Dabbling in Thai Drinks

While roaming the streets of Bangkok in the almost unbearable, stifling heat I was constantly searching for something refreshing to quench my thirst.  I was immediately drawn to the various selections of fresh juices, teas, soda-waters and other concoctions that the Thais where creating on the streets.  Now, having previously worked in a fresh juice and smoothing shop back in the states my standards were set high and I have to say that I always went away a happy customer.  One of the most interesting stands were the ones who served you your drink in a small, plastic shopping bag.  First you chose your syurp-like base: coconut, lime, lemon and other flavors I didn’t recognize.  Then the vendor watered it down a bit, mixed it up and served it to you in a bag full of ice with a straw popping out.  I also fell in love with the fresh coconuts.  You order a coconut and the man whips out a small machete and makes three swift slices creating a lid to put your straw in.  My favorite part of the coconuts was to scoop out and slurp up the fresh, young pulp at the end.  They only serve the young, green coconuts because they are better for the juice, whereas the more matured brown coconuts that we have in the States are better for the meat.  I also tried an array of teas with gelatin like balls floating around inside which also came in an assortment of flavors.  Down in the islands I encountered the exotic fruit smoothies.  These women were amazing.  They had a booth that was about three feet long, one blender, a menu with over 50 options, and they would have your drink prepared in a minute flat.  The array of colors, flavors and exotic fruits was mind-boggling.  Never sure what to choose I would just pick a number that had some colorful fruit pictures next to it or simple say “mix” and they would always create something to tantalize my taste buds.  Now I know that H2O is the way to go to stay hydrated, but these booths really made my Thai experience just that much more cool and tasty.

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