Boiled sugarcane and water chestnut is a drink which I make very often because it is easy, healthy and delicious. This soothing drink is good especially when the weather is hot as water chestnut and sugar cane are believed to able to reduce heatiness and help cool the body.
The sugarcane used here is not the same as those used in hawker stalls selling sugarcane juice. That kind of sugar cane (甘蔗) is fatter, and juicer, with light green skin. When we make this drink, we use a type of sugarcane (竹蔗) which is thinner (about 1 inch in diameter) and is coloured dirty green to slightly purplish. It is less juicy but very sweet and can be found in some supermarkets in Singapore. There is another type of sugarcane called the red sugarcane (紅甘蔗) which can be used to boil with water chestnuts as well. This can be bought at the wet markets.
Water chestnut and sugarcane drink (About 4 to 5 glasses)
Two sticks of sugarcane (one stick is about arm length) (竹蔗)
10 water chestnuts
Enough water to cover the ingredients and a little more (I use about 2L)
70 g to 100g of rock sugar to taste (I did not use any sugar as I like the natural sweetness of the sugar cane)
Wash and chop the sugar cane into shorter lengths. Cut each length from top to bottom through the centre into 4 pieces. Wash the water chestnuts and peel off the skin. Smash both the sugar cane sticks and water chestnuts with your chopper or knife.
Bring the water to boil and put in the sugar cane and chestnuts together.
Boil over a low flame for about 30 minutes.
Put in rock sugar to taste then simmer for a further 5-10 minutes till the rock sugar dissolves. Sieve out the sugarcane and water chestnuts.