Nước Mát – Artichoke and Pandan Iced Tea

nuoc mat artichoke pandan tea

Nước mát, a common Vietnamese iced tea made from artichoke (atisô) and pandan leaves (lá dua) literally means refreshing or cooling water.  In the sweltering heat of summer, it’s so much easier and tempting to order a glass or two of nước mát then to call it nước atisô lá dua.  Don’t you just love the practicality of the Vietnamese people?

nuoc mat

When Hong’s family was in town for our wedding, all 40 of them, we brewed so many gallons of nước mát we lost count. It was the perfect thirst quencher that pleased both kids and adults alike because the combination of artichoke and pandan is so fragrant and not only just refreshing. For the adults, it reminded them of the drink they had in Vietnam and for the kids, many trying this for the first time, it made them forget their caffeinated sodas.

nuoc mat

Water, artichokes, and pandan leaves are all you need. Sweeten to taste with either sugar, rock sugar or even honey.  Some prefer very lightly sweetened while others more heavy handed.  Always serve chilled.


Nuoc Mat - Artichoke and Pandan Iced Tea

Yield: 1 gallon (double recipe for more)


2-3 whole artichokes
1 small bunch of fresh pandan leaves, tied together with twine (frozen can be substituted if fresh is not available)
1 gallon of water
sugar (honey, rock sugar, palm sugar or any type of sweetener is ok)


In large pot bring water to boil. Add pandan leaves and artichoke and reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cover for about 1.5-2 hrs or until the artichokes are completely soft. Remove pandan and artichokes (save artichokes for dip?) While water is still hot, add desired amount of sugar to taste and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool before siphoning to serving container. Served chilled.



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30 Responses to “Nước Mát – Artichoke and Pandan Iced Tea”

  1. 1

    Nelly Rodriguez — August 31, 2011 @ 10:49 am

    Definitely thanks for sharing this, I had no idea it even existed! I will need to try it soon!

  2. 2

    mmmilk — September 4, 2011 @ 2:23 am

    Love the post! I’d like to see more similar posts like this, beverages/desserts such as che ba mau or sam bo luong (especially the latter!) :9

  3. 3

    Tuty — September 6, 2011 @ 12:11 am

    I am familiar with Pandan Ice Tea but never heard of Artichoke and Pandan combo. How interesting… I am sure that other than thirst quencher, there is some “medicinal” properties hidden somewhere 🙂

  4. 4

    mycookinghut — September 6, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    This is a very interesting drink!

  5. 5

    Phuoc'n Delicious — September 6, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

    I can’t remember if I’ve had this or not, but I could imagine that it would be refreshing indeed, I have an impressing that it would “cleanse” the body as well…

  6. 6

    orangepflege — September 7, 2011 @ 10:52 pm

    WoW! that looks very interesting..wanna try it.=D

  7. 7

    Phuong Ang — September 8, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    My mother was always trying to make me drink artichoke water which I hated (it cleanses the liver)…it wasn’t sweetened and didn’t have the pandan leaves. Your recipe sounds way better.

  8. 8

    Pepy@Indonesia Eats — September 9, 2011 @ 7:08 am

    I have had Pandan iced tea before. But a combination with arthichokes? That is new to me. Very interesting!

  9. 9

    t-nga — September 10, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    can this be done in a crockpot/slow cooker?

  10. 10

    The Ravenous Couple — September 10, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

    we would assume so, but not sure how long it will take!

  11. 11

    Marie — September 14, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

    And my husband thought I was insane when I mentioned that my mom would boil artichokes to make tea (this was after we made artichokes for dinner). Your photos are beautiful… the tea is incredibly refreshing and you captured it perfectly.

  12. 12

    OysterCulture — September 16, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

    This just sounds so tasty and refreshing. I cannot wait to get a new batch of pandan leaves to try this with.

  13. 13

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  14. 14

    foodwanderings — September 17, 2011 @ 7:26 am

    Congratulations on the wedding. Am so happy to be a part of Delicious Vietnam for the firs time. Must say I never heard of artichokes ice tea I usually just prepare artichokes Mediterranean style but this drink looks refreshing. So jealous about the gorgeous artichokes, I remember the fields in California, but the time they make it to the East Coast they are not as pretty. Gorgeous photos.

