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Arak Bali: The Iconic Traditional Drink

Arak Bali

Arak Bali

Arak Bali is an alcoholic beverage derived from the fermentation of various mixed ingredients such as nira, mayang, coconut, sugar cane and various types of grains, for example rice, especially brown rice. In Bali in particular there are 2 types of Arak, made from Nira and coconut. The largest arak producing area of Bali is Karangasem district.

This drink is often used as an offering in Balinese Hindu rituals, commonly called “Arak Tabuh” or “Arak Berem”. Although it contains alcohol, this drink already has legality that has been regulated in Bali Governor Regulation Number 1 of 2020 concerning the Management of Balinese Fermented and/or Distilled Beverages.

The existence of this drink cannot be doubted. In every aspect of Balinese life, Arak Bali has taken root, starting from drinks at gatherings to being a means at traditional / religious ceremonies. Usually, Arak Bali will be used as a companion after a meal which aims to add pleasure after a heavy meal.

Arak Bali
Arak Bali

Arak is made from natural ingredients. Pure Arak Bali can use coconut tree tuak, enau or aren palm trees, and lontar trees. The choice of raw materials for arak usually depends on the natural resources and characteristics of the arak crafters’ village.

The Steps of Production

Different from alcoholic beverages such as Beer and Whiskey which are made from wheat, the staple ingredient in making this Balinese alcoholic beverage is nira obtained from coconut trees. In the process of making Arak Bali, the nira that has been tapped undergoes a fermentation process for a certain period to produce alcohol compounds.

After passing through the fermentation phase, the alcohol content in the nira increases, resulting in changes in flavor and texture. Next, the fermented nira undergoes a distillation process for about 12 hours. During this process, Balinese people usually add spices to the drink to enhance the aroma and flavor. Some spices that are often used in making this alcoholic beverage include ginger, cloves, cinnamon, or vanilla. The manufacturing process of this drink still uses traditional methods, making the resulting flavor very authentic.

Over time, the flavors of Arak Bali evolved according to market tastes and became increasingly popular. This alcoholic beverage is in high demand, by both local Balinese and outsiders. Nowadays, many cafes and bars in Bali’s cities such as Denpasar and Badung, sell Arak with many different flavors. In addition, there are some interesting facts related to Arak Bali, here are some interesting facts that you can know.

Arak Bali Fun Facts

  • Arak Bali: Intangible Cultural Heritage

Arak Bali has been designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage or WBTB by the Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology. This is based on the Decree of the Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia Number 414/P/2022 concerning the Determination of Indonesian Intangible Cultural Heritage 2022.

In addition, the purpose of the Bali Provincial government to designate Arak Bali as WBTB is to protect Arak Bali producers. Therefore, the local government made Bali Governor Regulation Number 1 of 2020 concerning the Management of Balinese Distilled and Fermented Beverages.

  • Benefits of Arak Bali

Arak Bali became a souvenir in the G20 Summit series in August 2022. Quoted from, the Arak Bali craftsman who was selected to be included in the G20 side event belongs to a producer from Denpasar, Ida Ayu Puspa Eny.

In fact, she has been brewing Arak Bali since 2008. Now, her Arak is produced under the name Iwak Arumery. Her arak is guaranteed high quality ingredients with a mixture of various types of fruits as well as pure wine. He admits that his merchandise is BPOM certified, making his arak safe for consumption.

  • No Chemicals Used

Arak Bali is famous as one of Bali’s original traditional drinks, which is made naturally with ingredients that already exist from nature. Although it has a fairly high alcohol content, the fact is that Arak Bali does not use additional alcohol or other chemicals. The main ingredient used is coconut tree tuak.

Because Arak Bali basically uses natural ingredients when making, this traditional drink is also deliciously mixed with other natural ingredients. Ranging from spices, fruits, to even honey, can make this arak even more delicious to drink. Some of the fruits that are mixed include mango, grapefruit, pineapple, and various types of berries.

  • BPOM Safe Certificate

Arak Bali is also one of the traditional drinks that has been officially certified by BPOM. This certification is given to arak that has been given additional spices and fruits, as mentioned above, after a careful process. Clearly, as long as consumption is not excessive, this traditional drink should ideally have no negative impact.

That’s all about alcoholic beverages, which are one of the intangible cultural heritages and iconic drinks of Indonesia’s Island of Gods. In addition to being a legacy from the ancestors, this drink is also one of the souvenirs or souvenirs typical of the Island of the Gods which is in great demand by local and foreign tourists. The role of young people as the next generation is to maintain the existence of Arak Bali so that it always remains in existence.

Types of Arak

Bali, as one of Indonesia’s popular tourist destinations, is known for several traditional types of arak bali, a local distilled alcoholic beverage. Here are some well-known types of arak from Bali:

  • Arak Original

Arak is a traditional rice-based arak made from red rice or black glutinous rice. The production process involves fermenting the rice and then distilling it. Arak Original generally has a high alcohol content and is used in various cultural rituals and religious ceremonies in Bali.

  • Arak Madu (Arak Temulawak)

Arak Madu is a variant of arak blended with honey, spices, and sometimes infused with the root of temulawak. This arak is considered to have a smoother and richer taste, with the sweetness of honey and the aroma of spices.

  • Arak Beras (White Arak)

Arak Beras is a type of arak made from the fermentation of white rice. Distillation is then carried out to increase the alcohol content. This arak has a robust flavor and is often used in various mixed drinks.

  • Coconut Arak

Coconut Arak is made from the fermentation of coconut water, followed by distillation. This beverage possesses a distinctive coconut aroma and flavor, providing a tropical touch to the drinking experience.

  • Black Arak (Arak Putih Cap Tikus)

Black Arak, also known as Arak Putih Cap Tikus (White Arak with a Mouse Label), earned its name due to being commonly sold in bottles labeled “Cap Tikus.” This arak is renowned for its high alcohol content. It is essential to note that while it is popular among tourists, there have been instances of illegal or adulterated products, so consumption should be approached with caution.

It is important to note that in recent years, the Indonesian government has increased regulations regarding the production and sale of arak to ensure quality and consumer safety. Therefore, tourists are advised to purchase arak from trusted shops or authorized producers, or buy directly in traditional arak producing villages. Tourists need to stop by the Best Villa in Bali to get arak banquets or close to the souvenir center for easier reach.

Consumption of arak should also be done wisely and responsibly. As the next generation is obliged to require tradition, there are many ways and ways to preserve this one tradition, from production to marketing, hopefully this traditional Balinese Arak drink will continue to be maintained from generation to generation.

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