Quench your thirst, a survey of Indonesia's tastiest drinks and beverages.
While much attention is often devoted to its cuisine (and rightly so), Indonesia also has a very wide range of drinks that are similarly unique and worth discovering. (I have included Indonesian translations of each drink to help expats when reading menus).
The large choice of tropical fruits in Indonesia and their often year-round availability makes fruit juices a yummy and nutiritious choice. Better places don't add sugar/sweetener or too much ice.
Warm Lime Juice / Jeruk Nipis Hangat
|This seemed an oddity when I first saw on it on the menu - "Why wouldn't it be served cold?" I thought - so I tried it. I was very pleasantly surprised; it was sweet, and the aftertaste felt great on my (then) sore throat. Highly recommended.|
Mango Juice / Jus Mangga
|My personal favourite. Unfortunately, it is one of the few Indonesian fruits that is seasonal, usually only available during the first half of the year.|
Avocado Juice / Jus Alpukat
|This seems one of the more popular fruit juice drinks among locals, if its frequency on menus is any guide. It often comes with some artistically integrated chocolate condensed milk.|
Strawberry Juice / Jus Stroberi
|Another "only in Indonesia" drink that is both tasty and refreshing.|
You might also consider:
Watermelon Juice / Jus Semangka
Melon Juice / Jus Melon
Innumerable roadside stalls/warung serve these drinks, often with small pieces of jelly. (Personally, I quite like the giant/fat straws that come with them, and take them home with me for rapid consumption of other beverages).
The most popular of these is:
|With a myriad of flavours, everyone is bound to find something they like. While some people mix the powder, water and ice by hand, it tastes better if blended by a machine, not shaken (or stirred). Some foreigners may object to having ice in their drink (i.e. they think that maybe the water is dirty), but I have never had any problems in the many provinces where I have drunk one.|
You might also consider:
Es Awan Putih, Es Mega Mendung
|These drinks are rather difficult to translate, particularly the latter. The former ("White Cloud Ice") is a combination of lemonade and condensed milk, creating something similar to an ice cream soda or spider, but with ice instead of ice cream. The second is with Coke, rather than lemonade. I quite like the former as it is tasty and refreshing.|
Ginger Tea / Wedang Jahe, Ginger With Hot Milk / Susu Jahe Panas
|Ginger tea, lime tea and many others are both available at many of the larger supermarkets, but it was only in Bondowoso, East Java that I discovered Ginger With Hot Milk. It is delicious and relaxing, and I find ginger is good for stomach, and the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters once found that ginger may be good for travel sickness.|
And we must include a mention of one of Indonesia's most famous exports:
Civet Coffee / Kopi Luwak
Also known as "cat-poop coffee", local civets eat the coffee berries and ummmm.... egest the beans before they are collected, washed and roasted. Civet coffee goes for anything up to $US500 a pound, and according to Wikipedia is mostly exported to Japan and the USA.
What unique or special Indonesian drinks would you add to the list? Where can you recommend other readers can sample these quality beverages? (In my experience, drinks under Rp5000 at the local warung can be just as tasty as the Rp20 000 + ones in restaurants and cafes.)