62 Malaysian Drinks You Shouldn’t Miss: Spirits | Cocktails | Wine | Beer | Alcohol-free

This list captures a broad spectrum of Malaysian drinks, reflecting the country’s multicultural culinary heritage. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur or the serene countryside, these beverages offer a taste of Malaysia’s rich flavors and traditions.

1. Spirits from Malaysia

1.1. Malaysian Liquor

In Malaysia, the spirit industry navigates a unique landscape shaped by cultural and religious norms, with a majority Muslim population that generally abstains from alcohol, steering the beverage scene towards traditional and non-alcoholic options.

Despite these constraints, niche local brands like “Timah,” known for its double-peated blended whiskey, and “Eiling Lim,” an independent bottler of artisanal spirits, have emerged, highlighting the ingenuity and diversity of Malaysian distilleries.

While the country may not extensively produce and consume the six global base spirits—whiskey, brandy, vodka, rum, gin, and tequila—these and other international spirits find their place in urban and tourist spots, reflecting a blend of local traditions and global tastes.

1) Langkau

  • Distilled rice spirit

Langkau stands out in the Malaysian spirits scene as a distilled rice spirit, often homemade and enjoyed in East Malaysia. With a higher alcohol content than Tuak, Langkau is both potent and revered, embodying the spirit of communal gatherings and traditional rituals. Its distillation process, passed down through generations, underscores the rich cultural heritage embedded in Malaysian liquor.

2) Cap Tikus

  • Minahasan palm liquor

Cap Tikus, a type of palm liquor, is a testament to the diversity of Malaysian spirits. Originating from the Minahasa region in Indonesia, it has found a place in Malaysia’s array of traditional drinks. Distilled from the sap of palm trees, Cap Tikus is characterized by its strong, distinct flavor and plays a significant role in local customs and social functions.

3) Timah

  • Malaysian double-peated whiskey

Timah is a Malaysia’s distiller producing double-peated blended whiskey, acclaimed for its smooth, complex flavor profile, marrying the peaty essence typical of Scotch with the tropical nuances of Malaysia. A recipient of international awards, Timah is a testament to the country’s burgeoning spirit industry, offering a unique tasting experience that bridges Eastern and Western whiskey traditions.

4) Eiling Lim

  • Artisanal Malaysian spirits

Eiling Lim, often hailed as Malaysia’s first independent whiskey bottler, brings an artisanal touch to the spirits world. Her curated selections, ranging from single malt whiskies to other distilled beverages, emphasize quality and uniqueness. Each bottle tells a story of meticulous curation and a passion for the finer nuances of spirits, making Eiling Lim a distinguished name among connoisseurs seeking exceptional and rare tastes from Malaysia and beyond.

5) Samsu

  • Malaysian moonshine

Samsu is a term in Malaysia for a cheap, often illicitly distilled spirit, known for its high alcohol content and potency. This spirit, while not official, is part of the local drinking culture, especially in less affluent areas. Samsu’s existence highlights the economic and social contrasts within Malaysia, offering a stark contrast to the more traditional and culturally rich beverages of the country.

1.2. Malaysian Liqueurs

6) Borneo Liqueur

  • Fruit-infused spirit

Borneo Liqueur is a delightful fusion of fruit flavors and alcohol, creating a unique Malaysian liqueur experience. Infused with tropical fruits from the lush landscapes of Borneo, this liqueur captures the essence of Malaysian biodiversity. Its sweet, aromatic profile makes it a perfect after-dinner drink or a base for exotic cocktails, showcasing the innovative spirit of Malaysian mixology.

7) Penang Nutmeg Liqueur

  • Nutmeg-flavored liqueur

Penang Nutmeg Liqueur embodies the rich spice heritage of Malaysia, particularly the Penang region, known for its nutmeg plantations. This liqueur, with its warm, spicy undertones, offers a taste of Malaysia’s colonial past and its longstanding spice trade. It serves as a delicious homage to the country’s culinary history, making it a must-try for those seeking to explore Malaysian flavors.

