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Bandrek – Hot, Sweet and Spicy Drink Recipe


Bandrek is a traditional drink that is distinguished by it’s hot, sweet and spicy taste. It’s origins are from the highlands in Betawi in western Java. The native people there use it to keep them warm during cold weather periods and at night. Bandrek is also believed to heal cold related illness such as soar throats and fevers. Some of the locals like to add things such as milk, condensed milk, coffee or just sugar to sweeten it more.


  • 1000 ml water
  • 200 grams of palm sugar (substitute with brown sugar)
  • 120 grams of roasted ginger slices (slice with vegetable peeler and roast for 20 mins)
  • 2 cm crushed lemon grass
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick
  • Half a pandan leaf, shred a little and knot it up(also known as screwpine. Skip this ingredient if unavailable)
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp instant coffee if you like
  • 100 ml of milk if you like

How to Cook this Recipe

  1. Set the water on high heat and mix together all the above ingredients except the palm sugar.
  2. Once it starts boiling, add palm sugar and simmer on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Taste it while it’s still hot and add anything that’s lacking. You may want a little more sugar, or perhaps you prefer extra ginger. Continue to try it until it fits your taste buds!
  4. Strain and Serve hot.
  5. Add milk or coffee if you wish to tone down the spicy taste.

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