Red Sugarcane & Water Chestnut Drink

My hubs love all manner of sweet, cooling beverages. He’d be the one to grab the cincau package or ask me to boil him some barley. When we visit a nearby hotel for special family dinners, he has to stop by the drink fountain for some refreshing lemongrass or cinnamon drink.

So when our church moved to a new building beside a wet market, the first thing he said was, “Let’s get red sugarcane!” He only knew that the market sells red sugarcane because we lived in that area during the 1st year of our marriage and frequented that market a lot.

With the abundance of fresh green sugarcane here, we can easily get some freshly squeezed juice anywhere. The thing is, I haven’t been having that for many years now. I don’t know how true this is but I’ve read that the way chopped sugarcane is stored by vendors cause the canes to absorb chemicals and dirt via the exposed ends that touch either the ground or unclean surfaces. Hence, I’ve almost only limited myself to either boiled or packet sugarcane drinks. Now that we’ll be around the market area so often, this drink will re-enter our lives in the sweetest way possible. 🙂

To make this, we only need 4 ingredients: Red Sugarcane, Water Chestnut (optional but highly recommended), Rock Sugar & Water. Red Sugarcane & Water Chestnut 1

The most tedious part of this is peeling the water chestnuts. I didn’t bother this time around. If you like the crunch and want to nibble on it, feel free to go ahead and peel. It adds a lot of flavour and further cooling properties to this drink. Definitely a must for me! All there was to do after peeling was to throw everything into a pot with water and boil.Red Sugarcane & Water Chestnut 2

This drink is delicious both cold and hot. We like ours well chilled.Red Sugarcane & Water Chestnut 3

There’s nothing like a refreshing, sweet homemade beverage on a hot day.  Cheers!

xoxoxo, Jayne

“They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them.” (Isaiah 49:10)

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Red Sugarcane & Water Chestnut Drink
serves 4


450 gms (1 lbs) Red Sugarcane, chopped foot-long or as long as your pot can take
250 gms (8 oz) Water Chestnut, top & bottom removed (can peel if desired)
1 block Rock Sugar (appx 50 gms or 1-2 oz)
6 cups Water

  1. Give sugarcane & water chestnuts a good scrub and wash. 
  2. Place everything in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Leave to cool & strain if there are sediments.
  4. Serve warm or chilled.

*A squeeze of lime makes for a very interesting flavour addition!


  1. I’m gonna be honest and just say I have never seen red sugarcane OR a water chestnut in real life. (I’ve only seen water chestnuts in cans, and I feel like those don’t count, haha.) I love that y’all will be spending more time in the wet market near your church’s new location, and I look forward to seeing what you whip up based on those ingredients.

    This drink sounds fascinating, and I wonder if I’ll be able to get my hands on something similar here in Texas to check it out! Thanks for sharing, Jayne!

    • Haha… Well, Erin, there are just too many things to see and learn from around the world. I’ve never seen many ingredients that you and other bloggers use as well. Especially seasonal produce like fresh figs, brocollini, heirloom tomatoes etc. But I love reading and learning about them, even if I can’t experience them myself.

      Best part is when I do bump into ingredients that I’ve been reading so much about but have never seen in real life, I get so excited. Like I’m going to implode. haha.. That said, I’m glad I’m able to introduce to you new stuff. We learn, we share, right? 😉

      • You and me are on the same wavelength, girl, because I do the same thing! And whenever I bump into ingredients I don’t know, I get super excited and try to learn more about them because I want to see if I can find them where I live to make the same dish!

        So thank you for continually introducing me to new things! I hope I can pull my end of the bargain over here. 😉 Here’s to learning and sharing!

  2. I’ve never seen anything like it. Would love to try it, but I’m quite positive red sugarcane is impossible to find where I live. Such a pity…

    • Yeah, I know. I don’t really see it everywhere here too. But regular sugarcane works just as well. Boiled sugarcane tastes like the fresh squeezed kind except it’s not as harsh (in the sense that it’s not so raw and strong) and has a very gentle weetness. Really worth the effort.


  1. […] out. Bad. So my remedy is to consume as much water as I can and indulge in as many cooling and refreshing beverages as I can get my hands […]

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