2. Cocktails & Alcoholic Mixed Drinks form Malaysia

2.1. Malaysian Cocktails & Mixed Drinks

8) Jungle Bird

  • Classic tiki cocktail

The Jungle Bird is a celebrated cocktail hailing from Kuala Lumpur, making a name for itself in the global tiki culture. This exotic blend combines dark rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup, creating a balance of bitter, sweet, and tart flavors. Its vibrant presentation and tropical taste make it a quintessential representation of Malaysia’s cocktail artistry.

9) Asam Boi Mojito

  • Tamarind twist on Mojito

Asam Boi Mojito offers a Malaysian take on the classic Mojito by incorporating asam boi, or dried tamarind, adding a tangy, sour profile to the refreshing mint and lime base. This innovative cocktail mirrors Malaysia’s ability to blend traditional flavors with international classics, resulting in a drink that’s both familiar and uniquely Malaysian.

10) Lychee Martini

  • Fruity vodka martini

The Lychee Martini, a popular choice in Malaysia’s vibrant bar scene, infuses the sweet, floral essence of lychees into a smooth vodka base, often enhanced with a touch of vermouth or lychee liqueur. This elegant, fruity cocktail showcases the region’s love for incorporating local tropical fruits into contemporary drink creations.

11) Malaysian Mule

  • Ginger-infused tropical mule

A tropical twist on the classic Moscow Mule, the Malaysian Mule is a refreshing concoction that blends vodka with spicy ginger beer and adds a splash of tropical juice, like pineapple or mango, for a Malaysian flair. The result is a zesty, invigorating cocktail that captures the spirited essence of Malaysia’s culinary diversity.

12) Nutmeg Passion Cocktail

  • Nutmeg and passion fruit blend

The Nutmeg Passion Cocktail is a testament to Malaysia’s spice heritage, blending the aromatic warmth of nutmeg with the tart sweetness of passion fruit. This cocktail, often rounded out with rum or vodka, embodies the innovative spirit of Malaysian mixology, offering a taste experience that is both comforting and exotic.

13) Sarawak Sling

  • Bornean gin cocktail

Inspired by the classic Singapore Sling, the Sarawak Sling pays homage to the Malaysian state of Sarawak, featuring a mix of gin, local fruit juices, and a hint of Benedictine or cherry liqueur. This cocktail captures the lush, tropical essence of Borneo, presenting a unique narrative of Sarawak’s rich biodiversity and cultural tapestry.

14) Penang Pina Colada

  • Malaysian twist on Pina Colada

The Penang Piña Colada brings a Malaysian twist to the beloved tropical cocktail by incorporating Penang’s famed coconut and pineapple produce. Enriched with rum and sometimes a dash of nutmeg or local spices, this version celebrates the island’s culinary prowess and its reputation as a food paradise.

15) Hibiscus Gin and Tonic

  • Floral gin cocktail

The Hibiscus Gin and Tonic is a colorful and fragrant rendition of the classic G&T, infused with the vibrant hues and subtle tartness of hibiscus flowers, a nod to Malaysia’s floral diversity. This cocktail not only delights the senses with its aesthetics and flavors but also reflects Malaysia’s knack for infusing traditional elements into modern concoctions.

2.2. Hot Malaysian Alcoholic Beverages

16) Hot Malaysian Toddy

  • Warm palm wine concoction

The Toddy Cocktail takes traditional Malaysian toddy and transforms it into a comforting warm beverage, perfect for cooler evenings. By mixing toddy with spices like cinnamon or clove and sometimes a splash of citrus, this cocktail offers a warm, spiced, and slightly sweet drinking experience, rooted in Malaysia’s rural toddy culture.

17) Spiced Toddy Latte

  • Toddy-spiced coffee blend

The Spiced Toddy Latte is an innovative Malaysian creation that marries the traditional palm wine toddy with the rich, comforting notes of latte coffee. Infused with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, this warm beverage offers a unique twist on coffee culture, showcasing the versatility of toddy in Malaysian culinary innovation.

