DENPASAR, Bali (BPN) – Balinese traditional liquor, Arak, could go international if it is managed more professionally. According to Deputy Chairman of ABI (Indonesia Bartender Association) Bali, Ida Bagus Gde Cendra Setiawan, the island’s locally produced palm spirit of arak is able to compete with other similar liquor from other countries.
“If Arak can be managed in more modern ways to produce a standardized product, it will certainly be able to compete,” said Ida Bagus Gde Cendra Setiawan said in a webinar themed Workshop “Arak” Bali Local Spirit, held by Denpasar Tourism Office and Indonesia Food and Beverage Executive Association (IFBEC) Bali, in Cellador Hatten Wines, Sanur, on Thursday.
He cited Sake (Japan) and Soju (South Korea) as examples, which already known and marketed worldwide. Meanwhile, many people still underestimate Arak because it is still considered a local product.
Cendra Setiawan said that one of the most important things that need to be done right now is how to produce Arak Bali properly while still paying attention to its quality.
“Arak is not difficult to be marketed, as long as the quality and packaging are well-maintained. And now Arak has the space to develop, I hope all parties can use this opportunity so that Arak can go international,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Founder and Owner of Hatten Wines, Ida Bagus Rai Budarsa, said that one of the obstacles to lifting Arak’s as a product is people’s perception towards Arak that’s still low.
“Arak has a huge potency to be developed, but the perception towards arak is still low. This perception needs to be increased by maintaining the quality, monitoring of illegal arak. Arak will never be as big as expected if there are still a lot of people producing it in a bad way,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Denpasar Tourism Office, Dezire Mulyani, said that the webinar is in an effort to reintroduce Arak so that it can compete with similar drinks around the world.
“I hope this event can open up more insights to all the participants so they can produce quality products. The purpose of this activity is to arouse the passion of traditional Balinese drinks, especially fermented and distilled drinks, and promote traditional spirit to be able to compete globally and promote local products to domestic and foreign tourists,” she said.