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Unique Bali spirits at bridges | Ubud Bar

Vodka, whisky, tequila, gin, rum, and saké are the spirits people are familiar with—they are most used for cocktail mixing and many signature cocktails have been created around them. But only a few, on the other hand, have heard about Balinese Arak of which the small island is one of the oldest and largest producers in all of Indonesia.

In Bali, Arak is not only drunk privately or at social gatherings but also offered during ceremonies—for example as the required offering for Butha Kala (Evil Spirit). The spirits used are commonly called tetabuhan and Arak, Brem, or Tuak can be used as such. The Balinese believe that by offering tetabuhan along with five-coloured-rice (segehan), Butha Kala will not interfere with humans and cause them to do negative things.

During your visit—or if you are on the island already—you might want to try some of the spirits listed below. But remember to make sure that you buy the labeled products only like the ones we offer in our retail wine shop, do not take any unnecessary chances.

  • Tuak
    Tuak or Balinese sweet wine is an undistilled form of Arak and usually made from sap/nira that is tapped from sugar palm. Most people enjoy plain Tuak at room temperature to warm and refresh the body. The alcohol content of Tuak is quite similar to wine, around 8% to 10%.
  • Brem
    Balinese Brem is produced by fermenting half-cooked black rice. The half-cooked black rice is fermented for about a week and then pressed, resulting in liquid. Balinese Brem is best served chilled. It has a bit higher alcohol content (about 12%).
  • Arak
    Arak is probably the best-liked spirit by the Balinese—it tastes good and can be drunk straight or mixed with other natural ingredients such as honey. Distilled from rice or palm flowers, good Arak can have up to 50% alcohol content.

Are you feeling tempted? Then just visit the DIVINE wine and cocktail bar and sample various Arak-Based cocktails that our bar team has crafted to perfection. You can also discover what foods go well with Arak. And if you want to try your hand at home, just ask the team for the recipe. Cheers!

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Golden Snow Cocktail Recipe

The Golden Snow is one of Putra’s unique cocktail creations, combining liquors with unexpected ingredients such as tea. Prepare your utensils and get ready to introduce the delightful Cocktail Wednesdays atmosphere into your own home.


  • 45 ml Earl Grey tea-infused gin
  • 10 ml Aperol
  • 10 ml peach syrup
  • 10 ml lemongrass juice
  • 15 ml lime juice
  • Dry sparkling wine
  • 1 slice of dehydrated orange wheel (optional)
  • 1 edible flower of your choice (optional)


  • Prepare your shaker and pour in all ingredients except the dry sparkling wine
  • Shake briskly until the mixture is foamy
  • Pour the mixture into a chilled champagne coupe
  • Top it up with dry sparkling wine
  • Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel and edible flower


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The guitar is an orchestra in itself – Ludwig van Beethoven

Since its launch in 2013, DIVINE Friday quickly became a favourite meeting point for Ubudians and visitors alike to kick off the weekend. Along with the weekly changing themed wines, fabulous cocktails and delicious complimentary canapés, Pak Tatang’s guitar music beautifully rounds up the event.

Tatang Nofrizal or Pak Tatang loves classical guitar music and has been playing since his early childhood. The talented musician seems to become one with his instrument and you can literally feel his love for it. He has been playing at our weekly DIVINE Friday event for quite some time now and also has performed at our other events. We had a little chat with the quiet and humble man:

Where do you come from and how did you get started with playing the guitar?

I was born in 1964 in Jakarta and was raised between Jakarta and Sumatera. I was around 11 years old when I started to learn to play guitar. Since then, the instrument and me have not been separated!

What inspires you to keep performing as guitarist?

There is not a particular thing that I can nominate. Playing guitar is what I love and what I am good at.

Who are your favourites?
I like Andi Williams, Julian Breem, Queen and John Denver.

You have been been playing at bridges for quite some time, you must know the menu very well. What is your favourite food?

I love fish dishes and especially bridges’ Barramundi, always a good combination.

If you enjoy acoustic guitar music, make sure to drop by in the DIVINE bar on a Friday, from 6-9pm. Kick back, sip on your favourite drink and enjoy the amazing atmosphere. If you have a favourite song, Pak Tatang will be happy to play it for you, too.

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The art of cocktail mixing

The fine art of cocktail mixing is so much more than just the ingredients used for the drink itself. To make for an overall satisfying cocktail sipping experience, the drink should not only please the palate but also the eye! Even though there is practically no limit to the glassware and equipment that can be used, it is good to know some basics.

We chatted with I Nengah Putra, who is in charge of bridges’ two bars and the whole beverage section, and asked him for his tips for those who would like to venture in to world of cocktail mixing at home, concentrating on the proper tools and glasses only. The drinks themselves, that is a different story, and we will continue sharing our special recipes in our newsletters.

Choosing the right kind of glassware
Mixing the drink with the glassware is important; below we highlight some of the classics. To avoid overfilling, it is recommend to go for bigger sized glasses. The vessel chosen for serving should ideally be made of glass but today’s creative bartenders use other materials as well.