3. Brewed & Fermented Alcoholic Beverages from Malaysia

3.1. Malaysian Wine

18) Malaysian Fruit Wines

  • Wines from tropical fruits

Malaysian Fruit Wines are a delightful exploration into the country’s vast array of tropical fruits, including durian, mangosteen, and lychee. These wines capture the essence of Malaysia’s fruit bounty, offering a unique twist to traditional winemaking. Each fruit wine presents a distinct flavor profile, from sweet and floral to rich and complex, showcasing Malaysia’s innovative approach to winemaking.

3.2. Malaysian Beer

19) Tiger Beer

  • Internationally recognized lager

Tiger Beer, Malaysia’s flagship beer, is known globally for its crisp, refreshing taste. Brewed since 1932, this award-winning Asian lager is a staple in Malaysian social gatherings, offering a smooth, well-balanced flavor that pairs well with the country’s diverse cuisine. It’s a symbol of Malaysia’s brewing success on the international stage.

20) Anchor Beer

  • Smooth Malaysian lager

Anchor Beer is a smooth, easy-drinking lager that holds a place in Malaysia’s beer landscape. Known for its mild, approachable taste, Anchor is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike, serving as a refreshing companion to Malaysia’s rich and spicy dishes. It reflects the simple pleasures of Malaysian life.

21) Skol Beer

  • Light and approachable lager

Skol Beer, with its light and approachable character, is designed for easy drinking and sociability, making it a favored choice in Malaysia’s warm climate. Its mild flavor and refreshing finish cater to those who appreciate a less intense beer experience, embodying the laid-back Malaysian lifestyle.

22) Heineken Malaysia

  • Premium international lager

Heineken Malaysia brings the world-renowned Heineken experience to Malaysian shores, offering a premium lager that’s both refreshing and full-bodied. With its distinctive green bottle and crisp taste, Heineken stands out in Malaysia’s beer scene, appealing to those seeking an international flavor.

23) Carlsberg Malaysia

  • Danish lager with local roots

Carlsberg Malaysia merges the heritage of Danish brewing with local tastes, delivering a lager that’s both flavorful and refreshing. Known for its quality and consistency, Carlsberg has become a favorite among Malaysians, symbolizing the fusion of global brewing traditions with Malaysian preferences.

24) Guinness Malaysia

  • Rich and creamy stout

Guinness Malaysia adapts the iconic Irish stout to suit the Malaysian palate, offering a rich, creamy beer with a distinctive dark color and roasted flavor. This stout is a testament to Malaysia’s appreciation for diverse beer styles, providing a bold contrast to the lighter lagers commonly found in the region.

3.3. Other Brewed and Fermented Malaysian Alcoholic Drinks

25) Toddy

  • Fermented palm sap

Toddy, a traditional Malaysian beverage, is made from the sap of palm trees, fermented to create a mildly alcoholic drink. Enjoyed in various parts of Asia, Toddy in Malaysia is a communal drink, often consumed in rural areas and known for its slightly sweet, yeasty flavor. It reflects the simplicity and natural bounty of the Malaysian countryside, offering a glimpse into the everyday lives of its people.

26) Tapai

  • Fermented rice or cassava

Tapai is a traditional Malaysian fermented delicacy, often made from glutinous rice or cassava, yielding a slightly sweet and tangy flavor. While primarily consumed as a dessert, Tapai’s fermentation process also produces a mild alcoholic content, making it a unique contribution to Malaysia’s array of fermented beverages. It embodies the traditional fermentation techniques passed down through generations, showcasing the depth of Malaysia’s culinary heritage.

27) Tuak / Lihing / Tapai

  • Rice wine from Borneo

Borneo rice wine, known locally as “tuak”, “lihing” or “tapai,” is an indigenous fermented wine from East Malaysia, made from glutinous rice and natural yeast. Its natural fermentation process results in a diverse range of flavors from sweet to strong, with each batch offering a unique taste, reflecting the rich biodiversity of Borneo. The beverage is integral to cultural rituals and festivities, as a symbol of heritage, hospitality and communal bond.

