Es Jeruk: Iced Orange Juice (Vegan)

One of the most common drinks served in Indonesian eateries. It’s basically orange juice, water, and sugar — refreshingly sweet and citrusy.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

I believe anyone who has ever visited Indonesia knows this drink. Es jeruk, or iced orange juice, is one of the staple drinks (the other being es teh or iced tea) in eateries in Indonesia. The drink is ubiquitous. It’s available everywhere, from a simple street food vendor, to Padang chain restaurants, to more upscale dining places.

In general, the drink can be served hot or cold. Most times, a large amount of sugar is added, making it unbearably sweet. If you are not a fan of overly sweet drinks, it’s important to emphasize to the waiter to give the sugar on the side or request no sugar at all. Asking to add just a little bit of sugar is useless – they will put exactly the same generic amount as usual. If it’s too late to ask, the other trick is not to stir the drink, as the sugar usually sits at the bottom of the glass. 

Es jeruk has become an integral part of dining in Indonesia. The drink is refreshingly sweet and sour with a citrus flavour and aroma. A perfect match for most Indonesian food items. It’s a great drink to wash down any spicy and oily food.

Interestingly, es jeruk is rarely made at home. I guess it’s too troublesome to go to the shop to buy the oranges, then prepare everything ourselves when it’s much easier (and cheaper) to go to some warungs (roadside stalls) and buy it ready-to-drink. 

But, it’s also fun to make the drink at home. It’s always nice to have a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice with just the right amount of sugar. It’s very simple work! All we need to do is to squeeze the orange, add some sugar (optional). Then add water – cold water and ice for the chilled version, and warm water for the warm/hot version. I love piping hot orange juice, but warm water is better, as it will not kill the vitamin C.

Jeruk peras, or “squeezed orange”, is how we refer to the type of orange used for making es jeruk. The oranges used here are of a different variety from the sliced fruit we eat. One of the most popular types of jeruk peras is a local variety such as jeruk Pontianak (Citrus Nobilis var Microcarpa), which is smaller than common oranges. It has thin and shiny skin, and the flavour is usually sweet, but it can be sour or in between too. Es jeruk made from jeruk Pontianak has a hint of tartness. Jeruk Pontianak can be hard to find outside Indonesia, and as a substitute, we can use calamansi, though it has different flavour. 

Es jeruk is also great mixed with other ingredients such as chia seeds or young coconuts for extra crunch, flavour and nutrients.

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Es Jeruk: Iced Orange Juice (Vegan)

Es Jeruk: Iced Orange Juice (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Squeezing
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Low Fat


Es jeruk, or iced orange juice, is one of the most common drinks served in Indonesian eateries all over the country. It’s basically orange juice, water, and sugar, and is refreshingly sweet and citrusy.


  • 4 medium-sized fresh oranges
  • Sugar to taste, dilute it with a few tbsp hot water, cool off
  • Drinking water


  1. Squeeze the oranges to obtain the juice.
  2. Put the juice in a jug, add some sugar syrup and water, and stir well.
  3. Pour the drink into two individual glasses.
  4. Add some ice cubes.
  5. Serve immediately.

    Serve es jeruk


  • To make a hot orange drink, instead of cold water, pour hot water.
  • Always test the level of sweetness, before adding any sugar.

Keywords: Quick and easy, healthy, vegan

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