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Best Eats: Raise a Toast For These Local Spirits

Best Eats: Raise a Toast For These Local Spirits

Auli Cinantya
21 November 2022


From Vodka, Gin, Arak, and Liqueur, these local spirits brands preserve the culture of traditional spirits in a modern way.


In many cultures, alcoholic drinks are more than a Friday night treat. Many people incorporate distilled or fermented beverages into offerings or ceremonies, and we can see this in Indonesia. Spirit production in Indonesia is not a new phenomenon; some parts of Indonesia have been producing traditional spirits since before Indonesian independence.

Spirits such as Arak Bali and Tuak Sumatra have become ingrained and have become the region’s staple beverage. But aside from the known traditional alcoholic drink, we can easily find local brands serving creative spirits with a twist nowadays.

Indonesia's Local Spirits Brand

Alva Vodka

First established in 2020, Alva vodka is a concept born of purity to meet the market’s demand for fine-tasting and versatile vodka. Their symbol of strength and resilience is the Siberian wolf in the winter snow.

Alva Vodka provides two different flavors, the original and the cucumber flavor. Strictly maintaining the process and quality of ingredients to produce Alva Vodka, their selections of vodka can be enjoyed neat or mixed as exciting cocktails.

Anggur Orang Tua

The “Orang Tua” brand is famous for its kolesom wine, a.k.a herbal wine. This Parent’s stamp coliseum wine is often abbreviated as AO. This wine is not known as wine for drunkenness but for medicine. This alcoholic drink can be easily found in almost all beverage and traditional herbal medicine stalls.

Several of their products includes Anggur Putih, Anggur Merah, Anggur Premium, Arak, Anggur Malaga, and a few more.

East Indies Archipelago

East Indies Archipelago Dry Gin, Spice Islands’ second product, quickly gained global recognition, this time by winning a gold medal at the prestigious World Spirit Awards in Austria in 2022. They are made traditionally by redistilling 96% pure grain alcohol with juniper and the finest botanicals from the Indonesian archipelago. Subtle Indonesian flavors have been added to give it a distinct Indonesian flavor.

This spirit’s allure stems from its use of botanicals such as kecombrang (torch ginger flowers), andaliman (also known as Batak pepper), and kemangi, in addition to traditional gin botanicals like juniper and coriander (or lemon basil). This Gin is great in a classic gin and tonic with a Kecombrang petal garnish. Thanks to its authentic distillation method, it also mixes exceptionally well with classic gin cocktails like Negronis and Martinis.


Crafted from locally sourced ingredients from Java and inspired by Japanese Shōchū craftsmanship, Karusotju is Arak reinvented. The single-phase distillation technique enables Shōchū to capture all the good flavors of alcohol fermentation.

Made from yam (sweet potato), the process of making Karusotju starts with cooking the yam, fermenting it, and then distilling it to get the right amount of alcohol. It is then finished with a long aging process similar to the beginnings where arak makers store arak in a traditional clay pot called “jeding” before selling it to customers.

Lamafa Rum

Indonesian sugar cane is well-known for its high quality and serves as the foundation for our molasses-based rum aromas and flavors. We created the heritage blend of NTT region flavors inspired by the brave and honorable whale hunters of NTT who strongly respect their culture and ancestors. A delicious Indonesian rum crafted from the country’s rich culture and exotic ingredients.

Nusantara Cold Brew

Spice Islands Distilling Co introduces Nusantara Cold Brew. This coffee liqueur combines the best coffee beans from traditional spice islands with the best modern cold brewing techniques to create a one-of-a-kind, richly flavored coffee liqueur.

It’s made with hand-selected Arabica beans from the best plantations in Aceh Gayo, Toraja, Java, and Kintamani, resulting in a rich and deep brew with half the sugar content of mass-produced products but ten times the coffee. Nusantara Cold Brew received a bronze award at the 2022 International Wine & Spirits Competition, demonstrating its high quality.

Sababay SABA Grappa Liqueur

SABA Grappa has been awarded the Double Gold award from the oldest, largest, and most recognized spirits competition in the United States, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It is Bali’s first distilled spirit. The name “Saba” is derived from the bay of Saba in Gianyar, which also houses our winery. With Saba, we have one mission: to highlight the quality of Balinese grapes that have been overlooked in the market.

After the wine was made, Grappa was originally made by distilling the skin and pulp of grapes. Saba Grappa, on the other hand, aims to preserve the characteristics of the grape as well as the smoothness of the Grappa; this is why we use fresh-pressed grape juice as their main ingredient, which they distill using their copper alembic. With toast and vanilla undertones, this smooth, floral, and elegant Grappa can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in any of your favorite cocktails.

Voyage Island Gin

Voyage Gin creates harmony in taste and flavor from exotic roots, Balinese pomelo, Maluku pepper, Javanese coriander seeds, Sumatran cardamom, and many more to define the rich and structured island gin, the true expression of the archipelago. 

Voyage Gin selected exotic ingredients ranging from Sabang to Merauke to contribute to the complex yet elegant flavor and aroma. Soft and rounded flavors of juniper and fresh orange peels. Balanced by spicy notes of peppers and cardamom. Long lingering finish of licorice sweetness and slight bitterness of herbal from Fennel seeds.

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