What You Can Drink in Indonesia

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While Indonesia has the most Muslims of any other country in the entire world, there is a long history with alcohol in the country that will has not disappeared despite of the Muslim influence on the culture. For less devout Muslims, there is still an active drinking culture. That said, there are plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that you can enjoy with your Indonesian cuisine in order to immerse better in the culture as well as bring out the best of the flavors within the dishes.

Cold Beverages

Cendol: This is a sweet jelly drink that you will find all over Indonesia. It’s especially delicious on a warm day.

Cincau: Cincau is an odd beverage for people who are not accustomed to it. It is literally grass jelly that is mixed with crushed ice and sugar. But is prevalent all over Indonesia.

Liang teh: Literally translates to mean “sweet tea” Liang teh is a cold sweet iced tea. It is served in many different areas of Indonesia, mostly in areas that have the heaviest Chinese influence. You can also buy this in Indonesia as Tehbotol, meaning bottled ice tea.


Alcoholic Beverages

Bintang beer: Beer drinkers rejoice. This is the local Indonesian brand of beer that is available all throughout Indonesia.

Brem: More common in Bali, Brem is a sweeter alcohol that is made from tape. You can also consume this one in a solid form.

Hot Beverages

Bajigur: More common in West Java, Bajigur is a hot and sweet drink that is made with coconut milk and coconut sugar.

Bandrek: Also known in West Java, this is also a sweet hot drink. Made from coconut sugar and ginger, the drink also contains pieces of a young coconut.

Java coffee: Java is available everywhere as it should be. And you should really try it if you are an avid coffee drinker. It is not a type of coffee that you should miss.

Kopi Luwak: Another kind of coffee drink, this one is made of beans that have been digested by a palm civet. So essentially it is made out of the poop of an Asian viverridae. A little gross, but it is not uncommon to find in Indonesia.

Cup of Joe
Cup of Joe

Sara’ba: This one is more common in South Sulawesi, but it is a hot drink that is made out of palm sugar and ginger. It is sometimes mixed with coconut milk and raw eggs.

Sekoteng: This one is found all over Indonesia, but is more common in places where there is a Chinese heritage. The drink is hot and made from ginger, sugar, and milk, but will also contain peanuts.

Tehpoci: This is the most common hot tea that is served throughout Indonesia. It is a hot tea served typically with a clay teapot. There are larger grounds of crystalized sugar.

Really Indonesian food is going to taste amazing with any kind of beverage, it is just a more authentic experience to try to eat the food with the drinks that the people of Indonesia like to consume. Overall teas and coffees are going to be the most common beverages found, though coffee is not served iced or cold like it is in the United States. Coffee and java should be served hot and has a very distinct and strong flavor. Tea, however, can be served cold, but is much sweeter than the standard ice tea that westerners normally drink. The comparable ice tea would be what is found in the south in the United States which is sweet tea. They are very similar, both cold and both sweet.

I would like to think of myself as a bit of a foodie. I enjoy food. I don’t shy away from trying new things and spreading my wings. I am not going to stop myself from eating something amazing because it may be high in sodium or calories. Like all good things in life, you need to pace yourself and eat everything in moderation.

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