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Holidaying Under the Influence in Bali

Bali Governor Working to Make Balinese Arak Mainstream Beverage

Jakarta Post reports that Bali Governor Wayan Koster is working to legalize the production and sale of Balinese Arak – a local Balinese alcoholic beverage made by distilling tuak – with the resulting beverage having a strong liquorice taste resembling Ouzo or Pernod.

Tuak can be fermitted from Rice or Palm Juice.

The alcohol by volume of Arak can average between 40-63%.

Quoted by the Jakarta Post, Koster asked before the Balinese House of Representatives: “How is it that we are allowed to imported liquor, but arak is prohibited? What is the logic behind such legislation? I think those who drafted it made a mistake. Therefore, we will legalize arak.”

To start the process leading to legalization, the Bali provincial administration as sent a letter a letter to the Industry Minister seeking the revision of a Presidential Decree in order to legalize Tuak production and consumption. Koster, showing an independent streak, has said failing the issuance of a new Presidential Decree he would issue a Provincial decree legalizing the beverage.  

Before Tuak can be legalized the Provincial administration plans to regulate production to ensure hygienic production methods are put in place and alcohol levels are standardized.

Sold widely as illegal moonshine Tuak has a popular following in Bali that Koster sees will foster a profitable industry and a new aspect of the Island’s culinary culture that could be promoted to the world.

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