28) Mandahiling

  • Traditional Sumatran brew

Mandahiling, a traditional brew originating from Sumatra but also found in Malaysia, is made from fermented tapioca or rice. This drink showcases the cross-cultural influences in Malaysian beverages, blending Indonesian heritage with local flavors. Mandahiling’s unique brewing method and taste profile make it a rare find, offering a glimpse into the shared history of the region.

4. Non-Alcoholic Drinks from Malaysia

4.1. Cold Non-Alcoholic Malaysian Beverages

29) Milo Ais

  • Iced chocolate malt drink

Milo Ais is a beloved cold beverage in Malaysia, made with Milo, a chocolate and malt powder, mixed with ice and sometimes condensed milk. This refreshing drink is a favorite among children and adults alike, often associated with comfort and nostalgia in Malaysian culture.

30) Air Barli

  • Barley drink, hot and cold

Air Barli, which directly translates to “barley water”, is a Malaysian traditional beverage, made by boiling barley grains and often sweetened to enhance its flavor. The drink is enjoyed both hot and cold, sometimes with a slice of lemon to add a refreshing twist. Air Barli is appreciated not only for its comforting taste but also for its health benefits, making it a popular choice in the Malaysian diet for hydration and nourishment.

31) Sarsi

  • Local root beer

Sarsi is a type of root beer available in Malaysia, known for its unique, slightly herbal flavor compared to its Western counterparts. This carbonated drink is a nostalgic favorite, often reminiscent of childhood for many Malaysians.

32) Air Bandung

  • Rose syrup milk drink

Air Bandung combines evaporated or condensed milk with rose syrup to create a sweet, pink-colored beverage enjoyed throughout Malaysia for its sweet, floral notes and cooling properties. For a lighter version, some water is mixed into the rose syrup and condensed milk (Sirap Bandung).

33) Pandan Drink

  • Aromatic pandan drink

Pandan Cooler utilizes the fragrant leaves of the pandan plant to create a refreshing, aromatic drink. Often served cold with a hint of sweetness, this beverage highlights the versatility of pandan in Malaysian cuisine, offering a unique taste experience.

34) Cincau Drink

  • Grass jelly beverage

Cincau Drink, made from black grass jelly and mixed with syrup or iced water, is a popular Malaysian refreshment known for its cooling effects. The jelly’s slightly herbal taste and unique texture make it a sought-after ingredient in various Malaysian desserts and drinks.

35) Cendol Drink

  • Iced dessert with green jelly

Cendol Drink, derived from the popular dessert, features green rice flour jelly, coconut milk, and palm sugar syrup, served over shaved ice. This drink-dessert hybrid is a quintessential Malaysian treat, loved for its sweet, creamy taste and unique texture.

36) Ais Kacang

  • Shaved ice dessert

Ais Kacang, a colorful Malaysian dessert, consists of shaved ice topped with various ingredients like red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly, and syrup. While primarily a dessert, its beverage-like quality makes it a unique inclusion in the list of cold Malaysian refreshments.

37) Mango Lassi

  • Mango and yogurt smoothie

Mango Lassi, while of Indian origin, is a beloved drink in Malaysia, blending ripe mangoes with yogurt and a touch of spice. This creamy, smooth beverage is a perfect antidote to Malaysia’s hot weather, combining the richness of mangoes with the cooling properties of yogurt.

38) Roselle Juice

  • Hibiscus flower drink

Roselle Juice, made from the calyces of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, offers a tart, cranberry-like flavor, often sweetened and served chilled. This vibrant red beverage is valued not only for its taste but also for its health benefits, including high vitamin C content.

39) Lychee Soda

  • Fizzy lychee drink

Lychee Soda is a sparkling beverage made with lychee syrup or fresh lychees, mixed with soda water for a fizzy kick. This light, refreshing drink captures the sweet, floral essence of lychees, making it a popular choice in Malaysian cafes and restaurants.

