Rakija is a drink similar to brandy and vodka, made by distilling fermented fruits, nuts, or plants. It usually contains 40% alcohol, but the homemade stuff can reach 50-65% alcohol. Rakija is said to get better with age.
- 1 What alcohol is Croatia famous for?
- 2 Is rakija the same as moonshine?
- 3 What is a traditional Croatian digestif?
- 4 Is grappa a moonshine?
- 5 What is the spirit of Croatia?
- 6 What is Croatian brandy called?
What alcohol is Croatia famous for?
Eating and Drinking in Croatia | The Turquoise Collection Croatia straddles two distinct culinary cultures, resulting in a varied and distinctive choice of dishes constructed from wonderfully fresh ingredients. Both the seafood dishes of the Mediterranean and the schnitzel and strudel dishes of central Europe come together to offer some excellent menus and interesting flavours.
A new breed of chefs are bringing an adventurous and creative approach to Croatian cuisine, and opening some very cool eateries in which to sample it. There are excellent wines produced in Croatia, some making their mark on the world stage and winning awards, as well as a good choice of fierce spirits.
Croatians attach more importance to lunch than dinner, often eating relatively late in the afternoon. As a result, many eating establishments offer brunch options between 10.30 and midday. Brunch options tend to be smaller portions of the fare served for lunch, with the addition of specials from time to time.
- Generally speaking, there are 3 types of establishments in which to find a good meal in Croatia.
- A Restoran (Croatian for restaurant) and a Gostina, which is also a restaurant but often with more basic fare, a smaller, less expensive choice and more “rough and ready” surroundings.
- Lastly a Konoba (pub or tavern) often serves hearty, simple, home style local dishes and will likely be frequented by locals enjoying some liquid refreshment with their food.
Pizza is very popular in Croatia and most often are prepared as Italian style thin crust with a wide choice of toppings, many of which are inspired by the region – in particular, seafood pizzas. Sharing food and drink is very much part of Croatian culture, and with such a great climate for long lazy alfresco lunches, and wonderful ingredients, both from the land and the sea, it is easy to understand why. Believe it or not, eating out for breakfast is not part of the Croatian culture (the most important meal is lunch) so it is not served in that many outlets. Where it is, it will ususally consist of; bread, local ham, cheese, some butter and jam. Coffee is served as a strong black espresso and usually good quality.
|Octopus Salad ‘salata od hobotnice’|
img class=’aligncenter wp-image-189362 size-full’ src=’https://www.beerdelux.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/kaefoshakoxycega.jpg’ alt=’What Is Moonshine Made In Croatia’ /> Octopus Salad is loved by the Croatians on the Dalmatian Coast and is usually enjoyed as a starter, side dish or light meal. Restaurants vary some ingredients in the recipe, but the simple version comprises of octopus, onion, tomato, olive oil, and lemon juice. it is made using medium to large octopus and should be tender, not chewy.
|Black Risotto ‘crni rižot’|
img class=’aligncenter wp-image-189362 size-full’ src=’https://www.beerdelux.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/shukylehaesaehaehipyse.jpg’ alt=’What Is Moonshine Made In Croatia’ /> Black Risotto is a very popular seafood rice dish using cuttlefish or sometimes squid and can be found on most menus along the Dalmation coast. K nown as crni rižot in Croatian, this dish has an intense seafood flavour and smell and is dyed black by breaking the cuttlefishes’ ink sacs onto the rice near the end of the cooking process
Strukli is a filled pastry dish stuffed with cottage cheese and sour cream that can be prepared by baking or boiling.Common in Zagreb and the Hrvatsko Zagorje region, štrukli are large parcels of dough filled with cottage cheese, while pečeni (baked) štrukli the dough and cheese are baked in an earthenware dish, resulting in a cross between cheese soufflé and lasagne. Modern interpretations of this traditional dish can also be found made with truffles, or sweet variations with cheese and blueberries.
