Vietnamese Beverages

Vietnamese beverages, from coffee-based drink to beer, feature a nation’s rich drink culture, geography, and daily social life.

Lastest Updated January 5, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
Home » Beverages A-Z » Vietnamese Beverages
Basic Information

Vietnamese Beverages: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Fruits, plants, grains, beans, tea, herbs

Common Preparing Methods

Brewing, steeping, distilling, fermenting, juicing, blending

Key Taste

Sweet, bitter, sour

Drinking Etiquette

Rượu is normally consumed in small cups; toasting before drinking is common. Many beverages are added with ice due to the country’s hot and humid climate.

Culinary Festivals

Tết (Vietnamese New Year), Mid-Autumn Festival, weddings, birthdays, etc.

Influence and Fusion

Cultural heritage, indigenous practices, French colonialism, Chinese influence, geography, and climate.
Origin and Region

Vietnamese Beverages: Origin and Region

Cuisine

Vietnam

Culinary Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

North, Central, South
Vietnam Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Types of Vietnamese Beverages

  • Distilled Alcoholic

    These are strong alcoholic drinks created by distillation, often with a higher alcohol content.

    In Vietnam, these alcohols are commonly consumed in small glasses.

    They are derived from various grains, especially rice.

  • Fermented Alcoholic

    These alcoholic beverages are made through the fermentation process.

    They vary in alcohol by volume, from light to heavy.

    Bia (beer) and some types of rượu in Vietnam belong to this category.

  • Hot Non-Alcoholic

    Hot to warm beverages are enjoyed for their comforting effects.

    They are often consumed for relaxation or health benefits.

    Drinking hot tea is common in Vietnam. Tea is available in different types, and they are rich in antioxidants.

  • Cold Non-Alcoholic

    These options are refreshing and cooling beverages.

    They are ideal for hydration and enjoyment, particularly in hot weather in the Central and Southern parts of the country.

    Some are fruit-based drinks, which are nutritious with natural sugars.

  • Drink Desserts

    Drink desserts are sweet beverages or liquid treats often consumed as a dessert.

    Therefore, they are rich in textures.

Ingredients and Preparation

Vietnamese Beverages: Signature Dishes and Beverages

  • Most Popular Beverages

    Beverages that are widely consumed and readily available throughout Vietnam.
  • National Beverage

    They showcase the nation’s taste and have a certain role in its culture and cuisine.

    They are seen as beverage symbols of the country.

    As one of the biggest coffee producers in the world, coffee-based options are prominent.

  • Traditional Beverages

    Traditional Vietnamese beverages have been part of the nation’s culture for generations.

    Some of them are enjoyed during meals or for celebrations.

  • Street Beverages

    These are popular and accessible beverages commonly sold by street vendors.

    Locals enjoy them for their convenience and refreshing qualities.

  • Fusion Beverages

    These beverages combine traditional Vietnamese culture with influences from other cuisines.
  • Exotic Beverages

    It refers to Vietnamese-style unusual beverages with distinct tastes.

Vietnamese beverages are a part of the country’s cuisine. The drinking culture of this Southeast Asian country is a reflection of the country’s history, geography, climate, and way of life.

It’s common to see locals sipping on various kinds of beverages throughout the day.

It can be a morning coffee to energize a day, an afternoon fruit juice to combat the heat, or an evening beer for friend or family gatherings.

Plus, street-side vendors play a significant part in Vietnam’s drink culture, where people of all ages gather around small tables on the sidewalk, enjoy their beverages, and socialize with others.

For a better view of these drinking options, I’ll walk you through several topics, including Vietnamese beverage influencers and their importance.

Moreover, you’ll learn more about Vietnamese drinking culture with some tips to enhance your experience while enjoying these refreshments.

The last part is about some common questions about these offerings with their short answers. For more details, you can check the filter part or search for your favorite drink quickly. Read on!

Vietnamese Beverage Images

List of Vietnamese Beverages with Filters

#1 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Cà Phê Đá

Ca Phe Da
  • National
  • Street Drink
  • Traditional

Cà phê đá is a strong Vietnamese iced coffee known for its robust and bitter flavor due to Robusta beans.

