Part of our time was spent in and around Denpasar, the capital of the island. This is located near the beaches, so tropical flavors abound. Bali is about 14 degrees from the equator, which means hot sun and high humidity. To stay hydrated, supplement everything with water of the bottled variety. Danone Aqua seems to be the most popular and readily available and is served in glass bottles. Since it's about 60 cents per bottle, drink up!
Something with a bit more flavor would be fresh-squeezed juices. Watermelon, pineapple and orange are the most common. Specialty juice blends vary from eatery to eatery. We sampled a cucumber, lime and mint mix that was delicious. Watermelon, guava and mint was a favorite as well.
Warungs are small eateries usually frequented by locals for the quick and easy food. This is where you can sample a variety of drinks as well. At one, we slurped a lime squash, a beverage that had a tart and tangy taste with a slight effervescence, perfect for refreshment on a hot and sticky day and a perfect compliment to barbeque seafood.
Even better are the electrolyte-rich young coconut juices served in their own freshly machete-ed coconut shells. It doesn't get much more tropical and, at only around 15,000 rupiahs ($1.65) at a warung, the price can't be beat.
Now, beverages of the adult variety are more common at venues frequented by tourists. The most popular beer would have to be Bintang, brewed locally. You can easily take home a handful of tank-tops with the logo to support the local market. A light, cold lager such as Bintang or Bali Hai could certainly hit the spot after a long day in the sun, but bare in mind it is still alcoholic and possibly dehydrating.
We even sampled more creative drinks at hotel bars, such as a mango daiquiri and a popcorn margarita. The margarita was served with regular salted and caramel popcorn on the side to compliment the taste and replace the need for salt on the rim.
Further north of the beaches, up in Ubud, we downed some new flavors (to us) of the lassi, an Indian yogurt drink. Specifically we had a lemon and mint lassi and a mango and pineapple lassi at Rendezvous-doux on Jalan Raya Ubud; neither disappointed.
Whatever your plans for touring the tropical island, with this many options, (and heaps more), there is no fear of going thirsty! Cheers!
Our full "Awesome Day on Bali" series:
· Breakfast at Biku
· Late morning at the "Starbucks Temple"
· Noon drinks
· Seafood lunch on Jimbaran Bay
· Afternoon and evening surfer-spotting on Bingin Beach
· Sunset cliff-side
[Photos: Rayme Gorniak for Jaunted]