A Complete Guide to Ciu: Indonesian Oftenly Mistaken Legendary Drink

You must be familiar and often hear about ciu. it is often known as intoxicating liquor and is sold at affordable prices. Although it is often seen as a deadly liquor, in fact, it has existed in Indonesia since the days of Dutch colonialism. When used properly, it can even benefit your body. Take a look at the following reading to find out more about ciu.

What is Ciu?

Ciu is known as a local liquor from Indonesia originating from Central Java. Ciu is produced from the fermentation process of liquid cassava which is wasted in the process of making tapai. There are also those who say that it is made from the distillation of molasses or liquid waste which is wasted in the process of making sugar and has been fermented. it contains alcohol and has an intoxicating effect, and is considered an affordable liquor, making it a favorite liquor among young people.

In Ciu producing villages, ciu craftsmen are on average housewives. Meanwhile, the men are tasked with finding raw materials and as direct sellers to several places. The process of making its raw materials is using a kind of distillation or distillation tool, namely a large barrel with a volume of 130 liters is used to mix brown sugar, tape, water and ciu seeds.

History Ciu

Ciu has a long history in Indonesia. Starting from the Dutch colonial era or around the 18th century. Initially known as “Batavia Arrack van Oosten” liquor produces alcohol using raw materials such as fermented rice, molasses, and coconut. Then the traditional Banyumas people make alcohol using cassava as raw material. Until now, the it ismade in the Banyumasan area still maintains its authenticity, is made traditionally, and does not use a mixture of chemicals.

Benefits of Ciu

Initially, ciu was made for the purpose of warming the body. Ciu which contains an alcohol content of 25% to 30% is effective for providing a feeling of warmth to the body. In addition, it can be used as an oil massage. Ciu mixed with spices can be made into a drink for stamina-booster. it is made in Bekonang Village, Central Java can even be used for medical purposes and is often used in cosmetic production.

You can also find out about The Ultimate Guide to Jamu: Indonesia’s Traditional Herbal Medicine

Alcohol Percentage in Ciu

Alcohol percentage in ciu
Source: Shopee

The alcohol content of ciu is quite high when compared to other alcoholic drinks such as beer available in the market. The high alcohol content of ciu occurs because it usually only goes through one distillation process in its manufacture. While alcohol generally has to go through the distillation process 3 times. Related to this, it is often considered as rudimentary alcohol.

Pure Ciu has an alcohol content that varies from 25% to 70%. There are even types that contain up to 90% alcohol after going through two distillations. In comparison, the alcohol content of bottled beer that has been through the three times distillation process is generally only around 4.5 to 8 percent. The high difference in alcohol content makes ciu capable of having an extraordinary intoxicating effect.

The Taste of Ciu

The taste of ciu is generally stinging and gives a warm sensation in the throat, as well as feeling like alcohol in general. It brings a sharp taste to the tongue when you drink it. Not infrequently, when the alcohol level is high, it can feel like a burning throat.

The Controversy of Ciu

Ciu as an alcoholic drink derived from fermentation is unfortunately susceptible to being mixed with a mixture of dangerous substances that should not be consumed, such as ethanol, mosquito repellent, headache medicine, energy drinks, or soda. The purpose of mixing it is so that the effect of the alcohol obtained is stronger. In addition, so that the products produced will be more to be sold at low prices. The color of the ciu oplosan or mixed with dangerous substances will look a little cloudy and diluted, while the real ciu is very clear, like water or vodka.

Effects of Drinking Ciu Excessively

Like other alcoholic drinks, the effects provided by ciu are intoxicating. However, the high alcohol content of ciu, makes it have other effects that are more dangerous, especially when consumed in excess. the harmful effects that may occur are:

1. Brain Disorders

Excessive consumption of ciu can cause brain damage, because in excess, alcohol slows down breathing and heart rate, and drastically decreases body temperature. The more alcohol is consumed, the more it makes the brain shrink from its size it should be. The shrinkage of the brain will cause disruption in language, logical thinking, and problem-solving. In the long run, the effects of brain damage from drinking can be permanent.

2. Liver Disorders

Generally, alcohol will be filtered by the liver immediately after drinking. Because alcohol is filtered more quickly than food waste, it is also absorbed into the blood more quickly. However, consuming excessive alcohol will make the liver more workload to filter out toxins. Initially, alcohol will build up in the liver and further damage the liver. Then it results in chronic liver disease, such as alcoholic cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, liver failure, and even death.

3. Lung Damage

Another effect caused by drinking excessive amounts of ciu is to disrupt the gag reflex system. When you vomit from drinking too much alcohol, you run the risk of choking if the vomit blocks your airway. Moreover, your cough reflex is also inhibited because you are in a semi-conscious state. This then results in some residual vomit that may enter the lungs and create the risk of pneumonia, lung collapse and lung infection.

4. Poisoning

Levels of alcohol in the blood will increase if consumed in excess, and will continue to increase in the few hours afterward. This will have the dangerous effect of consuming ciu, which is poisoning because the liver is unable to process large amounts of alcohol in a short time. Very extreme cases of alcohol poisoning can even make you unconscious, go into a coma, and even lead to death.

The dangerous effects or risks mentioned above are the possibilities that can occur if you consume an excessive amount of ciu, which can be avoided by consuming normal amounts of ciu and not practicing it every day.

Where to Buy Ciu and Its Price

minuman ciu
Source: Tribun Solo

The price of ciu on the market varies because it’s is available in varying levels of alcohol. Another factor affecting the price is its purity. The purer the ciu, the more expensive it will be. Based on the alcohol percentage contained, it is sold in e-commerce is generally priced starting from IDR 25,000 for a 600 ml size. Meanwhile, the 1.5-liter size is sold with prices starting from IDR 45,000.

If you buy it directly in Bekonang Village, Central Java, which is known as the center of ciu production in Indonesia, you can even get it with prices starting from IDR 15,000 per liter.

In this current era, Ciu beverage craftsmen are starting to realize the millennial needs, and innovating to present Ciu with various flavors. There are flavors of apple, lychee, banana to pineapple. Ciu with this flavor variant also has a color that is not clear, and the aroma is not too strong like pure ciu. The taste sensation presented by the ones with flavors is not as warm as the pure one. The price for a liter of ciu with flavors generally ranges from Rp. 20,000 to Rp.

25,000. That’s a complete overview of Indonesian typical Ciu drinks that you need to know. Interested in trying ciu? Make sure to drink it in a safe amount and you’re guaranteed a unique taste of an Indonesian drink!

Read also about Complete Guide to Indonesian Liquors

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