Have a glass of soda chanh muối – a salty, sparkling Vietnamese drink – to keep you refreshed this summer.
Soda chanh muối is a type of limeade or lemonade made at home and also served in most Vietnamese restaurants. As its name suggests — with “chanh” meaning lime and “muối” meaning salt — this drink is made with limes that are fermented, offering a special twist on a classic beverage. This drink can also substitute limes for lemons depending on preference.
Step 1: Fermenting the limes
Lots of limes
Lots of salt
Salt brine (.25 cup salt : 1.5 cups water)
- Make a salt brine by heating up a pot of salt and water until the salt completely dissolves. Let the brine cool completely on the counter.
- Scrub the limes thoroughly to remove dirt, wax and other impurities.
- Slice the limes in half across the middle and then slice partially into quarters.
- Rub their rinds and juice sacs with salt.
- You can submerge the salted limes/lemons into brine or more salt.
- Add a label with the date and put the limes/lemons in a cool place, such as a dark cupboard or closet, to ferment for at least three weeks.
You can double or triple the brine recipe, depending on the amount of limes you have, to fully submerge them.
The acidity of the limes dissolves the salt, which then softens the aggressive sharpness and tartness of the citrus over time. Floral and fruity flavors are drawn out, adding more depth to the limes’ flavor profile.
Step 2: Making the soda chanh muối
1 lime wedge
Sweetener to taste
Cold sparkling water
Handful of ice
- Use a blunt edge to muddle a fermented lime wedge with as much sweetener as you want at the bottom of a tall glass.
- Top with ice.
- Pour sparkling water.
Although soda chanh muối is delicious when served cold, it can also be consumed hot to help relieve symptoms of the common cold. Some people muddle liquid sweetness with the lime in their drinks in the form of simple syrup or honey, while others add mint or basil for a more herbal flare. You can even transform soda chanh muối into a cocktail by adding a shot of bourbon or gin.
Featured Image via Vlad Tchompalov