Know the Drinking Culture

Bali isn’t known for its drinking culture, but if you are looking for a big night, it IS there. You just have to know where to go. For one, know that Ubud is certainly not the place to party like Seminyak or Canggu. There AR bars in Ubud, just know most places are tame with the exception of CP Lounge and 101 which may stay open until in the morning.

The Price for Drinking

The alcohol is heavily taxed by the Muslim community. As a result, drink prices at a restaurant won’t seem that cheap like everything else, but it is still better than what you pay at home. It just won’t be shockingly less. This also means that bottle prices at the liquor store aren’t a steal either. If you remember this, do pick up a bottle at duty-free before you leave the Bali airport. That’s where you will find your best bargain.

Know that your liquor selection too at the nearby bar or restaurant can also be slightly limited. Aside from religious reasons, you are still in an extremely remote place, so once again, not all products make it this far.




Duty-Free with a Possible Limitation

Take advantage of duty-free. The sizes are far bigger coupled with a better bargain than the local liquor stores in Bali. However, know that you may only be able to bring in one bottle. On my last trip in, I was asked if I had any other bottles in my bag before I could purchase my liter of Vodka (there were no smaller sizes). This was at the duty-free in Bali. This tells me that I possibly can’t buy more than one bottle at the DF price. With that said, just in case, exploit your friends! Have each of them bring a bottle in as well! Spread the work!

How Sweet It is

Bali serves up some seriously sweet drinks. Keep that in mind when you order a drink that is usually mid-range sweet. Since their liquor pour (30 ml) is less than the average what’s poured in, say the US (45ml), the drinks will be a bit more juice heavy. I normally ask that they put one of the juices or sweeteners on the side as seen in my Aperol Spritz drink below.

Another approach is to double up on the liquor if the drink is too sweet or if you’re avoiding drinking that much juice. Which leads us to the next part…

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Meet my #thirdfavorite drink: #aperolspritz (after 1. Negroni 2. Bubbles). Today, I treated myself to an #adultbeverage bc it’s #saturdayevening and #imhealed from my flu. I killed it in a matter of 5 days which is faster than the average of 7 days #micdrop 🖐🏽🎤 Could’ve been sooner had I not attempted to leave the house to work everyday #notsosmart When in Bali, know they do make their drinks really sweet! Make sure you adjust it when ordering. See that little cup to the LEFT? That’s the tangerine juice they usually put in the drink. Aperol spritz doesn’t need to be sweeten, that’s why one orders it. #notasweettooth Enjoy your weekend and #drinkresponsibly #drinkstagram #netflixbinger tonight! #atx #htx #bali #balilife #canggulife #atxblogger #thespinningwheelsite

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Happy Hour

The common happy hour offer is 2 for 1. If you know what you’re doing, you can request to double up one drink rather than having the two separate drinks.

Then, once in a while, you’ll see buy 2 get the third for free. That’s quite a commitment if you’re ready for it.




The Long Island Ice Tea

Most drinks on the menu with the same amount of liquor are usually at the same price except for one: the long Island ice tea. It has almost 4x the amount of liquor, but at the same price as the others. If you want a meaningful beverage, scan the menu for this little number. It’s a hidden gem that gets the job done. And, it’s not that sweet.

Don’t Whine About the Wine

For you wine lovers, you’ll have to lower those wine standards significantly. No one is ordering by the grape varietal here. It’s either white, red or rose for most places. Sometimes restaurants do offer an extensive wine list, especially in the tourist-dense or higher price point places. Just know it is not often offered.

Bubbly Drinker?

Sadly, you will not get to enjoy much of that here unless you don’t mind paying the normal price for the bottle for questionable quality. They rarely ever sell it by the glass.

And Arak, the local distilled rice spirit? Don’t Do It. I’ve heard many horror stories of terrible reactions, even deaths due to a bad batch.




Worried about the Ice?

Read up on the Bali water and ice. This is one less thing you have to worry about.

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2 thoughts on “Know the Drinking Culture

  1. I’ve had plenty of Arak. Just make sure it’s pure and from a dude that your local buddies use…not some guy at the crossroads. Then open your mouth and say ahhh. The next day is an absolute shit show though…

    1. That is hilarious and awesome all at the same time! The one time I had Arak, I didn’t know much about it and it was from a friend’s friend’s neighbor at the compound we were in that weekend. Not sure if he qualified in terms of credentials, but thankfully we turned out ok, unless I’m crazier than before and no one is telling me. 🙂

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