Arak Bali Cocktail


Arak Bali

Our Philosophy

Temple is a sacred building for Balinese Hindus. This place of worship for Balinese Hindus variably has roofed entrance gate named Candi Kurung and you can see carvings of Karang Bhoma in the form of reliefs with scary faces resembling a giant above the door frame. The Kala Bhoma has long fangs with bulging eyes looks ready to prey on whatever is in front of it. The use of Karang Bhoma in every Candi Kurung leading to temple innermost courtyard is full of philosophical meaning as written in the Bhomantaka narrative.


Philosophical meaning of the Karang Bhoma serves as a means of purification for pilgrims who will come into the temple, and as symbol for eliminating giant traits (Sad Ripu or six inner enemies) when entering the temple, so that there are only the characteristics of daiwi sampad or divine qualities (good/truth).


In the Bhomantaka narrative written that Bhoma is the son of Lord Vishnu with Goddess Prithvi. At that time, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were arguing to find out who is the most powerful between the two gods. Finally, Lord Shiva came and gave advice to find out who was the most powerful between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma by ordering both gods to look for the tip and base of the phallus. Lord Brahma looked for the tip of the phallus to go up by riding a Garuda Bird, while Lord Vishnu transformed into a wild boar (varaha) to go down to the base of the phallus, namely the bowel of the earth.


Well, while digging the bottom of the earth, the wild boar, as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, met the beautiful Goddess Prithvi. The encounter between the Goddess of the Earth (Prithvi) and the God of Rain (Lord Vishnu) who is still in the form of a boar continues into a love story that gives birth to a son with a frightening form named Bhoma.


In this context, the image of Lord Vishnu as a wild boar digging the ground to the bottom of the earth can be interpreted as the character of water or heavy rain which always flows or descends profusely to seep into the earth. If water and earth meet together, then that is where life or fertility occurs. In the real world, the figure of Bhoma as the son of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Prithvi can also be equated with plants or forests (vanaspati) that grow on soil media (earth) and get enough water (rain).


Candi Kurung or Gelung Koi, which is a symbol of Mount Mahameru, always gives blessings of prosperity to the universe and its contents. Candi Kurung or Gelung Kori is a concept where the human mind merges with the divine realm, thus forming kuwung, Kurung, Gelung, Windu, and Sunia.


Meanwhile, the Karang Bhoma ornament above the entrance gate of the Candi Kurung functions as a medium for purification because when entering the temple it means that one’s body is directly purified by Karang Bhoma which means well-being or peace visualized as water (manifestation of Lord Vishnu) which cleanses all the dirt.


In addition, the ‘spooky appearance’ resembling a giant highlighted in the Karang Bhoma ornament is a symbol so that when humans enter a temple, they must be able to suppress or leave the giant traits (sad ripu) existing within humans.


Bhutakala means space and time. Every one of us who looks at Karang Bhoma is expected to realize that he is limited by space and time. Due to very limited time to improve our spiritual life, we are expected to no longer delay doing good things. Balinese arrack is a means as an offering or libation for Bhutakala in Balinese Hindu religious ceremonies.


Time is eternal, nothing is free from the influence of time. For example, the time of death or birth is the most concrete example in this regard. When entering the Candi Kurung in a temple with the Sang Kala Bhoma ornament above, Balinese Hindus realize that they are entering a boundless spiritual realm. Their spiritual purity and faith will be tested by time.


Thus, humans are expected to no longer delay doing good things. Moreover, in the Sarasamusccaya scripture is stated “Iking tang janma wwang, ksanikabhawa ta ya, tan pahi lawan kedapning kilat, durlaba towi, matangyan pongakena ya ri kagawayanning dharma sadhana, sakaranangin manasanang sangsara, swargaphala kunang.”


It means, the birth as a human being is short and quick, such condition is just like a flash of lightning, and it is also very difficult to obtain. Therefore, make the best use of this opportunity to become a human being to perform dharma (truth) which causes the process of birth and death to annihilate, so that human succeeds in reaching heaven.



Balinese Arrack

Balinese arrack is a means of offering (libation) for Bhutakala in Balinese Hindu religious ceremonies. Balinese arrack produced from the fermentation and distillation process of palm wine or coconut sap has developed its raw materials through utilization of local Balinese fruits such as snakefruit of Sibetan and grapefruit. Production of Balinese arrack develops as a business side of farmers or craftsmen in rural areas. At the beginning, the arrack was intended for libation in Balinese Hindu religious ceremonies and fulfillment of the farmers’ consumption to maintain health and fitness after plowing the fields.

Balinese arrack has a strong alcoholic taste, and in the hands of bartenders and mixologists, Balinese arrack has added value. Bartending and mixology are two things related to the ability to concoct and mix the drinks. Basically, mixology is another term for bartending or mixing drinks, and mixologist is another term for a bartender or bar chef.



However, in general, mixology is considered a comprehensive and in-depth study of the art and skill of mixing drinks. More specifically, mixologist refers to the profession involved in the making of cocktails, the creation of new drinks and techniques based on extensive knowledge of all existing ingredients and a deep understanding on the history of alcoholic beverages. Meanwhile, the term bartender refers to individuals who are able to translate and realize these techniques and concepts practically. Basically, a bartender plays a direct role at the bar, serves and interacts with customers, and if necessary, translates customer needs regarding the desired alcoholic drink.

So, mixologists and bartenders need qualified skills and abilities, ranging from insight regarding drink ingredients to the ability to communicate when dealing with guests. The Poetera Desa Wisata Producer Cooperative (Poetera Desa Coop) is the first cooperative in Bali and even Indonesia that has a Retail Sales Point (TPE) business permit or legality for Balinese arrack located in the area of Tanah Lot tourist attraction, Tabanan–Bali.



Balinese Local Wisdom
For Balinese Hinduism, arrack is also a means of religious offering (libation). Similarly, they enjoy arrack in family gathering to establish or maintain friendship and a sense of brotherhood. Farmers in Bali countryside take advantage of arrack as a drink to maintain fitness and health after a day of struggling with water cultivating their crops in the rice fields. Drinking a shot (30 ml) of Balinese arrack per day during the day or evening is meant to warm up the body. Balinese people have local wisdom of drinking arrack as follows which has different names in accordance with the number of shot consumed.


a. 1 shot called Eka Padmasari (healthy) is recommended;
b. 2 shots called Dwi Martani (entertaining the self), the responsibility lies in one’s self;
c. 3 shots called Tri Kawula Busana (self-confidence), the responsibility lies in one’s self;
d. 4 shots called Catur Wanara Rukem (starting to lose self-control) are not recommended;
e. 5 shots called Panca Sura Panggah (overconfidence) are not recommended;
f. 6 shots called Sad Guna Wiweka (starting to get the wrong idea) are not recommended;
g. 7 shots called Sapta Kukila Warsa (shaky and unclear speech) are not recommended;
h. 8 shots called Astha Kacara-cara (speak uncontrollably) are not recommended;
i. 9 shots called Nawa Wagra Lupa (stretching helplessly) are not recommended;
j. 10 shots called Dasa Buta Mati (deadly asleep) are not recommended;


Drink responsibly within the reasonable limits.


Thank you very much. 

Poetera Desa Wisata Producer Cooperative



I Wayan Sumerta