The Indonesian bar scene is alive and well. While the capital, Jakarta, is known for its vibrant multicultural scene, bars are sparse in less metropolitan areas. Most bars have multiple functions and cater to a diverse clientele. However, dedicated alcohol-only bars are rare. Instead, most bars serve as social hubs and Wi-Fi hotspots. As the evening wears on, these establishments can transform into nightclubs.
In Indonesia, the first step in registering a bar is determining the location of the company’s registered address. Depending on the city, the process can take two to six weeks. In Bali, registration can take as little as five working days. Other cities may take anywhere from two to six weeks. The registered address of the bar must be a property with a building permit.
The Cocktail Club opened in Jakarta in 2021 and is located above a bistro. Its veteran bartending team has created an interesting cocktail menu with local ingredients and unique flavours. Highlights include a Batavia Milk Punch, a rum cocktail made from the distilled sap of palm trees, and cap tikus, a spiced rum made with strawberry and oolong tea mill. The cocktail menu also includes a rum and chocolate liqueur.
While Chartreuse, Peychaud’s Bitters, and Dom Benedictine have not yet officially entered the country, some bar owners have gotten around the problem and are now carrying these spirits. Some bars in Indonesia even have their own versions of the popular spirits.