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how to make a rusa drink

Rusa is a traditional Indonesian herbal drink made with a combination of spices, herbs, and sweeteners. It is known for its warming and aromatic flavors. Here’s a simple recipe to make a basic Rusa drink:


  • 4 cups of water
  • 3-4 pandan leaves (if available)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, smashed and cut into smaller pieces
  • 4-6 cloves
  • 4-6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1-2 slices of fresh galangal (optional)
  • 1-2 pandanus leaves (optional)
  • 1-2 star anise (optional)
  • Sugar or honey to taste
  • Condensed milk or coconut milk (optional)
  • Slices of lime or lemon for garnish


  1. Prepare the Spices and Herbs:
    • Gather all the spices and herbs, including pandan leaves, lemongrass, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ginger, galangal, pandanus leaves, and star anise.
  2. Boil the Water:
    • In a large saucepan, bring the 4 cups of water to a boil.
  3. Add the Spices and Herbs:
    • Once the water is boiling, add all the spices and herbs to the saucepan. Stir to combine.
  4. Simmer and Infuse:
    • Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 15-20 minutes. This allows the flavors of the spices and herbs to infuse into the water.
  5. Sweeten the Rusa:
    • After simmering, sweeten the Rusa to taste with sugar or honey. Start with about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar or honey and adjust according to your preference. Stir well to dissolve.
  6. Strain the Rusa:
    • Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the Rusa into serving cups or glasses to remove the solid spices and herbs. You can use a fine-mesh sieve or a cloth for straining.
  7. Optional Additions:
    • Some variations of Rusa include condensed milk or coconut milk for creaminess. You can add a splash of either of these if desired.
  8. Garnish and Serve:
    • Garnish each cup or glass with a slice of lime or lemon. Serve your Rusa drink hot.

Rusa is known for its warm and soothing qualities, making it a popular choice for cool or rainy days. The combination of spices and herbs gives it a unique and aromatic flavor profile. Feel free to adjust the ingredients and sweetness to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy your homemade Rusa drink!