Malaysia Food Exploration: Malted Drinks

Old-fashioned people like me sometimes enjoy a nice Horlicks or Ovaltine before bedtime.

In fact I often enjoy them during the day too, as I can’t bring myself to like tea or coffee. My drink taste buds are firmly grounded in childhood, meaning I also don’t enjoy wine (unless used in cooking) or most alcohol (unless buried in a cocktail or smothered with juice or tonic).

not a malted drink

Unlike tea or coffee though, there is inevitably a large amount of milk and sugar used in malted drink preparation (if you want them to taste good!), meaning they are a bit of a calorific headache, but an occasional one doesn’t do much harm.

Try and order one in a UK coffee shop or restaurant though, and you are usually out of luck.

In Malaysia, however, one can find hot or cold/iced Milo (a chocolate malted drink) or Horlicks almost everywhere. Cold is normally a bit pricier than hot, as they have to make it hot then add a load of ice-cubes to cool it down, but food and beverages are incredibly cheap in Malaysia, so that’s no inhibitor.

Some people may balk at the idea of cold Horlicks, but if you view it as a malted milkshake things suddenly sound much more delicious. I have a slight addiction to cartons of Milo in Thailand, but freshly-made iced Milo is particularly fine.

Hong Kong (our destination after Penang) also had Horlicks in abundance, though Milo seemed to have been nudged out in favour of Ovaltine. I’m going to have to find a way to make these drinks more popular in the UK. Does anyone fancy sacrificing their coffee and joining a “Make Mine Malted” campaign?

(I’m afraid there has been some artistic license used when it came to the photo accompanying this post. I failed to get a single photo of the multiple malted drinks I chugged down, and so on returning to Thailand I made up some hot chocolate, cooled it and H took a pic of that. Thus, there is no malt at all in the photographed drink. If you like, you can view it as an artistic statement about the lack of malted drink availability in UK restaurants. Or you can just shake your head at how bad I am at this…)

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