Fah Thai Magazine May June 2018


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Red Positive

When wandering the streets in Thailand, you’ll encounter street vendors with

pushcarts of colourful herbal drinks. The bright red roselle juice is sure to be one

of the choices. This drink, with a sweet and sour flavour, is the best option when it

comes to replenishing one’s body from thirst and fatigue. Resourceful vendors mix

roselle juice together with the jujube fruit for an even better taste and additional

health benefits.

The traditional Thai herbal drink boasts a great number of healthful advantages,

namely its high content of vitamin C, a natural anti-oxidant known to help with

improving blood quality, an ability to reduce cholesterol levels, as well as lowering the

risk of diabetes. Importantly, a roselle drink contains anthocyanins and polyphenols,

with the former possessing high levels in its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory

properties. Studies claim that the anthocyanin levels can stop irregular cancer

cells from expanding. For women, the drink is interesting knowledge as it can fight

against free radicals and slow down the aging process, thanks to the presence of

polyphenols. However, be careful not to drink too many glasses as roselle works a bit

like a laxative!

The whole plant itself can be used for further medicinal purposes,

contributing to greater benefits. The calyx – which forms around the seedpod –

when consumed can reduce fatty deposits in arteries while the young leaves

are favoured by local Thai people as vegetable side dish. The stem also serves as a

utilitarian purpose; it can be turned into fibre to make rope.


• 150g. of roselle

(fresh or dried ones)

• 4 cups of water

• ½tbs, refined salt

• 1 cup of sugar

• Small ice cubes

• Roselle calyxes

(to decorate)



Wash the roselle with water, avoid

removing the calyxes. Put the roselle into

an empty pot.

Pour water in the pot over the plant,

leaving it at a medium flame until it boils.

Lower the heat and continue simmering

for 15 to 20 minutes. The roselle drink,

with its beautiful red colour forming,

is almost ready.

With its lowered temperature on

the stove, add sugar and salt. Continue

simmering the liquid a bit so that the salt

and sugar melts and produces a wellbalanced


Once done, filter only the liquid. Keep

the pot partly covered with the lid as you

drain. Set aside the rest of the roselle in a

bowl as it is edible.

Let the drink cool down a bit, add ice

cubes, and top the glass with the calyxes.

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