Herbal tea, one of the most Popular chinese drinks

Most Popular Chinese Drinks You Should Try

Last Updated on May 2, 2023

Every culture has its own history that translates into its inhabitants’ lifestyle. And although modernization has eroded most cultures, the Chinese is among the few which, despite being among the most sophisticated societies in the world, have retained most of their ancient ways. In fact, they don’t even celebrate New Year like the rest of the world; they have their own calendar.

Moreover, it is evident that Chinese food and drinks have not really changed much except for a few tweaks here and there. They have special drinks for Chinese New Year, for example, that have been enjoyed during the celebration for many years. Apart from that, there’s a long list of other popular and traditional Chinese drinks that you definitely need to try out. Some of them are perfect to have on their own, but others perfectly complement some local savory dishes or popular Asian desserts.

In any case, if you’re planning to travel to this beautiful country, make a point of enjoying at least a drink or two from each of the categories below, you won’t be disappointed.

Traditional Chinese Drinks


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As mentioned before, the Chinese are big on their old ways of life as seen in the way they relate with each other, their foods, drinks, and clothing. Therefore, it’s not surprising that there are some traditional Chinese drinks which are still a favorite for many individuals. Popular Chinese drinks in this category include:


Jiuniang is a sweet wine made from fermented white rice to which Osmanthus flowers are added to give some fragrance. Most families make their own Jiuniang at home thought various rice wine brands are available on supermarkets. Note that this drink has a low alcohol content.

Cooling Chinese Herbal Tea

There are two popular Chinese drinks which are classified as cooling tea: Jia Duo Bao and Wang Lao Ji. The two drinks have an almost similar recipe and popularity, especially in the southern China region.

TAKEAWAY: Wang Lao Ji, popularly known as “tea in the red cans” by the non-Chinese, is more than just a drink. Its contents include a blend of traditional Chinese herbal medicine that traces its origins to the Qing Dynasty in 1828. Cooling Chinese herbal tea was invented by Dr. Wong and his family and, to date, descendants to the family still manufacture this tea. It pairs perfectly with spicy foods.

Chinese Soft Drinks


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There’s a long list of Chinese soft drinks. However, this list only features the most popular ones.

Pearl Milk Tea

Also commonly referred to as “Bubble Milk” thanks to the jelly-like pearls at the bottom of the teacup, it’s a tasty drink. The jelly-like pearls are floating tapioca balls that are added to the sweetened milk tea. Although sweet and delicious at any temperature, pearl milk tea leaves a bitter aftertaste. Though this beverage is a favorite in mainland China, it’s original from Taiwan.

Salted Soda Water

Before Coca-Cola entered the market, among the popular Chinese soft drinks was the salted soda water. It’s still a favorite among old-school folks, and it’s mainly found in Shanghai. Salted soda water is basically a fizzy/carbonated water with a taste of mint and lemon.

Popular Chinese Cocktails


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The cocktails on this list are just a handful of the many that exist. And you should note that many of the drinks on this list are usually prepared for Chinese New Year.

  • Chivas with Green Tea: It consists of scotch whiskey mixed with sweetened green tea. It has a honeyed taste, and it’s one of the most popular drinks in nightclubs.
  • Jade Cocktail: It receives its name and its green color from the Jade stone. Jade is a precious stone in Chinese culture representing sincerity, loyalty, justice, wisdom, and purity. So it’s a perfect New Year drink if you are looking for some of those virtues in your life.
  • Lychee Liqueur Martini: This cocktail is based on the vodka martini, including vodka and lychee liqueur. With its pink color symbolizes love and well-being.
  • Opium Cocktail: This alcoholic beverage has a surprising Cuban-Chinese origin. It blends bourbon with grapefruit and lemon juice, poppy seed and tamarind syrup.
  • The Green Dragon: A powerful animal in the Chinese calendar deserved a powerful drink. The Green Dragon is a mix of several strong-flavored drinks such as gin, mint cream, an herbal liqueur called Kummel and orange bitters. That’s why this drink is an acquired taste.
  • Orange Oasis: Orange is the symbol of wealth and good fortune in China, so this drink based on orange juice is the perfect start to the new year. Apart from orange juice, it mixes gin, ginger ale, and cherry brandy.

Chinese Alcoholic Drinks


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Two popular Chinese drinks under this category include Tsingtao beer and Baijiu.


Baijiu is made from fermented sorghum and is the Chinese national liquor with an alcohol content of 30 – 60%. According to traidition, this liquors must be served in small glasses at room temperature. Baijiu is one of those drinks that gets better with age, so you can find cheaper and more expensive bottles.

Tsingtao Beer

If an alcohol content of 40-60% is not how you like your alcohol, you can opt for Chinese beers. Tsingtao beer is one of the favorite most consumed brands and is sold in many countries around the world. It has a low alcohol content making it perfect for enjoying it during a night out in town.


It is impossible not to see how Chinese food and drinks are a reflection of their way of life and culture. Their drinks, just like their foods, are unique. What’s more, all these drinks have a health aspect to them. So next time you travel to China, make sure you try some of these drinks to have a taste of their culture.

About Richard Brownys

Richard Brownys is a freelance writer. He loves to travel and play soccer every weekend and can’t imagine his life without coffee every morning. His own website is homeexpertreviews.com.

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