Travel Like a Ciu Maker in Sukoharjo

ciu maker with black cane molasses or tetes | Camera Sony alpha NEX-7 – Travel like a ciu maker at Bekonang village, Sukoharjo district, not far from Solo in Central Java Province.

At the entrance to the village, a rusty, official-looking sign says that this is a home-industry alcohol-producing village. And, the distillers in Bekonang say that their ancestors were making ciu since before the Dutch came there.

After the Diponegoro War, Bekonang was then already a famous producer of ciu.

the first distillation process | Camera Sony alpha NEX-7

2nd ciu distillation process | Camera Sony alpha NEX-7

Ciu (local spirit) also called arjo (for arak Jowo, or Javanese arak) for drinking; is a traditional wine to be gently sipped like sherry; it’s subtle, gentle flavor gives little warning of the warm-hearted kick that follows.

Made from black cane molasses (tetes), yeast, and water. They produce 90-percent alcohol for sale to the pharmaceutical industry, the kretek cigarette industry, and to pharmacies and hospitals.

In 1981, the government acknowledged and legalized Bekonang as a center of alcohol production. To make industrial-strength alcohol using traditional methods, firstly they must make ciu, which is the result of the first distillation process.

3rd distillation process | Camera Sony alpha NEX-7

transformed to industrial-grade alcohol | Camera Sony alpha NEX-7

After two more distillations the ciu is transformed to industrial-grade alcohol, which is sold legally with assistance from the local village cooperative.

Like Arak Bali, Travel Junkie Indonesia think the palatable Bekonang ciu of the old days could become a viable product.

From local brand to global brand, new markets interested in the diversity of cultures appear.

a bottle of ciu | Camera Sony alpha NEX-7

Surely there is a business opportunity in modern factory, branding, and marketing.

Across the archipelago there are many local drinks made from various fruits, vegetables and plants e.g Balok, Sagero, Sopi, Cap Tikus and many others. Their have own special unique flavor.

Caution to try them because of several healthy issues. Good quality make it not to forget to bring as souvenirs. My pleasure to taste all of this dangerous delicious local drink. What about you?

Happy Sustainable Travels!

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