  15. 15

    ginger and scotch — September 18, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    What a beautiful sounding drink! I’ve never had it before but I’m sure my mom has and would love to make it for her one day.

    Is it ever available in Vietnamese restaurants?

  16. 16

    Auden — October 12, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    Awesome pictures!! Going to try your recipe tomorrow. Everything I look up a Vietnamese recipe I’m always led to your website. =)

    Btw where did you get those jars?

  17. 17

    Cindy — October 16, 2011 @ 3:41 am

    Hello – just made this, even though have never eaten artichokes in my life! It’s sweet with a ever so slight “bitter” after taste, like a Chinese herbal tea, which I quite like. Just checking if that’s how it’s supposed to taste like? Thanks =)

  18. 18

    The Ravenous Couple — October 17, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

    it’s hard to describe, but the important thing is if you like it or not and whether would make it again 🙂

  19. 19

    lilian — November 21, 2011 @ 12:02 am

    It was the perfect thirst quencher that pleased both kids and adults alike because the combination of artichoke and pandan is so fragrant and not only just refreshing.

  20. 20

    Evelyn — November 25, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    I’ve made it quiet a few time and every time it has turned out great. It is kind of different than the kind that i had in Vietnam from the South. Nuoc mat that I had in Vietnam was dark black and somewhat sweet. i’m not sure what it is made of. Maybe you guys might know. THANK YOU, Kim & Hong!!!

  21. 21

    Thanh — February 15, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    Sound straight but i believe that i would be an healthy and delicious drink.
    Let guide for other natural healthy drink

  22. 22

    Sarah — February 29, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    Very interesting recipe I have never heard about. What do pandan leaves taste like and what can I use as a substitute (have never seen it here), Looks like a refreshing and healthy drink for the summer.

  23. 23

    Betsy — March 1, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    I’ve been surfing the internet for artichoke recipe inspiration this evening and came across your post. This is a FAR cry from the usual spinach, artichoke dip I’ve been seeing. Looks great and so refreshing! We’d love it if you would link up your recipe at seasonalpotluck.com March is artichoke month! http://bit.ly/zRfNjo

  24. 24

    The Ravenous Couple — March 2, 2012 @ 2:18 am

    no problem! just include a link back

  25. 25

    orangeblossom — July 31, 2012 @ 8:45 am

    This is attractive recipe indeed. Before I try it, I was wondering how to eat this.
    Do you eat only at the end of the artichoke leaf? or do you eat whole leaf?

  26. 26

    The Ravenous Couple — August 5, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

    Its main for the drink, but you can certainly eat the leaves

  27. 27

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  29. 29

    Barbara Donnelly — August 4, 2015 @ 9:05 pm

    T-Nga…..I had my first cup of hot artichoke water tonight. My two adopted Vietmanese daughters introduced me to this drink by way of two elderly Vietmanese couple…they did not mention using pandan leaves, all they used was artichokes. Here is how Mrs Sun told me to make the artichoke water. Fill a 6 qt slow cooker/crockpot half full. Wash artichoke VERY well, she said you could cut the artichoke in half to make it easier to wash. She used only one artichoke with the half full crockpot cook it for 12 hours on low I would imagine, she never said. I thought it was hot tea, but Mrs assured me it was not tea, just artichoke water, so yes, use the crockpot. I am going to the Vietmanese market here in Memphis in the next couple of days and see if they carry the pandan leaves..can’t wait to make some…you can serve it hot or cold.

  30. 30

    Harry Tran — December 27, 2015 @ 4:30 pm

    I prefer your “Nuoc mat/combinating artichokes and panda leaves,or ” is ” Nuoc Sam hay Nuoc Dang/Bitter drink beverages( hot or chilled ) originally from Chinese Tea replacement beverages in summer (no sugar added ).
    The recipes for Vietnamese traditional Nuoc Mat is :
    _Sugarcane / Mia Lau
    _ Cogongrass roots/Re Tran
    _ Crysanthemum flower / Bong cuc
    _ Cornish / Ray bap
    _ Pandas leaves/ La dua
    _ Rock sugar ( additional for sweetener )
    The farmhouse Nuoc Sam/Nuoc Mat stalls in Vietnam is :
    …-@the intersection of Dinh Tien Hoang st and Dien Bien Phu motorway,District 1,Ho Chi Minh Cty,VN. 10000 dong/350ml ( # 8 cents/aud/

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