Sirup Legen Pujaan Hatiku: A refreshing Indonesian traditional drinks

Scouting for newsworthy happenings in Bali's culinary world often leads me to an unexpected findings, like this traditional beverage made by a home industry in Bali: Sirup Legen cap Pujaan Hatiku.

The name "Legen" itself derived from the Javanese word "legi" which means "sweet." Originally Legen sap is consumed fresh or mixed with lime, and many considers it as power booster due to its high sugar content.

A bottle this little Sirup Legen is enough to make 4-5 glasses with 1:5 or 1:6 ratio with water. It's best served cold.

While the smell of the concentrated syrup is a tad pungent, the end result was quite nice. Diluted with water the pungent aroma is mostly gone, and what's left is a thick coconut water taste with a medium sweetness and a hint of lemony sourness; a significant kolang-kaling taste follows afterward along with a bit of smokiness, and it ends with a moderate gula aren aroma; quite a refreshing and flavorful drink.

Pak Ricky the producer informs that he applies a "cold method" where there are no additional preservatives nor sugar included in the process, and it does not undergo any forced fermentation; except those that might have naturally happened in the raw material itself.

Ideally the syrup can be stored for months below 15 C temperature, because if it's stored above that temperature, the fermentation process would kick in and transform the syrup intu tuak; an alcoholic drinks.

Beside of the syrup, Pak Ricky also sells the super concentrated version which is good as honey substitute.

Originally from Java, "legen" is a palm nectar, a sap of Borassus flabellifer or Palmyra Palm, which locally known as Lontar; the tree that gains its eternal fame due to its leaf being used by the ancient civilizations to write, hence preserves the old wisdom for modern day people.

Sirup Legen at the moment only distributed in Bali, and it can be obtained from or by calling Ricky Wibowo at 082341000700. (byms)