  • Martini glass
    Martini glass is easily recognised by its conical shape and its stem. The stem is essential to keep the non-iced cocktail cold for longer. Although today there are non-stemmed Martini glasses in the market, Putra recommends sticking to the stemmed version andonly uses them for all the Martinis at bridges.
  • Highball and Collins glasses
    Collins glasses and highball glasses are quite similar and can be used interchangeably. Collins glasses tend to be narrower, taller and are cylindrical in shape, whereas highball glasses are larger–up to 10 ounces–and stouter. Our Long Island Ice Tea, Vodka Ginger Lemonade, and Elderflower Cooler are served in this kind of glass. Keep in mind that your glass should be big enough to make sure there is room for ice to keep the drink cool.
  • Old Fashioned glass
    Old Fashioned or Rocks glasses are tumblers, divided into two sizes; the smaller ones hold up to 6-8 ounces and are often used to serve dark spiritslike whiskey. The double Old Fashioned glasses hold 10-12 ounces and are ideal for serving drinks with ice-ball. The glasses are either plain or come with decorative carvings.
  • Shot glass
    These glasses are basic barware and used to serve one liquor only for a taster as well as for measuring. Small shot glass holds 20-30ml
  • Margarita glass
    Margarita glass is recognisable by its wide rim and shape.It always has a stem and comes with a bowl on the top that is similar to the Champagne coupe. It is up to the bartender to decide whether to salt the rim or not…
  • The Champagne glass
    We use tall, elegant Champagne glasses not only to serve champagne but also for our Bellinis, Mimosas and Kir Royales. The wider rimmed Champagne coupe glasses that were popular in the 1950s have started to emerge again, however, because of the shape of the bowl, the bubbles disperse quickly in this glass.
  • Wine glasses
    Today, there are many wine-based cocktails. For these, you can use all types of wine glasses.

In addition to the glasses, you also need some standard tools for creating superb cocktails at home.

  1. Shaker
    There are two basic types of shakers available: A traditional cocktail shaker or the Boston shaker. The former is a metal shaker with a tight fitting top covering the strainer, the latter serves a dual purpose as it comes with a mixing glass. Remember to always shake with the glass side up! Metal (stainless steel) shakers keep the drinks chilled longer, we recommend to invest in a strong and durable one for your home bar.
  2. Strainer
    A cocktail strainer is used not only to remove ice from a mixed drink as it is poured into the serving glass, but also to separate fruits, spices or other solid ingredients. It is a little like a sieve and is placed on top of the glass or shaker in which the beverage was prepared; small holes in the device allow only liquids to pass as the beverage is poured.
  3. Jigger or measurement cup
    These are essential to ensure precise measuring of liquids. Jiggers are typically made of metal and usually have two cones, one on either end. The larger one holds 1-1.5 ounces and the smaller from half an ounce to one ounce.
  4. Bar spoon
    An important tool for cocktail mixing, the bar spoon differs from a normal spoon and has a long shaft that helps to reach the bottom of tall glasses. They typically have a spiral handle and a small bowl.
  5. Muddler
    Muddler is used to mash ingredients like fruit or mint to extract their juices or oils in the bottom of the glass. Common for drinks like Mojitos or Caipirinhas but also for an Old Fashioned and many others. You can also use it for crushing the ice.
  6. Cutting board, pairing knives, zester, measuring spoons or cups
    Use a separate cutting board for all your bartending activities to make sure that no flavours from the kitchen end up in your drinks. We also recommend keeping good knives for all that cutting, slicing and twisting. A zester is not a necessity but is great for grating ingredients like lemon zest, nutmeg or others. Measuring spoons or cups come in handy for measuring the dry ingredients.

Start with the simpler mixes and then continue to the more elaborate creations. Most importantly, have fun when exploring the wide world of cocktails. Our bartenders are always happy to share their tips with you, feel free to ask them when you next visit our DIVINE wine and cocktail bar–be it during the weekly Cocktail Wednesdays or any other day.


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Got some time to spend?

After a delicious lunch at bridges, take an afternoon stroll through Ubud village, or venture a little further out to Ubud’s surround before heading back to your hotel.

Here are our picks of places to explore around our magical little village:

  • Tjampuhan Ridge Walk
    Tjampuhan Ridge Walk, or the locals call it Bukit Cinta, translates as the Love Hill and is an excellent place for a walk, jog, or even a picnic. Set amidst Ubud’s lush jungle and trees, the entrance to this walk is only 100 meters from our restaurant. There is not a lot of shade during the day, so we suggest heading out early morning or visiting later in the day. The sheer beauty of this walk makes it our number one pick.
  • Pura Gunung Lebah
    This is one of the oldest temples in Bali, nestled just on the foothills of Tjampuhan Ridge Walk. Built around the 8th century, the magic of this temple is enhanced by the Wos river flowing just below it. Make sure you wear a sarong and appropriate shirt when you to visit this sacred place.
  • Tegallalang Rice Fields
    Did you know that the Subak system is on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list? The Subak is Bali’s traditional irrigation channels which weave across the island. The scale of the Tegallalang rice terraces makes it unique, and it is a mesmerising to place to visit only 30 minutes away from bridges by car.
  • Ubud Market
    Art pieces, hand-crafted items, cute keychains, unique-patterned Balinese dresses, as well as colourful tropical fruits are all available in Ubud’s largest market. Located just a few minutes from bridges, you can either walk up after a fulfilling lunch or ask our team to assist you to find a taxi to Ubud market.
  • Monkey Forest Ubud
    There are a few sites where you can see monkeys on the island but what makes Ubud’s Monkey Forest famous is the lush green jungle that surrounds an ancient sacred temple. This enchanting place is only about 2.5km away from bridges.
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Unique Bali spirits at bridges | Ubud Bar
Golden Snow Cocktail Recipe
The guitar is an orchestra in itself – Ludwig van Beethoven
The art of cocktail mixing
Got some time to spend?