Country’s Region: N/A

Main Ingredients:

Robusta coffee, ice

Prepare Method: Brewing

Mealtime: Breakfast, Lunch

#2 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Trà

Tra
  • Traditional

Trà is a drink made by steeping leaves, buds, or branches of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) in hot or boiling water.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Tea leaves, water

Prepare Method: Steeping

Mealtime: Anytime

#3 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Bia

Bia
  • Fusion

Bia refers to several types of Vietnamese beer, enjoyed for its rich drinking culture.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Malted barley, hops, yeast, water

Prepare Method: Brewing and fermenting

Mealtime: Anytime

#4 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Nước Dừa

Nuoc Dua
  • Street Drink

Nước dừa is Vietnamese for coconut water, the sweet and transparent liquid extracted from young coconuts.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Coconuts

Prepare Method: N/A

Mealtime: Anytime

#5 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Sữa Đậu Nành

Sua Dau Nanh
  • Street Drink
  • Traditional

Sữa đậu nành is the Vietnamese version of soy milk, a type of plant milk derived from soybeans.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Soybeans, pandan leaves, and water

Prepare Method: Boiling and simmering

Mealtime: Anytime

#6 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Sinh Tố

Sinh To
  • Traditional

Sinh tố is the Vietnamese version of smoothie, usually made from pureed fruits, fresh milk, and condensed milk.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, and seeds

Prepare Method: Blending

Mealtime: Anytime

#7 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Nước Mía

Nuoc Mia

Nước mía is a popular Vietnamese beverage made from freshly squeezed sugarcane juice.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Sugarcane

Prepare Method: Juicing

Mealtime: Anytime

#8 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Rượu

Ruou
  • Traditional

Rượu is a Vietnamese alcohol that ranges from rice-based spirits to fruit wines, reflecting regional flavors and fermentation methods.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Rice (sticky rice, black glutinous rice, or regular rice) or fruits (like grapes, coconut) and yeast

Prepare Method: Fermenting and distilling

Mealtime: Anytime

#9 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Cam Vắt

Cam Vat
  • Street Drink

Cam vắt is the Vietnamese version of orange juice, which is made by squeezing fresh oranges.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Oranges

Prepare Method: Juicing

Mealtime: Anytime

#10 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Nước Sâm

Nuoc Sam
  • Exotic

Nước sâm is a traditional Vietnamese herbal beverage made from a blend of various plants and roots, often enjoyed for its health benefits and cooling effect.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Seaweed, monk fruit, cogongrass root, sugarcane, yacón

Prepare Method: Boiling

Mealtime: Anytime

#11 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Nước Chanh Muối

Nuoc Chanh Muoi
  • Traditional

Nước chanh muối is a Vietnamese non-alcoholic beverage made with pickled limes, water, and optional sweeteners.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Limes (usually key limes), salt, and water

Prepare Method: Pickling

Mealtime: Anytime

#12 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Nước Chanh Dây

Nuoc Chanh Day

Nước chanh dây is a Vietnamese drink made from passion fruit juice, often sweetened and served chilled.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Passion fruit

Prepare Method: Blending

Mealtime: Anytime

#13 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Nước Rau Má

Nuoc Rau Ma

Nước rau má is a Vietnamese herbal drink made from the juice of the pennywort plant.

Country’s Region: Nationwide Origin

Main Ingredients:

Pennywort

Prepare Method: Juicing

Mealtime: Anytime

#14 in Vietnam Flag of Vietnam

Soda Trứng

Soda Trung

Soda trứng is a Vietnamese drink combining soda water, sweetened condensed milk, and raw egg yolk.

Country’s Region: Southern Vietnam

Main Ingredients:

Soda water, sweetened condensed milk, raw egg yolk, ice

Prepare Method: Blending

Mealtime: Anytime

What Are the Factors That Influence Vietnamese Beverages?

Ca Phe Da
Vietnamese coffee in glass cups alongside the traditional metal phin drip brewer.

Below are three main factors that significantly impacted on the beverages of Vietnam, enhancing their diversity in flavor.

Historical Influences

Over a thousand years of Chinese rule introduced the concept of food and drink as medicine, notably drinking trà (tea) and nước sâm.

Plus, the French colonization in the 1800s introduced coffee to Vietnam. It has led to the development of Vietnamese coffee culture, with the most famous beverages called cà phê đá or cà phê sữa đá.

Geographical and Climatic Impacts

Vietnam’s tropical climate and fertile lands are natural gifts. That’s why the nation has abundant ingredients to make drinks, such as fresh fruits, plants, rice, beans, and more.

Vietnamese Innovation

The creativity and adaptability of the Vietnamese people have led to the development of unique beverages that blend traditional methods with new influences.

For example, the adaptation of making craft beer has bloomed in the Vietnamese beer industry. Local craft breweries are blending traditional brewing methods with local ingredients and flavors.

Besides the above factors, these drink choices are also essential in this country’s culture.

What Is the Importance of Vietnamese Beverages In Culture?

Bia
A glass of Vietnamese bia on a table.

The significance of beverages in Vietnamese cuisine can be understood through the following aspects:

Social Interaction and Hospitality

In Vietnam, offering a beverage is a sign of hospitality and respect.

Whether it’s tea in a family setting or a local bia (Vietnamese beer), sharing a drink is one of the best ways to increase social connections and family ties.

Representation of Regional Diversity

Vietnam’s diverse geography and climate result in many regional beverages.

