This collection of Asian Inspired Drinks includes something for everyone. There are hot and cold tea and coffees, soft drinks, sake, soju and Japanese whisky cocktails and everything in between. I’ve even included bubble teas! You’ll find your perfect accompaniment to any Asian style feast!
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Just like with the food, the key to serving drinks is to set things up so that guests can help themselves as much as possible. You should have less waste and everyone gets exactly what they want whilst relieving you of some running around.
First make sure that you’ve read all of my advice about hosting a Big Asian Feast. I’ve included three suggested menus, advice about getting ahead, the music and much much more!
I would also recommend downloading my comprehensive checklist to help you plan your Big Asian Feast. I used it for my photo-shoot feast and it was invaluable even to me!
When You Say ‘Asian’….?
As a note, I would point out that when I’ve talked about ‘Asian’ drinks, I have not included those inspired by Western Asia. I am working on also putting together a guide to the drinks of that region in the future.
For now, this guide focuses on areas such as Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore amongst others in that general geographical area.
Asian Inspired Hot Drinks
As with most cuisines, tea and coffee form the basis for most Asian hot drinks. Tea is especially prevalent with various varieties like green, black and smoky lapsang souchong available.
This first offering contains both coffee and tea. I think it sounds like an error but apparently Hong Kong & Malaysia both go especially mad for it!
Hot Tea Based Drinks
Hot Coffee Based Drinks
A Bonus Hot Cocktail
Asian Inspired Soft Drinks
I am aware that not everyone drinks alcohol. So I have put together a selection of non-alcoholic drinks which can be enjoyed by everyone.
Iced Tea & Coffee Drinks
With tea being such a staple in the region, there are endless varieties of it which are also served cold. Iced matcha drinks are especially popular. Matcha is a variety of ground green tea leaves which are used whole rather than steeped and strained like other tea leaves.
Non-Alcoholic Cold Drinks
Asian Inspired Alcoholic Drinks
Here I’ve included cocktails which utilise Asian spirits. I’ve also some which include the flavours of the region such as lemongrass, yuzu and cherry blossom to twist classics.
Soju Based Cocktails
Most people I meet are shocked to find out that soju is the biggest selling spirit by volume in the world. They’re mostly surprised because they’ve never heard of it! I hadn’t either until I went to South Korea.
Soju is a clear rice based spirit that can be bought in endless flavoured varieties. It is cheap as chips, available everywhere and delicious.
You should be able to find a bottle in your local Asian grocers. If not, Amazon has a selection of Soju available. Sadly it is not cheap as chips outside of Korea!
Sake Based Cocktails
Sake is a more commonly known, and more readily available spirit from Japan. It is also clear and rice based. It is available to buy almost everywhere, including the major supermarkets.
I made the Sake Shandy for my feast. These are the beery looking pictures in this post!
Japanese Whisky Based Cocktails
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Scotland, Ireland and Kentucky have the monopoly on Whisky/Whiskey! Japan has over 20 distilleries and is drunk and served just like the other varieties.
It is a little harder to find than sake but any of the mojor booze retailers will likely be able to source some. Amazon will also provide you with a selection of Japanese Whisky. At a price! You could of course substitute a scotch (just don’t tell anyone!)
Best of the Rest Asian Inspired Cocktails
I’ve put together a further selection of classics, twists on classics and absolute liberties for you to try!
You’ll see pictures of a version of the Thai Peanut Colada throughout this page. Unfortunately the recipe has now been taken offline and idiot me didn’t save it anywhere.
Bubble tea is an absolute oddity. I haven’t tried it and I don’t want to. But it is a massive thing all over Asia.
The bubbles are made from tapioca pearls which feel gelatinous. Don’t confuse the pearls with tapioca flour – that will not make for a good drink! Don’t forget you’ll need extra wide straws!
Even More Asian Inspired Drinks
Because I’m extra helpful, I even have a dedicated Pinterest board just for Americana inspired drinks! Have a look and let me know if you think I’ve missed anything. Don’t forget to follow all of my boards while you’re there!
Drinkware for Asian Feasts
In the main, what drinking vessels you need will obviously depend on what drinks you are choosing to serve.
Mugs, Cups and Saucers
I have a selection of handle-less mugs which I use for my green tea. The concept is ridiculous really as I burn my hands every time but I won’t be stopped! I started drinking green tea in Wagamamas and I like to pretend that I’m there when I’m drinking it now!
It is unlikely that your friends are going to want more than one type of hot drink at an evening meal. So one mug or cup per person will likely be sufficient.
This will again be very dependent on what you choose to serve.
I would expect to have a minimum of one small tumbler available per person. This allows for a water glass each.
Hi-ball tumblers are ideal for soft drinks, longer cocktails, slushies, milkshakes and hardshakes. One per person, per drink will be needed.
For my Big Asian Feast I used champagne flutes to serve one of my cocktails. Don’t be restricted by the name of a glass, use them for whatever you please!
You will likely wish to have at least one pitcher/jug of water on the table. This cork lidded number is my current favourite option from Ikea. A similar jug can also be used for any pitcher cocktails that you wish to serve.
For larger crowds, glasses can often be hired from wine shops and supermarkets so this might be worth looking into. Otherwise children’s or picnic tumblers can made a handy substitute.
Alcohol – When the Fun Stops, Stop!
As I’ve provided you with a whole bunch of alcoholic drink suggestions, it would be remiss of me to not remind you to be sensible.
Please don’t pressure your guests into drinking, drinking more than they want to or having ‘just one more for the road’. Especially if they’re driving.
The industry standard is to tell you to “drink responsibly”. To me that sounds like they want you to recycle all wine bottles.
I much prefer the gambling industry’s slogan. “When the Fun Stops, Stop”. I think that applies to both drinking on the day and generally in life.
So if the fun has stopped, do indeed stop. Have a look over at www.drinkaware.co.uk if you need some help doing just that.
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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