Feeling parched? Luckily you won’t need to walk far to find a fresh coconut, juice or beer on the street in Bali. The abundance of fresh fruits means you can order a wide variety of juices – or fruity cocktails if you'd prefer something alcoholic. If you're looking for something with a bit more punch then you should try arak – a local liquor made from fermented rice and coconut palm flowers.
Most coffees and teas are imported from Indonesia and other countries in Asia. You might've heard about one type of local Balinese coffee – kopi luwak – but we generally recommend travellers keep away from it. This type of coffee is harvested from the dung of native catlike civet (luwak) whose diet includes coffee cherries, and unfortunately the popularity of luwak coffee has resulted in abusive farming practices.
What to drink in Bali
Here are some of our favourite beverages to enjoy on your trip to Bali.
1. Young coconut
When you’re lounging on the beach to the soundtrack of waves lapping against the shore, life is pretty sweet, right? The only thing that can make it even sweeter is a young coconut. Coconuts are sold everywhere in Bali from warungs (small family-run shops) and local markets to pop-up beach bars. Sliced open in front of you and pierced with a straw, coconut water doesn’t get fresher than this. After you’ve finished drinking the water, grab a spoon and scoop out the flesh for a tasty snack.
Jamu is a herbal beverage from Java. It has been drunk by people in Indonesia for centuries as a tonic to improve digestive health, stabilise blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and other health benefits. But it's also delicious! There are many variations of jamu, but it’s typically made from natural ingredients like ginger, turmeric, tamarind, honey and lime juice.
3. Teh tarik
Teh tarik is a Southeast Asian-style cuppa that is made with a strong brew of black tea mixed with condensed, making it super sweet and creamy. You can drink it as a hot or cold beverage over ice. It’s a great drink to have with jajan pasar – traditional Indonesian market cakes and sweets.
4. Es cinca
Es cinca is a popular jelly dessert drink in Southeast Asia. It consists of green or black grass jelly (made from platostoma palustre plants), coconut milk, pandan leaves and syrup. The mixture is poured over crushed ice and topped with condensed milk.
Arak is a traditional Balinese liquor made from fermented white rice and coconut palm flowers. It has very high alcohol content and is a bit harsh if you knock back a straight shot, so you might prefer to drink it in a cocktail instead. One of the most famous cocktails is an Arak Attack – arak mixed with orange juice and grenadine syrup. Arak is also used in traditional religious ceremonies to ward off evil spirits.
Chilling on the beach in Bali goes hand in hand with a cold beer. The national lager, Bintang, is light, crisp and clean – as long as you don’t leave it in the sun too long – making it the beer of choice for travellers and locals alike.
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