Some are created to enjoy hot, especially in North Vietnam in winter. Some are typically served with ice, ideal for hot weather in the Southern region.

Health and Well-being

Many Vietnamese beverages, especially teas and herbal drinks, are deeply rooted in traditional medicine.

Tourism Appeal

The beverage culture of Vietnam, especially its coffee culture, has become an attraction for tourists.

For travelers, they can find many choices on the streets across the country, from refreshing nước mía

(sugarcane juice) to classic cà phê đá. They are especially cheap, ranging from 0.8 to 2 USD.Now, let’s move to the next part to uncover the drink traditions in this country.

What Is the Drinking Culture in Vietnam?

Vietnam’s drinking culture is rich and reflects the nation’s lifestyle, history, and traditions. The following are four important aspects of this culture.

Tea Culture

Tea holds a special place in Vietnamese culture.

Vietnamese people love to enjoy tea at home and often use it as a gesture to welcome guests.

Coffee Culture

According to the International Coffee Organization’s Annual Review 2021/2022, Vietnam was the world’s second-largest coffee producer, with 2.4 tons of coffee per hectare.

So the drinking coffee habit in this country is prominent and deeply ingrained in locals’ daily lives.

Alcoholic Drinking Culture

Alcohol consumption in Vietnam is primarily dominated by beer, accounting for 91.5% of all alcoholic drinks, followed by spirits at 7.7% and wine at 0.8%, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Bia is sipped in many local bars, street vendors, and restaurants. Bia hơi, an unpasteurized type of Vietnamese beer, is one of the unique varieties.

Festive Drinking

Vietnamese prefer to drink, especially alcoholics, during festivals and celebrations.

These drinks are often paired with traditional foods, which is also one of the ideal tips to fully experience Vietnamese cuisine.

What Are Tips to Enjoy Beverages in Vietnam?

Ca Phe Sua Da
A cup of cà phê sữa đá and a coffee filter.

Here are five crucial tips to make the most of your sipping beverage experience in Vietnam.

Try Local Specialties

Don’t miss any chance to try regional drinks. Some great examples are rượu cần, soda trứng, cà phê trứng, etc.

Sip Drinks on the Streets

Street-side drinking is a very common concept in Vietnam. You’ll find many locals and tourists gathering around small tables and enjoying their drinks on the sidewalks.

These places are ideal social hubs where people share their stories, relax, and enjoy the busy environments around them.

Learn the Art of Coffee Preparation

Vietnamese coffee has a unique preparation as it requires a coffee set with filters. Watching the drip filter process to brew coffee is a good experience.

Enjoy Beverages as Part of a Meal

Beverages are often enjoyed alongside meals in Vietnam. They can be non-alcoholic drinks (e.g., trà, cà phê đá, nước mía) or alcoholic ones (e.g., rượu, bia).

More particularly, there are several light snacks that you can enjoy with your beer, like roasted peanuts, beef jerky, cold cuts, or grilled skewered meat.

Know Drinking Etiquette

When drinking, especially alcohol, in a group, it’s polite to wait for a toast before starting. “Một, hai, ba, dô/vô” is a common toast, meaning “One, two, three, cheers.”

Lastly, be sure to check out the FAQs section for additional insights into these wonderful specialties.

Vietnamese Beverages FAQs

The beverage “333” is a popular Vietnamese beer brand, originally known as “Ba Ba Ba”.

Alcohol is generally cheap in Vietnam due to local production, lower taxes, and less regulation compared to many Western countries.

Yes, beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are typically inexpensive in Vietnam, reflecting the overall lower cost of living here.

Coffee consumption is quite significant in Vietnam, especially with the country being a major coffee exporter, but tea is also a key part of Vietnamese drink culture.

No, it is not illegal to drink in Vietnam. However, there are laws against public intoxication and drink-driving.

No, boba tea (also known as trà sữa trân châu in Vietnamese) originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, though it is popular in Vietnam.

Yes, regional differences exist. For instance, the North favors traditional teas, while the Central and Southern regions have a stronger coffee culture. Plus, local specialty drinks can vary by region.

Vietnamese fruit smoothies often include a blend of local tropical fruits and condensed milk, making them sweeter and creamier than those in other countries.

It is generally recommended that visitors do not drink tap water in Vietnam. Bottled or filtered water is advised for safety reasons.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Vietnamese Food Evaluation Expert

Education

  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at TasTAFE
  • Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Australia Branch in Sydney)
  • Vietnamese Cuisine Head Chef at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Truc Tran (Kris), an experienced food writer and editor, is great at exploring and describing global cuisines, from simple street food to fancy dining. In her writing, she skillfully mixes different flavors, cooking methods, and culinary traditions, showing the unique character of various cultures through their food and drinks. On azcuisines.com, Kris highlights her knowledge, especially in Asian cuisine and worldwide traditional dishes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *