Grass Jelly Drink (3 Variations)

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You can enjoy this grass jelly drink in three different ways! Indulge in the classic combination of grass jelly with brown sugar milk tea, savor the tropical fusion of coconut and sweetened condensed milk, or experience the bold pairing of Vietnamese coffee with grass jelly. Each variation can be made in under 10 minutes!

2 Glass cups of grass jelly drink with brown sugar milk tea.

This grass jelly drink is wonderfully kid-friendly and loved by everyone in the family due to its refreshing taste and fun texture from the jelly cubes. It’s a treat that appeals to both children and adults alike!

What is Grass Jelly?

Grass jelly is known for its dark and glossy appearance. It’s made by extracting the flavors from the leaves and stalks of the Mesona chinensis plant and is often served as a Southeast Asian dessert.

2 cans of grass jelly.

The jelly has a subtle, herbal bitterness that pairs wonderfully with sweet syrups or sugar. Its smooth, gelatinous texture provides a refreshing contrast in desserts and drinks. Grass jelly is commonly used in bubble teas, ice creams, fruit salads, and refreshing beverages like the one featured in this recipe.

How to Prepare It

Start by opening the can of grass jelly and draining the liquid. Rinse the entire jelly under cold water to remove any excess syrup or residue. Cut it into smaller cubes or desired shapes, then add it directly to your beverage of choice.

Cutting slices into canned grass jelly.
Adding grass jelly cubes into glass cups with ice.

3 Different Drink Options

1. Brown Sugar Milk Tea with Grass Jelly

To make brown sugar milk tea with grass jelly, start by brewing a strong black tea and sweetening it with brown sugar syrup. Add cold milk and stir until well combined. Serve the tea over ice with cubes of grass jelly.

2 glasses of brown sugar milk tea with grass jelly.

2. Coconut Milk + Condensed Milk with Grass Jelly

To make a delicious coconut milk and condensed milk drink with grass jelly, begin by mixing chilled coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk in a glass. Cut grass jelly into cubes and add them to the milk mixture. Stir gently and serve over ice.

You have various milk options to choose from based on your dietary preferences. Whole milk provides a rich and creamy texture.

If you prefer a dairy-free alternative, coconut milk offers a tropical flavor and creamy consistency, while almond milk provides a nutty undertone. Oat milk is another excellent option for a dairy-free alternative, offering a neutral taste that complements the herbal notes of the grass jelly.

3. Vietnamese Coffee with Grass Jelly

To make Vietnamese coffee with grass jelly, brew a strong cup using finely ground coffee and a Vietnamese drip filter. Allow the coffee to cool. Then, stir in condensed milk to sweeten and add the jelly cubes and ice.

top down of grass jelly drink in glass cups and a bowl of cubed grass jelly.

What to Do with Leftover Grass Jelly?

You can add it to some other favorite desserts, such as the Vietnamese Fruit Cocktail, Che Thai, or the Vietnamese Three-Color Dessert, Che Ba Mau.

One way my mom would repurpose leftover grass jelly was by cubing it and mixing it into a refreshing drink with water, sugar, and ice. This simple and quick treat is a nice way to enjoy the leftover grass jelly on a hot day.

2 glass cups of grass jelly and milk tea.
2 Glass cups of grass jelly drink with brown sugar milk tea.

Grass Jelly Drink (3 Variations)

Quynh Nguyen
Enjoy this grass jelly drink in three different ways: grass jelly with brown sugar milk tea, coconut + sweetened condensed milk, or Vietnamese coffee. Each variation can be made in under 10 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 223 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can of grass jelly cut into cubes
  • 1-2 cups ice

Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Option #1)

  • ½ cup brown sugar (for brown sugar syrup)
  • ½ cup water (for brown sugar syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons black tea leaves (or tea bags)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk (or dairy free alternative like coconut milk almond milk, oat milk, etc.)

Coconut Milk and Condensed Milk (Option #2)

  • 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

Vietnamese Coffee (Option #3)

Instructions
 

Brown Sugar Milk Tea

  • Make the brown sugar syrup. Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture thickens slightly to form a syrup (about 5-7 minutes). Once the syrup is ready, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Brew the tea. In a separate pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the black tea leaves or tea bags to the boiling water. Turn off the heat and let the tea steep for about 5 minutes or according to the tea package instructions. Strain the tea leaves (or remove the tea bags) and allow the brewed tea to cool to room temperature.
  • Assemble the brown sugar milk tea with grass jelly. Fill a glass with ice cubes and grass jelly. Pour in the brewed tea until the glass is about 3/4 full. Add the desired amount of milk (approximately 1 cup) to the glass, leaving some space at the top. Gently drizzle the prepared brown sugar syrup over the milk tea. Taste and adjust sweetness by adding more brown sugar syrup if desired.

Coconut Milk and Condensed Milk

  • In a mixing bowl or pitcher, combine the coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk. Stir well until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Adjust the sweetness by adding more condensed milk if desired.
  • In serving glasses, add a generous amount of ice and grass jelly. Pour in the milk mixture.

Vietnamese Coffee

  • Assemble the Vietnamese phin filter by placing the coffee chamber with coffee grounds onto the phin plate and reattaching the top screen.
  • Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk into a coffee cup or glass, adjusting to your desired sweetness level.
  • Position the phin filter over the cup containing the condensed milk and add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water to the coffee grounds. Let it bloom for 20-30 seconds.
  • Slowly pour hot water into the phin filter until full. Cover with the lid to retain heat and let the coffee drip for 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir the brewed coffee with the condensed milk until well combined.
  • For iced Vietnamese coffee, allow the mixture to cool slightly, then add ice cubes and grass jelly.

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 74mgPotassium: 222mgFiber: 0.01gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 166IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 175mgIron: 0.2mg
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