A delicious, cooling drink
Ingredients (clockwise from top left) – 15 water chestnuts, 4 cups of Chinese mixed barley, some rock sugar, 2 bundles of red sugar cane
Hello there, dear friends 😀
The boiled sugar cane drink is one of the most popular cooling drinks or herbal teas (known as “leong char” in Cantonese) that can be easily purchased from herbal/cooling tea stalls or coffee shops. Children love it for its pleasant taste and this is one of the cooling “teas” that I can get my kids to drink with a smile, instead of a grimace (when they are asked to drink bitter teas 🙄 )
I would boil a giant pot of this and store it in a few jugs to be kept in the refrigerator, to be drank over a few days. It is especially refreshing when served in a tall glass with ice cubes and drank on a really hot day! 😀
There are 2 main types of sugar canes used for its cooling properties – the red or the bamboo variety. I prefer the red sugar cane because it also has medicinal benefits and is known to be especially good for people who suffer from migraines (which I had a few years ago). If I want this drink to be more “cooling,” then I would add 2 cups of dried bamboo leaves.
Water chestnuts are also cooling in nature and the barley acts as a diuretic and helps the body system to get rid of heatiness through the elimination process.
To prepare the ingredients – just scrub clean with a brush the sugar cane and water chestnuts. Cut the cane into shorter lengths to fit your pot. Smash the sugar cane and water chestnuts with a heavy knife/chopper or a pestle.
Put all the ingredients into a large stock pot, add in about 7 litres of water and bring to a boil. Reduce fire to small and simmer for 4 hours.
There you have it….a wonderful, refreshing and cooling drink for a heaty body or for a hot day. It is also good to have this drink go with your meals that contained heaty foods (that are fried, roasted, baked, or grilled) to balance things together. 😉