Links on our site may earn us an affiliate commission at no cost to you. You will be supporting us - Thanks - Learn More

Pandan Drink – Thai Refresher and Cooling Beverage

This pandan drink is a simple Thai recipe using pandan leaves, boiled water, and sugar. It is not the Filipino Buko Pandan which is a jelly made with young coconut and is a dessert rather than a drink.

Thai cooling drink made from pandan leaves - healthy and refreshing
Thai cooling drink made from pandan leaves – healthy and refreshing

How to Make This Refreshing Thai Pandan Drink

Pandan Drink - Refreshing Thai Cooler - 3 Ingredients - 5 Minutes

Link to How to Make Thai Pandan Drink Video if it Fails to Load for You

A delicious and aromatic Thai cooling refresher made from pandan leaves

Links disclosure: Some links on this page go to affiliate partners where, without cost to you, we may receive a commission if you make a purchase.

Uses of Panadan Leaf

Pandan leaf is to Asian cooking as vanilla is to Western dishes. Coming from the Pandanus group of plants, these free growing leaves are used for a variety of purposes.

In Thailand, one of the common uses for pandan leaves is to give a pleasant smell to rice and steamed dishes – especially fish. You’ll see me adding it often in my videos.

Pandan leaves are crushed to make a vivid green food coloring
Pandan Cut, Crushed or Blended and Filtered for a Perectly Natural Food Coloring

We crush the leaves and pulverize them to give a deep green natural food coloring, cut the leaves and mound them in a bowl in the kitchen as a natural freshener (one that cockroaches don’t like much either), use them as a wrapping for cooking food.

As well as all that, we make this thirst-quenching drink which is served countrywide as a welcome drink to visitors.

If you are looking for some other Thai plant based drinks then check out our Butterfly Pea Tea and Cold Brewed Jasmine Tea Recipes as well.

Pandan leaves and lemongrass are famous in Thailand and go so well together
Pandan leaves and lemongrass are famous in Thailand and go so well together

Pandan leaves need to be used fresh and can be found in good Asian stores or bought online, though, if you live in a sunny climate, you would be better off grabbing a packet of seeds and growing them at home.

Before you cut them up they don’t smell much but after cutting into sections they give their best fresh smell. And you’ll save a ton of money since pandan products carry a premium price in the West just as vanilla is horribly expensive here in Thailand.

Pandan – A Lovers Knot?

It was interesting to read Michelin writing that Thai boys or men used to weave pandan leaves into knots to form beautiful bouquets to woo their chosen Thai girl.

It is no longer a custom that we know about so don’t bother working up your weaving skills! Money works far more efficiently 🙂

FYI, the pandan plant is commonly known as screwpine in the West.

Pandan custard is used in cake and bun fillings or just on toast.
Pandan custard is used in cake and bun fillings or just on toast.

Pandan is also to be found as dried leaves but the process of drying loses much of the smell so dried pandan is only much good as a natural coloring as the pandan flavoring will be much weakened.

What Else to Do with Pandan

If you do find fresh pandan leaves then you will probably end up with a large bunch and be wondering what to do with them.

It is actually a versatile ingredient that you can use to color cakes (great for sponges), make into jelly, make into lod chong (a Thai dessert), colored ice cream, the drink featured in this recipe, mix with gelatin or agar agar to make into jello.

If you look at my coconut jello version in this recipe, you’ll get the green idea. You can also add to dishes you steam to kill the smells a little or cut up the leaves and leave them around to make the room smell better.

Just don’t be throwing them out for lack of knowing what to do with them now you can see it’s a real crowd pleaser with a wide range of uses.

Pandanus Drink - Refreshingly easy to make!
Pandanus Drink – Refreshingly easy to make!

How to Make Thai Pandan Drink Step by Step

It’s really easy to make! Just boil up some water, cut the pandan leaves into finger length sections and boil for 5 minutes

After boiling, remove the cut leaves with tongs and tip in the brown sugar and stir well to dissolve while the pandan tea is still hot. I use brown sugar or palm sugar as the flavor is a little nicer.

Allow the pandan infused water to cool to room temperature before putting it in your refrigerator to get nice and cold.

To serve just add some ice cubes in a glass and pour in the pandan drink and guzzle it down to quench your thirst.

A delicious and aromatic Thai cooling refresher made from pandan leaves

Pandan Drink Recipe

Pandan Drink – Famous Thai Refreshing Cooler

Phasinee Doddeo
This Thai Pandan drink is super easy to make and is a real refresher that is common across the country.
Pandan has a wide range of uses so you'll have plenty of recipes to use up any left over.
Fresh leaves give much better aroma and taste than dried which largely lose their smell through the drying process.
You can buy the leaves in a big bunch and fairly inexpensively from good quality Asian markets and sometimes even online.
5 from 1 vote

Any In-recipe images can be toggled on and off with the camera icons next to the Instructions header.

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 people
Calories 100 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 20 Pandan Leaves
  • 8 cups Water
  • ½ cup Brown Crystalline Sugar
  • Ice

Instructions
 

  • Heat the water to a boil.
  • Cut the pandan leaves into small sections 2-3 inches (50-75mm) long and drop in the water.
  • Boil for 5 minutes and then strain off the water.
  • With the water off the heat, add in the sugar and stir to dissolve.
  • Allow to cool and transfer to the fridge.
  • Serve with plenty of ice.

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 25gSodium: 24mgSugar: 25gCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Tasty Thais Instagram Logo

Planning on Making this Recipe?
It would be great if you could take a picture of your finished creation and share it out on Instagram. Tag me with #TASTYTHAIEATS – I love to see your ideas!