Beer Pletok, Traditional Beverage to Warm Your Body

bir pletok.

In this cold weather, it’s best for us to drink a beverage that can warm us. If you are bored with regular beverages that you usually drink, you can try this exotic beverage, beer pletok. It’s traditional beverage from Betawi tribe, Jakarta, Indonesia. The beverage will make our throat and body warm. And, to make it better, beer Pletok can be served cold and warm. It even looks like a real beer. However, Pletok doesn’t contain any alcohol. Its brownish red color looks very attractive. Its taste is unique, it is sweet, warm and a bit spicy with aromatic scent.

Reportedly, during Dutch colonial, this beer was made from pepper, ginger, and secang (Caesalpinia sappan L). The word beer (in Indonesia it’s bir) was taken from the word bi’run, which means springs. And, pletok has three meanings: made from bamboo, placed in a teapot and shaken so there was ‘pletok’sound. We can see foams after it is shaken, so it looks like real beer.

bir pletok.
Beer Pletok (

Right now, beer pletok is made from spices like ginger, pandan leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius) and lemongrass, if you want an attractive color, you can add boiled secang water.  The color will be brownish red. It takes about one to two hours.

Beer pletok has various health benefits for instance it is useful to improve blood flow, treat stomach pain and heal  arthritis. Betawi people used to drink this beverage in the night to warm their bodies.

Today, beer pletok is a rare beverage. It is difficult for us to find people who sell this beverage. If you want to taste it, you can try to make it. Or if you happen to visit Jakarta Fair (Pekan Raya Jakarta), you can find this beverage. Or you can find this beverage in gang Aut, Suryakencana Bogor.


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