Sweet Tamarind Drink
Nuoc Da Me
Nuoc da me means "tamarind ice cubes" in Vietnamese. Its a popular drink in Vietnam, the tartness of the tamarind makes it like lemonade — this version mixes it with pineapple juice. If you can get them, serve with salted key lime rind preserves.
4 cups water
3 cups fresh pineapple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 star anise pods, whole
3 cinnamon sticks
1 cup sugar ( preferably superfine)
1 cup tamarind concentrate
additional star anise and cinnamon sticks for decoration
Make a simple syrup: Dissolve the sugar in about 1 cup of water. Bring water to boiling and add the star anise and cinnamon. After 2-3 minutes reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from flame and allow to cool.
Serve over ice and top with a star anise pod and cinnamon sticks.
Note: If you want a more tart flavour, increase the tamarind concentrate to 2 cups.
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