Natural food, natural colours.
Indonesia, the land of spices, has rich, traditional drinks that are fresh, unique, and healthy. Most of their drinks are a mixture of spices with healthy nutrients. Most Indonesian drinks are available through the year, while some of them are only served during formal occasions or on specific functions. Here are some of the most popular, traditional Indonesian drinks you’re likely to encounter the next time you’re in Indonesia.
Bajigur, a typical drink from the area of West Java, has a sweet and savoury taste as it is made from coconut milk and palm sugar. The scent has a pinch of pandan leaves. This drink, which is believed to increase appetite, is usually served in moments of leisure. It tastes best when consumed with boiled yam, bananas or peanuts. Ginger, salt and vanilla powder can be added to enhance the flavour of this beverage that is relished by kids, adults and tourists alike.
Bandrek is the perfect drink for cold weather. Made from ginger and brown sugar, while pandan leaves and spices such as cinnamon and cloves can be added to increase the richness of the drink.
Sekoteng, is a hot drink, native to central Java. With a ginger base, ingredients such as mung beans, peanuts, pacar cina, and chunks of bread are mixed together. Sekoteng can be seen sold on carts. One side of the cart houses the ginger water in a boiling pan, while the other side holds the rest of the ingredients. The open area on the cart is used to put the drink together.
Wedang, originated from the Javanese language, meaning hot drink. Wedang Jahe is made from ginger, cardamom, palm sugar, cloves, white sugar, black pepper and lemongrass. Pandan leaves are normally added to all Java drinks to enhance the spices in the drink.
Wedang Ronde, another traditional beverage from Java, is ginger water containing ronde (balls). It tastes best when had with roasted beans, Kolang-Kaling (Attap Palm Seeds), and pieces of bread.
This night drink originated during the Dutch Colonial Period and Japanese Invasion. Made from ginger, cardamom, lemongrass, cinnamon, kayu secang and sugar, Bir Pletok is had at night to warm the body. This name came into existence when the Betawi people put their own beer into a bamboo tube and shook it well with ice cubes. While shaking, one would hear a ‘pletok-pletok’ sound, hence the name, Bir Pletok. This is yet another healthy drink which is believed to prevent cold.
Cendol is a typical Indonesian beverage which is made from rice flour, and served with grated ice, liquid palm sugar, and coconut milk. The main ingredient of this drink is rice flour, which is processed in such a way that it is first dyed green, and then printed through a special filter, in the shape of the grains. Initially, natural dyes from pandanus leaves were used, but today artificial food colouring is used. This can be had as a dessert or a snack drink.
Es Teler is a drink containing pieces of fresh avocado, young coconut, jackfruit, and diluted coconut milk. Sweetened condensed milk and syrup are added along with shaved ice or ice cubes to complete this delicious drink. Another variation of Es Teler is available which contains grass jelly, kolang-kaling, Pacar Cina, pieces of apple, papaya, Sapodilla, melons, bread, and jelly.