40) Ribena Longan

  • Berry and fruit infusion

Ribena Longan combines the popular blackcurrant concentrate Ribena with longan fruits, served chilled for a refreshing and fruity drink. This combination is favored in Malaysia for its sweet, tangy flavor and cooling effect.

41) Sugar Cane Juice

  • Pressed sugarcane drink

Sugar Cane Juice is a popular street-side beverage in Malaysia, made by extracting the juice from sugarcane stalks. This sweet, refreshing drink is often enjoyed over ice, offering a quick cool-down in the tropical climate.

42) Limau Ais

  • Iced lime juice

Limau Ais is a simple yet refreshing beverage consisting of freshly squeezed lime juice, water, and a touch of sweetness, served over ice. This thirst-quenching drink is a common offering in Malaysian eateries, valued for its simplicity and zesty flavor. Calamansi lime juice is made from small, sour calamansi limes.

43) Dragon Fruit Juice

  • Vibrant cactus fruit drink

Dragon Fruit Juice is a visually striking beverage, made from the flesh of the dragon fruit, offering a mild, sweet taste. This juice is not only refreshing but also packed with nutrients, reflecting Malaysia’s rich variety of tropical fruits.

44) Mangosteen Juice

  • Exotic fruit drink

Mangosteen Juice, derived from the “queen of fruits,” provides a complex, slightly tangy and sweet flavor. This exotic juice is a luxurious treat in Malaysia, celebrated for its unique taste and purported health benefits.

45) Coconut Water

  • Natural tropical drink

Coconut Water is a ubiquitous thirst-quencher in Malaysia, directly served from young, green coconuts. This natural drink is appreciated for its hydrating properties and sweet, nutty flavor, reflecting Malaysia’s tropical abundance.

46) Herbal Tea (Cold)

  • Chilled medicinal brews

Herbal Tea in Malaysia encompasses a variety of cold brews made from medicinal herbs and flowers, like chrysanthemum, known for their cooling and health-promoting properties. These teas are often consumed for their therapeutic benefits, offering a gentle, refreshing taste.

47) Teh Ais

  • Iced tea

Teh Ais is the iced version of Malaysian tea, typically served sweetened and sometimes with a hint of lemon. This beverage is a staple in Malaysia’s culinary scene, offering a cooling respite from the tropical heat.

48) Ipoh White Coffee (Iced)

  • Smooth iced coffee

Ipoh White Coffee, known for its creamy texture and unique roasting method, is often enjoyed iced in Malaysia. This coffee variant, originating from Ipoh, has a mild, smooth taste, contrasting the more robust traditional Malaysian coffee, making it a modern favorite.

4.2. Hot Non-Alcoholic Malaysian Beverages

49) Teh Tarik

  • Frothy pulled tea

Teh Tarik, Malaysia’s national drink, is a frothy tea made by “pulling” a mixture of black tea and condensed milk from one cup to another, creating a thick, creamy beverage. This iconic drink is a staple in Malaysian kopitiams (coffee shops) and is celebrated for its rich flavor and dramatic preparation process.

50) Teh

  • Diverse Malaysian tea, also locally grown

Malaysia’s tea culture is rich and varied, extending beyond the popular Teh Tarik to include a spectrum of teas, from the locally grown teas in the highlands to the imported varieties. Malaysia’s tea plantations, notably in the Cameron Highlands, produce a significant portion of tea, offering a range of flavors from the robust black teas to the delicate whites. In addition to these homegrown teas and the iconic Teh Tarik, Malaysians enjoy a variety of other teas, including herbal infusions like lemongrass tea and the fragrant jasmine tea, often served in Chinese restaurants, reflecting the country’s diverse tea culture. This diversity in tea preferences showcases the multifaceted nature of Malaysian tea culture, where traditional and imported teas coalesce, offering a tea for every palate and occasion.

