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Thai Lemongrass Drink Recipe (Nam Takrai)

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This easy Thai lemongrass drink recipe, or nam takrai, is perfect for a chilled drink during summer or a warm herbal tea for colder days. It blends citrusy lemongrass with fragrant pandan leaves and a sprinkle of sugar for a great taste and lots of health benefits too.

Two glasses of Thai lemongrass drink with ice.

This lemongrass tea is a comforting herbal drink that my grandmother often prepares before bedtime. It’s so easy to make – all you have to do is brew some fresh lemongrass in hot water!

Just like roselle juice and bael tea, it’s a popular beverage in Thailand that we enjoy iced on hot days or warm on chilly winter mornings (Yes, winter mornings in Thailand can be surprisingly cold!).

What is lemongrass tea

Lemongrass tea is a caffeine free tea, brewed from the stalks of the lemongrass plant, Cymbopogon citratus. It’s a popular drink for relaxing, with an aromatic citrus flavor and aroma and many health benefits.

Nam takrai bai toey

In Thailand, it’s known as nam takrai. Nam is Thai for (in this case) drink, and takrai translates to lemongrass.

Hand-gathered lemongrass stalks held in front of a lemongrass bush.
Lemongrass is a key ingredient for this herbal tea recipe.

This recipe for Thai lemongrass drink includes pandan leaves for fragrance, so it’s called nam takrai bai toey, with bai toey referring to the pandan leaves.

If you find fresh pandan leaves, you should definitely try my recipe for pandan drink, or nam bai toey!

Lemongrass pandan tea

This Thai lemongrass pandan tea is absolutely delicious and super easy to make. Honestly, I could sip on an iced version of this tea every single day.

All you need to do is bring a pot of water to a boil, add the prepared lemongrass and pandan leaves, and let it simmer gently. The brewing process allows the water to absorb the flavors and aromas from the lemongrass and pandan.

Thai lemongrass tea served in two glasses, with lemongrass stalks next to it.

I typically let it steep for about 5–10 minutes, but you can let it steep for longer, depending on how strong you prefer the flavors.

You can also add as much or as little sugar as you like to sweeten it up or keep it healthy.

It’s a versatile drink with lemongrass, so feel free to follow the recipe to the letter or mix it up with some of the many customization options I’ll share later.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for Thai lemongrass drink recipe labeled: pandan leaves, lemongrass stalks, honey, and water.
  • Pandan leaves – These are optional, but they add a lovely pandan aroma.
  • Lemongrass – Lemongrass has a citrusy zest and a hint of ginger. I advise using fresh lemongrass stalks, but if you can’t find them, you can use dried lemongrass. You should be able to find it at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
  • Honey – Honey brings a floral sweetness, and it’s a healthier alternative to granulated sugar. You can use simple syrup or brown sugar as an alternative.
  • Water – The foundation of our iced tea.

How to make lemongrass drink

Steeped lemongrass and pandan.

Step 1: Heat water in a pot with sliced and crushed lemongrass stalks and pandan leaves. Boil with the lid on for 5–10 minutes.

Lemongrass stalks in a colander.

Step 2: Take out the pandan leaves and lemongrass.

Thai lemongrass drink in a pot.

Step 3: Mix in honey to taste, then take the pot off the heat. Serve it warm, iced, or cool it down to room temperature and chill in the fridge.

Kitchenware

  • Knife and cutting board for preparing fresh lemongrass
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Saucepan or pot
  • Colander

Nam takrai recipe variations

Here are some easy ways to customize this herbal tea recipe:

Lemongrass ginger tea: Simply add some fresh ginger slices to your brewing tea.

Lemongrass mint tea: Add some fresh mint leaves to your finished drink for a hint of mint.

Lemongrass lime tea: Add some lime juice to your taste.

Iced lemongrass tea: Serve with crushed ice or over ice cubes.

Tea options: You can steep a green tea bag or black tea bag for more flavor.

Storing leftover Thai herbal tea

Storing: Pour the tea into an airtight container or glass bottle and keep it in the fridge.

Reheating: Gently warm it up in a pot over low heat, or simply serve it chilled.

Lemongrass tea benefits

Medicalnewstoday says lemongrass tea may offer health benefits like reducing bloating and prevent infections.

It may help in relieving anxiety and lowering cholesterol, and boost oral health and eases pain. Additionally, drinking lemongrass tea could increase red blood cell levels, aid in controlling blood pressure, and serve as a natural anti-inflammatory remedy.

Frequently asked questions

How much lemongrass tea should I drink per day?

For most people, a cup or two of lemongrass tea daily is perfectly fine. This way, you can enjoy its health benefits and avoid possible negative effects from excessive drinking.

What is the best time to drink lemongrass tea?

Drinking lemongrass tea in the morning or throughout the day is great for its refreshing benefits. You can consume it before bedtime for a comforting drink.

Can I drink lemongrass tea when pregnant?

Generally, a cup of lemongrass tea won’t do any harm when pregnant. However, It’s best to consult with a healthcare provider.

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Thai Lemongrass Drink Recipe (Nam Takrai)

Two glasses of Thai lemongrass drink with ice.
This Thai lemongrass drink recipe, known as nam takrai in Thailand, is easy to make, healthy, and refreshing. Serve it chilled or warm and sweeten to your taste.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Drinks
Serving Size 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2.8 ounces lemongrass stalks slice diagonally, then give it a firm crush
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 pandan leaves tied in a knot
  • 34 fluid ounces water

Instructions

  • Heat water in a pot with sliced and crushed lemongrass stalks and pandan leaves. Boil with the lid on for 5–10 minutes.
  • Take out the pandan leaves and lemongrass.
  • Mix in honey to taste, then take the pot off the heat. Serve it warm, iced, or cool it down to room temperature and chill in the fridge.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.

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