G20 SUMMIT: BALINESE ARAK PRESENTED AS ARTISANAL LIQUOR TO WORLD LEADERS
By Susan Lewis
Source: Iwak Arumery/Facebook
A local liquor called Balinese Arak has been handed out to world leaders and delegates attending the G20 Summit currently held in the Indonesian island of Bali as souvenirs.
Local Arak producer Iwak Arumery was chosen as supplier to provide the product. Bottles of their Balinese Arak were included in the souvenir packs handed to ministerial level participants of the summit.
Smaller tasting bottles are placed in the minibars of hotels that host summit delegates. Airport duty-free shop is also handing out the liquor in dedicated areas.
Balinese Arak is a traditional drink which has been named an intangible cultural heritage by the Indonesian ministry of culture.
Unlike Araks from Greece or Turkey, Balinese Arak is not made from grapes. It is made mostly from coconut sap, some are made from brown rice,
with alcohol content between 15 to 40 percent.
The tapped sap or brown rice solution is fermented to get an alcoholic liquid which will then be distilled to get a distillate. Spices like ginger, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla are often added to enhance its flavour.
The liquor can be consumed young as a white fiery liquid or aged to become a more complex vintage tipple.
Balinese Arak is traditionally used by locals as a medicinal and ceremonial drink. It has gained popularity as a recreational drink with the advent of tourism in Bali where bartenders often use it in their cocktails.
There had been cases of poisoning caused by bootleg Balinese Arak. The government introduced regulations in 2020 which set the stage for further development of Balinese Arak as a crafty product.
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