Fancy a nice cold glass of Pepto-Bismol? That's exactly what air bandung, a liquid concoction of rose syrup and evaporated milk, looks like. No one seems to know the true origins of the sweet Malaysian drink, the hot-pink coloring of which also conjures Barbie and vintage Cadillacs. Some say it hails from Bandung, an Indonesian city in West Java, but like Java noodles, another Malaysian specialty, you'll be hard-pressed to find it there (though soda gembira, another rose-flavored drink, influenced by Indian and Arab traders, is popular in Indonesia). Whatever. Malaysian epicures are bad taxonomists, but they're great mixologists. Who needs antacids when there's a drink that tastes like bubble gum to cut that fiery laksa?
By Tim Kindseth