Thai Iced Tea with Lime (Cha Ma-Nao ชามะนาว) is a staple at anything from the lowliest of khao-kaeng (rice-curry) stalls to school cafeterias, to little posh cafés, to sit-down family restaurants. People like it, apparently.
While pairing wine or beer with Thai food can be tricky sometimes, and soda doesn’t always work (try drinking coca-cola with anything spicy that contains lemongrass and/or galangal — yuck), Cha Ma-Nao — ordinary as it may seem — hardly, if ever, fails. The combination of Thai tea and lime juice seems to go with just about any Thai dish.
Thai Iced Tea with Lime (Cha Ma-Nao ชามะนาว)
Makes a little over 1/2 gallon
4 cups room temperature water
4 cups very cold water
1/2 cup Thai tea
1 1/2 cups sugar (more or less depending on your taste)
3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
Speaking pars pro toto, of course, since any given rice-curry stall always offers more than just rice and curries.
 If you’re afraid of using a product that contains artificial food coloring, replace Thai tea with the same amount of black tea and 2-3 pieces of star anise. It won’t taste the same, of course, but — I promise you — it will still be delicious.