51) Kopi O

  • Black coffee with sugar

Kopi O is Malaysian coffee, a strong brew of black coffee sweetened with sugar. Malaysian coffee, known for its distinct robustness, sets itself apart from its Western counterparts through unique preparation methods. The coffee’s standout caramelized flavor comes from a special roasting process involving margarine and sugar, culminating in a brew that’s typically paired with condensed milk for added richness. This reflects Malaysia’s preference for intense, full-bodied flavors, deeply ingrained in a vibrant café culture, enjoyed nationwide in kopitiams, Malay coffee houses.

52) White Coffee (Hot Ipoh style)

  • Creamy, smooth coffee

White Coffee, originating from Ipoh, is famed for its unique roasting process, resulting in a less bitter, creamy coffee that’s served hot. This beloved beverage is a hallmark of Malaysian innovation in coffee preparation, offering a gentler alternative to the traditional black coffee.

53) Cham

  • Mix of coffee and tea

Cham, a unique Malaysian creation, combines the bold flavors of coffee with the smoothness of tea, often sweetened and served with milk. This innovative blend is a popular choice in Malaysian kopitiams, symbolizing the harmonious diversity of Malaysian cuisine.

54) Masala Chai

  • Spiced Indian tea

Masala Chai, with roots in Indian tradition, is embraced in Malaysia, blending black tea with a symphony of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. This rich, flavorful tea reflects the multicultural tapestry of Malaysia, offering warmth and comfort with every sip.

55) Milo Panas

  • Hot chocolate malt drink

Milo Panas is the warm counterpart to Milo Ais, made with the beloved Milo powder mixed into hot water or milk, creating a comforting, chocolatey beverage. This drink is a childhood staple, often associated with warmth and nostalgia in the Malaysian context.

56) Horlicks

  • Malted milk hot drink

Horlicks, a classic malted milk drink, finds its place in Malaysian hearts, especially as a comforting nighttime beverage. Its creamy, soothing qualities make it a preferred choice for a relaxing end to the day, embodying the simple comforts of Malaysian home life.

57) Matcha Latte

  • Green tea powder latte

Matcha Latte, though of Japanese origin, is popular in Malaysia, blending the umami-rich matcha green tea powder with steamed milk for a creamy, antioxidant-packed drink. This beverage reflects Malaysia’s openness to global trends while maintaining a preference for rich, flavorful experiences.

58) Tongkat Ali Tea

  • Herbal tea with Tongkat Ali

Tongkat Ali Tea incorporates the renowned Malaysian herb Tongkat Ali, known for its therapeutic properties, including energy enhancement and stress relief. This herbal tea is a reflection of Malaysia’s rich natural pharmacy, celebrated for its bold taste and health benefits.

59) Ginseng Tea

  • Herbal tea with ginseng

Ginseng Tea in Malaysia is valued for its health-promoting properties, made from the esteemed ginseng root known for its energy-boosting and medicinal benefits. This herbal tea is a nod to traditional Chinese medicine, widely respected in Malaysia for its holistic approach to health.

60) Lemongrass Tea

  • Citrusy herbal infusion

Lemongrass Tea, made from the fragrant stalks of the lemongrass plant, is a refreshing herbal tea enjoyed in Malaysia for its soothing, citrusy flavor and digestive benefits. This tea exemplifies Malaysia’s use of local herbs and plants to create comforting, healthful beverages.

61) Teh Halia

  • Ginger-infused tea

Teh Halia brings the warmth of ginger to the comforting embrace of black tea, creating a soothing beverage widely consumed in Malaysia for its digestive benefits and spicy kick. This aromatic drink is a testament to Malaysia’s love for incorporating natural spices into their daily rituals.

62) Jasmine Tea

  • Fragrant floral tea

Jasmine Tea, with its delicate floral aroma, is a favorite in Malaysia, particularly in Chinese cuisine. This lightly scented tea is made by infusing green tea leaves with jasmine blossoms, offering a subtle, soothing cup that reflects the elegant simplicity of Malaysian tea culture.

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