|Pašticada (slow cooked beef)|
img class=’aligncenter wp-image-189362 size-full’ src=’https://www.beerdelux.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/kybamamunaluxae.jpg’ alt=’What Is Moonshine Made In Croatia’ /> Pašticada is a traditional Dalmatian dish of slow-cooked beef prepared in a rich red sweet and sour plum sauce. usually served with gnocchi or homemade pasta, the dish can take a long time to prepare, the beef is marinated for up to 2 days in venegar, red wine and herbs, then braised slowly with vegetables for 4 to 6 hours. Brodet is a spectacular ‘one pot’ Croatian seafood stew from the Dalmatian Coast. Sometimes called Brudet or brodeto, its is made using several types of fish, and the ingredients are layered but not stirred to keep the delicate fillets intact. Usually served with polenta to soak up the delicous flavours. Palačinke is a thin crêpe-like variety of pancake. There are many, many recipes which work well and the beauty of the palačinke is the endless options of fillings which go well with them, although usually served with jam, chocolate sauce or walnuts. Rožada or Rozada is a delicious Croatian caramel custard pudding from the Dubrovnik region. Similar to flan and crème brûlée with a nice hint of lemon it can be found on most menus and is also good with a coffee. Spirits Rakija or Rakia (a type of fruit brandy) is considered the national drink of Croatia.
- In the Istrian and Dalmatian regions of Croatia, rakija tends to be home-made exclusively from grapes, where the drink is also known locally as trapa or grappa (the latter name also being used in Italy).
- Normally, rakija is colorless, unless herbs or other ingredients are added,
- The alcohol content of rakija (pronounced rah-key-ya) is normally 40% ABV, but real home-produced rakija can be stronger and found in many variations and flavours.
Foreign brandies and whiskies are available pretty much everywhere, however it would be rare to not encounter a Croatian spirit during your stay, – restaurants will often serve you up a little aperitif prior to your meal. you’ll most likely encounter ‘ sljivovica’ (plum brandy), ‘ travarica’ (herbal brandy), ‘ kruskovac’ (pear brandy), ‘ orahovac’ (walnut brandy) or ‘ lozovaca’ (grape brandy).
- Maraskino/maraschino is also made in Croatia, in the Zadar region.
- Other local aperitifs you should try are ‘ pelinkovac’ (a juniper-based spirit similar to Jägermeister), ‘ borovnica’ (blueberry liqueur) and ‘ biska’ ( a mistletoe-flavoured spirit from Istria.
- Wine Vineyards were first introduced to the Croatian coast in the 5th century BC by the Greek settlers and wine production has flourished ever since.
During the Homeland War, many wineries and vineyards were destroyed but the winemaking industry has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Croatia now produces up to 700 wines, some of excellent quality. Purists may scoff, but Croatian’s have the habit of diluting their wine.
In the south, they call it ‘bevanda’ (white or red wine mixed with plain water) and in the north, they call it ‘ gemist’ (white wine and fizzy mineral water), While there are plenty of decent-quality Chardonnays, Cabernets and Merlots in Croatia, it’s really the indigenous or near-indigenous grape varieties that are worth exploring.
Labeled according to their origin, there are 300+ official wine regions divided generally into coastal and interior wines. The majority (67%) of wine is white and produced in the interior while 32% is red and produced along the coast. Rose is relatively rare.
- Some of the most famous Croatian wines include the red ‘Plavac Mali’ from the Peljesac Peninsula and the whites ‘Posip’ (Korcula/Peljesac Peninsula); ‘Grk’ (Korcula); ‘ Malvazija’ (Istria); and ‘Grasevina’ (Croatian interior).
- ‘Prosek’ is a sweet dessert wine, most common in Dalmatia.
- Beer Ožujsko (also known as Žuja) is the most popular beer in Croatia, with 10 bottles being consumed every second.
Ožujsko has a golden color, is refreshing, has smooth taste & fine bitter flavor. It is best served at 5 °C with rich and compact foam. It has won numerous gold medals and awards for its quality. Most Croatian beer is of the light lager variety. Best known are Karlovacko (brewed in Karlovac – hence the name), Ozujsko and Pan,
Is rakija the same as moonshine?
North Macedonia – In North Macedonia moonshine is not only legal but also the liquor of choice, where it is called ј (rakija). Typically, the moonshine is made out of grapes, which are the leftovers from the production of wine, but also made from other fruits.
What is Croatian homemade liquor?
Rakija is a drink similar to brandy and vodka, made by distilling fermented fruits, nuts, or plants. It usually contains 40% alcohol, but the homemade stuff can reach 50-65% alcohol. Rakija is said to get better with age. The original rakija is colorless and contains no sugar.
What is a traditional Croatian digestif?
Pelinkovac is traditionally enjoyed as an aperitif or a digestif, usually served neat or on the rocks, often with a lemon slice.
Is grappa a moonshine?
