Indonesia is a country known for its rich culture, heritage and traditional drinks that are fresh, unique and filled with health benefits. These drinks usually have a mix of spices with healthy nutrients.
Most of these Indonesian drinks are available all year round which means one should be able to purchase it easily, while some are only available on certain occasions. Here are five popular traditional Indonesian drinks that you must try if you plan on visiting Indonesia:
Cendol is a typical Indonesian drink that is made from rice flour and served with shaved 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 pressed into the shape of grains through a special filter. Initially, natural dyes from pandan leaves were used, but today artificial food dyes are used. It can be given as a dessert or a snack.
2. Bir Pletok:
This late-night drink originated during the Dutch colonial period and the Japanese invasion. Bir Pletok, made with ginger, cardamom, lemongrass, cinnamon, kayu secang and sugar, is served at night to warm the body. The name originated when the Betawi people poured their own beer into a bamboo tube and shook it well with ice cubes. A ‘pletok-pletok’ sound could be heard when shaken, hence the name Bir Pletok. This is another healthy drink that is believed to prevent colds.
Bajigur, a typical drink from the West Java region, has a sweet and salty taste because it is made from coconut milk and palm sugar. The scent has a hint of pandan leaves. This drink, believed to increase appetite, is usually served during leisure time. It tastes best with boiled jam, bananas or peanuts. Ginger, salt and vanilla powder can be added to enhance the taste of this drink, which is enjoyed by children, adults and tourists alike.
4. Es Teler:
Es Teler is a drink containing pieces of fresh avocado, young coconut, jackfruit and diluted coconut milk. This delicious drink is topped with sweetened condensed milk and syrup along with crushed ice or ice cubes. There is another variation of Es Teler which contains grass jelly, kolang-kaling, Pacar Cina, apple pieces, papaya, Sapodilla, melons, bread and jelly.
Sekoteng is a hot drink originating from Central Java. Ingredients such as mung beans, peanuts, pacar cina and bread pieces are mixed with the ginger base. Sekoteng can be seen selling on carts. On one side of the cart is ginger water in a boiling pan, while on the other side are the remaining ingredients. The open area on the cart is used to fold the drink.
Have you tried these traditional Indonesian drinks before? Which one are you most excited to try? Feel free to comment in the comments section down below!