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How to Make a Thai Tea Arnold Palmer

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At the end of September, a couple of us Foodbeasters headed to the Chan Dara restaurant in Los Angeles to scope out its offerings for Thai Restaurant Week. Among them, lobster pad thai, seafood paella, and this darling, Cha-Manau — a combination of strongly brewed Thai tea (without milk) and Thai lemonade, or in more western terms, a Thai Tea Arnold Palmer. We decided to play it a little different in our recreation, keeping the milk and trading out the traditional sweet  lemonade with a lychee and thai chili version. Our only question is, why on earth haven't more people tried this before?

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Thai Tea Arnold Palmer

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(Adapted from White on Rice and Serious Eats)

Thai Tea:

  • 1 cup Pantai Thai Tea Mix
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Coconut milk

Lychee-Thai Chili Lemonade:

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  • 1 pound lychees (I used canned)
  • Juice from 10 to 12 lemons
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 small red Thai chili
  • 3 cups cold water
  • Ice

How to Make It

  1. Bring water to a boil and add Thai tea mix. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Allow to boil for three minutes, then remove from heat. Let mixture steep for additional thirty minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine lychees, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and Thai chili in blender. Blend until smooth, then strain liquid mixture into pitcher or bowl. Discard solids. Add water to lychee lemonade and stir to combine.
  3. Strain the tea leaves from the Thai tea mix, then let cool. Take a glass with ice and fill about 1/3 with tea, another 1/3 with lychee lemonade, and stir. Add coconut milk to taste.