I talian Grappa is taken like French Brandy or Spanish Sherry, but remains very much in their shadow as it is considered by many to be nothing more than branded moonshine. Italian restaurants all over the world serve this spirit made from leftovers, the vinaccia from wine production.
- This in itself doesn’t mean it has to be rubbish; many of the nutrients and flavours used in wine are found in the skin of the grape.
- Historically, as a ‘poor man’s drink’, the belief has long been held that many other ‘rogue’ items have sneaked into the process of making Grappa (see technical stuff for more on this).
Having had a number of bad experiences with Grappa myself, I decided to travel to the roots of one of the first distilleries in Percoto, Udine, in the north-east of Italy. I wanted to understand why this horrid drink was popular in Italy and how much of a moonshine it actually was. So what’s the story? The first thing you need to understand about Grappa is that unlike almost any other mainstream spirit produced around the world, Grappa remains unregulated. This basically means that any old crap from the wine production can be added to it and it can still be called ‘Grappa’.
This is no doubt one of the biggest single contributory factors to its mixed reputation worldwide. During my background research I had discovered that there were a few vocal opponents against this, who believed Grappa was a high-quality spirit, and were constantly pushing for a standardised approach and proper quality control for all Grappas.
None more so than the Nonino family, so I was delighted when I was first greeted by Antonella on my arrival. She is one of the daughters of Giannola and Benito Nonino, the Italian power couple who have repeatedly challenged the whole Grappa industry and are still producing what they believe to be top-quality Grappa straight from their own backyard.
The Nonino brand has been in the same family since the very beginning, 1897. So it was special that someone as passionate and knowledgeable as Antonella took me around the distillery and explained the whole process of production. She explained how they re-established the distillery in Ronchi di Percoto in 2004, where Orazio Nonino first started the production of Nonino Grappa as a drink for his friends and neighbours around the area.
I was surprised to find out just how high the standards of Nonino Grappa production were – as good as other regulated distilleries I’ve been to around the world. There was clearly more to this moonshine issue than meets the eye!! Grappa production should take place only a few months a year when the pomace is freshly collected from the winemakers, and ideally within 24 to 48 hours after the wine has been drawn off. Antonella stressed this point repeatedly; anything after 48 hours and the skins will already begin to ferment and turn – Grappa has a very small window before it will pick up the bitterness and overpowering taste I had found when tasting many Grappas in the past.
- At Nonino, they do NOT use the stalks.
- Indeed, they had an elaborate-looking machine for the specific purpose of separating just the skin, again making me wonder about what I had been drinking in the past! Nonino is fanatical about the process and the production and only uses artisanal methods, respecting traditions by keeping on top of each stage until the bottling takes place.
There is no room for short cuts, with Antonella stressing that even if it’s a bad year for the grape, Nonino would rather produce less than make bad Grappa and damage what they believe is a quality product. Unfortunately, not all Grappa producers feel the same.
- Girl power When Giannola first took part in the production of Grappa, she realised people were embarrassed to serve Grappa at dinner parties as it was still considered a poor man’s drink.
- She was proud of her husband’s product and wanted to improve it to make it a real competitor with other spirits.
- In 1973 she had an idea to produce only single-variety Grappa to enhance the flavour of the drink.
They produced the first monovitigno from the picolit grape and it was such a success it has since changed the method of producing Grappa in Italy and foreign distilleries. The Noninos collect the vinaccia from different wineries to make Grappa from merlot, prosecco, muscat, chardonnay and many other grape varieties.
They purchased their own plot to grow picolit, which also helped Giannola to come up with another idea. In 1984 they tried to distil the whole picolit grape and created another success in Grape Distillate UE, Even if both monovitigno and Grape Distillate UE have become very popular in the Grappa market, the most sold Nonino product has always been Grappa Tradizione Nonino 41°.
It is the original mix of vinaccia from both white and red grapes and still accounts for 60% of total sales worldwide. Today the company is run by Giannola and Benito, who are both still working full time – Giannola always on the frontline, leaving husband Benito working hard on the production side. Photo by Oliviero Toscani, 1989 The moment of truth – how does it taste? The final part of the day with Antonella was to finally taste the Nonino Grappa the family is so proud of. When entering the beautiful tasting rooms I was hoping the Grappa would not taste like any other poor product that is out there, or else my exit from the distillery might have been uncomfortable considering Antonella had to drive me back afterwards.
To my relief, I could not have been more wrong, as the Nonino Grappa was absolutely fantastic. Each variety I tried during the tasting was much better than I expected. They’ve got so many products there is definitely something for everyone, although I am slightly concerned perhaps they spend too much time creating new exciting varieties and miss focusing on marketing the great core product range.
