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.

Remove the star anise pods and cinnamon sticks. Add the tamarind concentrate, water, pineapple juice and vanilla extract. Stir

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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