Malaysians like both coffee kopi and tea teh, especially the national drink teh tarik "pulled tea", named after the theatrical 'pulling' motion used to pour it. By default, both will be served hot, sweet and with a dose of condensed milk; request teh o to skip the milk, teh ais for iced milky tea, or teh o ais for iced milkless tea. Drinking with no sugar at all is considered odd, but asking for kurang manis less sugar will ease the pain. However, if you really want no sugar at all, you can try asking for "teh kosong."

Another peculiar local favourite is the kopi tongkat ali ginseng, a mixture of coffee, a local aphrodisiacal root, and ginseng served with condensed milk that's touted as an alternative to viagra and red bull combined and is usually advertised with a picture of a bed broken in half.

Other popular nonalcoholic options include the chocolate drink Milo and lime juice limau. Freshly made fruit juices are also widely available, as well as a wide range of canned drinks some familiar, some less so.

Topically and, perhaps, politically incorrect, is a local drink comprised of white soya milk and black grass jelly cincau called a Michael Jackson and can be ordered at most hawker centre and local roadside cafes "mamak"


Although Malaysia has a Muslim majority, alcohol is available on licensed outlet for the consumptions of its non Muslim citizens & visitors. However, some states notably Kelantan and Terengganu ban alcohol. With the exception of tax-free islands Labuan, Langkawi, Tioman and duty free shops for example in Johor Bahru, prices are comparatively high, with a can of beer costing RM7.50 or more even in supermarkets or 7 elevens. However, in East Malaysia, smuggled liquors are widely available.

In East Malaysia, particularly Sarawak, tuak is a common affair for any celebration or festivals such as Gawai Dayak and Christmas Day. Tuak is made from fermented rice which sometimes sugar, honey or other various condiments are added. It is normally served lukewarm without ice. Visitors can choose from 'strong' flavour of tuak which is normally being fermented for years, or 'mild' flavour which sometimes just being prepared a week or even a day before. In Sabah, cheap liquors are very widely available at most supermarkets and mini markets in the state. Other alcoholic drinks such as beer and whisky are also widely available. On the other hand, Tuak in Kelantan is also can be considered as a liquor since that it contains trace amount of fermented nipah or sap juice. The alcohol content in Kelantan tuak can easily reach 50% after 3 days from the time it was extracted.

Tapai, consists of cassava that is fermented and eaten as a food though the liquid in the bottom can also be drunk.