting and unhealthy fast food chains) has at least one (and usually more) drink stand, a store selling only beverages. Some of the available options:

--tea. This comes British-style (hot, with milk or lemon), Southeast-Asian-style (hot or cold with sweetened condensed milk), iced and sweetened, with lemon or calamansi (a kind of small citrus fruit), Taiwanese-style (cold with small sweetened tapioca balls, called pearls, and sugar), and Hong Kong-style (coffee and very strong tea mixed together, with milk).

--fresh juices. Usually they have a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, which they will juice for you on the spot. In addition to more familiar juices like apple, banana, and carrot, there are a lot of tropical fruits available, like dragonfruit, bitter melon, and guava. B's favorite combination is cucumber and dragonfruit; I am pretty conservative and like calamansi juice best (it tastes like lime juice).

--soy milk. This sometimes comes in a can, but many stalls offer a homemade version as well. You can get it either sweetened or unsweetened, and hot or cold. Typically people drink this for breakfast, but I like it all the time.

--almond milk. Also often homemade. It's really good and does taste just like almonds!

--beer. Tiger Beer is the local brand, but generally imported beers like Heineken, Taiwan Beer, or Qingdao are also available.

--soft drinks. Of course Coca-Cola, Sprite, etc. are widely available. They also have more unusual (at least to an American) sodas like ginger beer, cream soda, bitter lemon, sparkling blackcurrant, sparkling apple, etc. Little R loves ginger soda (the taste is really strong, so this surprises me) and will vociferously demand some whenever she sees the can (she recognizes the brand I always get). Another favorite is lime juice, which tastes similar to lemonade.

I love the available selection, and the fact that so much of it is fresh and locally made. It really does make a difference in terms of taste!
Give me more!
Ooooh it's sour


  1. Hahaha Little R is so cute with her big juice!! I absolutely love the idea of drink stands like you're describing!! The closest to that that I've experienced was in Barcelona where the market had juice stands everywhere. I also was a frequent customer at bubble tea shops in college-the different flavors are so fun! I would love to have something like that more available where we live.

  2. I watch a two-year-old a few days a week and he does the exact same thing with lemons - takes a bite, makes the horrible sour face, and then dives right back in for the second bite. He calls it "spicy" because he hasn't learned "sour" yet. :)