Tuesday, 17 March 2009

so, how do you like your arak?

Tuesday 17th March 2009

it's st. patrick's day and what better way to celebrate than with a post about alcohol...(what am i insinuating here...that all irish are alcoholics...hell, yeah!) and seeing as i'm in bali...i can ONLY write about THE alcohol to drink here...otherwise known as arak.

so what is it, you might ask...arak is the locally brewed traditional alcohol, colourless and sugarless, brewed from palm sap or rice. it has a 20-50 percent alcohol content...so you know, it doesn't take too long to feel the effects! it can be drank with other liquids and a favourite of mine would be arak madu...arak with honey and lemon juice. it does, however have other purposes beyond the mere intoxication factor. it is used in religious ceremonies such as when it is deliberately spilled on the ground to honour Dewi Sri, the Goddess of Rice.

Arak production originally began in home industries, however there was a crackdown to prevent this in 2004 after some Balinese men died after consuming arak. so now they have licensed sellers. however, the home industries continue as you can see...i mean the licensed sellers are not going to be selling their arak in recycled large aqua bottles! and this is what you can see in the photo. this bottle of arak is from a producer in Karangasem. it is very pure and highly intoxicating. i got it through reliable sources...c'mon i can't reveal my connections!

anyway, the funny thing about this is that i wanna know what genius thought it would be a good idea to put colourless alcohol in a recycled bottle of water? yes, there was someone at my house recently who thought it was a bottle of water and poured out a glass and took a massive gulp of...arak...i did feel bad...heehee...no, really, i did. but it's still there in the water bottle...waiting for the next eejit (as we'd say in ireland) to take a gulp. meanwhile i can still use it for stripping paint off the walls, disinfecting toilets and getting seriously drunk on occasion!

a glass of this stuff is not to be missed while in bali...
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