As an Indonesian, I’m pretty proud of what my country has to offer in the culinary department. We are such a huge country that food can be so different from one island to the other. Even for us Indonesians, tasting food from different parts of the country is always something to look forward to.
In this post I’d like to present to you some of my favourite drinks. There is an abundance of delicious drinks in Indonesia, and I hope you get to taste it!
You may know the other name for this drink, Ais Chendol, which is also common in neighbouring countries, Malaysia and Singapore. This drink is made of green “jelly worms” (from rice flour) with coconut milk, melted palm sugar and ice. Although this drink is quite popular in South-East Asia, I find the Indonesian one to be quite special (I’m biased though haha!). The green is meant to be from pandanus leaves. You can also find the jellies in white and pink colour here in Indonesia. In some places they also add pieces of jackfruit to enhance the flavour but since I’m not a fan of them I prefer the traditional one. It’s such a refreshing drink and you get this sweet flavour from the palm sugar and a little salty from the coconut milk. It’s my all time favourite drink.
Klamud stands for “kelapa muda” which means young coconut. Coconut is something we encounter in our daily diet. We use the flesh, the milk and even the shell. The flesh of young coconuts are very “melt in your mouth”. It’s soft and silky. You’ll find many stalls selling coconut water and its flesh nearly everywhere here. Some like to drink it with the shell, along with some ice. Some like to have the flesh all taken out and put in a glass. Some like to have it plain, while others drizzle syrup or melted palm sugar to add some sweetness. I like mine plain without sugar, the perfect drink for a sunny day!
I did a whole post on this tea, but it’s worth another mention just because it’s my favourite kind of tea. It’s basically tea brewed in a clay teapot served in clay teacups. Typically you would add rock sugar in your tea as it compliments the bitterness of the tea.
This is a ginger based drink, usually served hot. It has different kinds of jelly but the star ingredient is the glutinous rice balls filled with peanuts (you may also know this as tangyuan). In Java, you’ll find people selling this drink using simple carts. There are also stalls selling this drink, my favourite one is in Salatiga, Central Java.
If you happen to be in this small town, ask for Wedang Ronde Jago, it is the best in town (if not, the world!). In this stall you can even ask for the unconventional version of it, with a slush of ice on top! I love how this drink is warm and sweet – a great company for those cool rainy nights!
This drink is probably the most popular drink in Yogyakarta. “Uwuh” means trash but it doesn’t mean that this drink is trashy. The story behind this drink is that after cooking, usually people would have many leftover herbs. Instead of throwing those herbs away, they collected it, boiled it with water and this drink was created. The drink itself is red and has many herbs inside like ginger, cloves, kapulaga, cinnamon stick, rock sugar. I took my friend Pamela to taste this drink, and you can read her experience on it.
There are still hundreds more delicious drinks in Indonesia. We are huge on iced drinks, we also love out tea (ever heard of out famous botted tea “Sosro”?) and also coffee. When you come to Indonesia, make sure you give enough attention to the many variants of drinks too. Don’t be afraid to try something unfamiliar, you’ll be surprised in what you discover!
Have you been to Indonesia? What’s your favourite drink?
This week’s theme: Favourite Drinks