I’m in deepest, darkest Indonesia. This is the closest I’ve been to the equator. It’s been a long trek through the jungles and paddy fields, in a tropical storm, fighting off snakes and dragons. My squad and I are now stricken by hunger. Without any clean water or KitKats, we search for something to eat. We lean forward and ask our diver what he’d recommend and he takes us to the door of the Trophy, in Sanur, Bali. We descend from the air-conditioned people carrier and into a rather deserted restaurant/bar opposite the Cat and Fiddle Irish bar. The Trophy offers “cold drinks, great music, great time and mixed vegetables”. Looks like the party starts here.
We take a seat and the waitress offers menus all written in English. If this place was in Gran Canaria, it would be the kind of place that has large photos of steak and chips standing by the entrance (and smaller pictures of pizza and chips inside, next to pie and chips and beans and chips)
However, forsaking the Spanish omelette, I decide to go for some proper Indonesian food. Gado Gado. Sounds like the call of the frog that sits in the garden at night and scares the girls, but is actually various veg, with satay sauce and some bits of a peanut-brittle type thing. Quite nice.
I open the drinks menu. An array of spirits, and the usual beers, Bintang, Bali Hai, Heinieken, Bali Cider, . ;,-*. Bali Cider?!
I haven’t seen any apple orchards round these parts, this should be interesting. I wonder what’s in the Bali cider, maybe some exotically fermented dragon fruit, or those weird snakeskin fruit I’ve recently made friends with. The price is only 21,000 IDR. Bargain
It arrives in a small bottle, with a glass with ice. My friend mentions the ice isn’t made with purified water, here. Oh well, best get the shits out of the way at the start of the holiday. It’s a clear cider, in fact, I’d say it’s a white cider, reminiscent of sitting in an Edinburgh student flat with a bottle of Blue Ocean. Well, not really comparable, as I’m sitting in a tropical paradise with an ice-cool cider, but it is a very clear cider.
It’s 4.5% which isn’t bad, but I’m disappointed to read on the bottle that it’s made from imported Australian ‘fruit flavours’. Well, so much for the snakeskin cider. At least it’s made in Denpasar (capital of Bali) so, with a local provenance, let’s see what the cider’s like.
The smell reminds me of getting water up my nose in a swimming pool. It is rather fizzy, and has a very sweet lemonade-like flavour, more like a Swedish perry than a cider. However, it is quite refreshing in this heat. It’s quite alco-popish, pleasant to drink, if you want a soft drink but want to get drunk, too. So, it’s perfect for many tourists.
Considering the number of Australian and European visitors, I wonder if this place would benefit from a real cider. Bali Cider would suit a group of travelling Swedish girls, but it won’t make it to the pub fridges of Somerset.