Nonino products are suitable for many occasions, not just for serving after dinner in a restaurant. They really should rethink their marketing to reach the right customers and expand their markets. Just a thought. After tasting five different products I was taken into another room for some cocktails and canapés.
I had the honour of meeting both Benito and Elisabetta as they joined us for more drinks. To finish off the day we were served a five-course lunch with matching Grappas. Overall, I must have tried at least 15 different products (sipping of course!). They had cocktails made with Grappa, even the good old G&T got new meaning through replacing Gin with Grappa! Such an interesting day in the company of lovely, knowledgeable and passionate people.
Benito must be proud of the life he has created for his family. It is unfortunate Italy does not have set standards for production of Grappa and therefore most of the Grappa served for tourists in Italian restaurants is in fact anything but distilled from fresh product but is made with large distillation machinery rather than the individual care and control of the distiller.
Nonino, along with a few other distilleries, have lobbied for clear EU regulations for Italian Grappa production, but as they do not receive the support of the bulk of the market, nothing has happened and it remains unregulated. None of the others want to make changes as the current way allows fast and low-cost production, where the quantity far outweighs the quality.
Even more frustrating is the bottlers who purchase full-proof Grappa and dilute it with water, which allows them, by law, to claim that they have ‘produced and bottled’ it. Basically, in Italy there is simply no way of telling a good Grappa by reading the label.
The same can be said about the production method; the bottle may say artisanal production, but as, under Italian law, there is no description of what actually qualifies as an artisanal method, you just can’t trust that the information given is correct. How to drink it Grappa is a very versatile spirit and there are a number of ways to enjoy it; It is recommended to keep Grappa chilled but never in the freezer.
On a hot day it will be a refreshing drink on its own or mix Grappa Nonino 43° with tonic, fresh lemon and plenty of ice to create an alternative G&T. There are also several cocktail recipes for different Nonino products, check recipes to find out my favourites. Sum and substance There are clearly great Grappas (such as Nonino, Bocchino, Berta or Bepi Tosolini ) out there, and in some ways, Giannola has succeeded in placing Grappa on the same level as other spirits. However, it is down to us spirit drinkers or bartenders to make the effort and carry out the appropriate research before choosing the Grappa we like to drink or serve.
Did you know the logo of Nonino is a medieval symbol for alcohol?
Do other countries make moonshine?
Moonshine is not just an American thing – R Street Institute Growing up in this great country of ours, I got the impression that moonshine was a peculiarly American phenomenon. The Dukes of Hazzard television show (1979-1985) and films like served up a simple story.
- Moonshiners lived in America’s mountains and back roads.
- They are honest country folk who make “likker” from cherished family recipes.
- Moonshiners, this story goes, are poor people whose days are spent trying to outfox the police so as to carry on the traditions of their forebears and earn a living by selling white lightning to their friends and neighbors, and college students looking for a thrill.
Judging by the many on moonshine that have been written in recent years, this “moonshine as an American thing” notion is pretty widespread. Which is understandable, because there are and have been a lot of overall-wearing, tobacco-spitting moonshiners.
- But there is way more to moonshine than mason jars and fiddle music.
- We got a distressing reminder of that truth this past week, when the U.S.
- State Department about toxic liquor being peddled in Mexico.
- One of its victims was a 20-year-old woman from Wisconsin.
- Moonshine has a global history, one that goes back 600 years, and probably even further.
Most certainly, moonshine is not an American invention. Moonshine is most accurately defined as a “distilled spirit made illegally.” Like any liquor, moonshine is made by first producing a fermented beverage (a beer or wine). Thereafter, the distiller heats the beer or wine, captures the alcoholic vapors, and then condenses them into spirit.
- Moonshine was born the moment that government declared that individuals needed a license to produce it.
- That first happened in the 1400s in Europe, although it is entirely possible the date is earlier.
- Government rules on strong drink date to the reign of Hammurabi, and the process of distillation was known in the days of Aristotle.
Contrary to popular myth, the word “moonshine” is not an American term used because moonshine was made under the light of the moon. The term “moonshine” hails from the British Isles. Initially, that is, starting in the 1400s, moonshine referred to the light of the moon.
- Over time, the term evolved to mean illusory or deceptive.
- By the 1780s, moonshine took on alcoholic content.
- Lexicographer Francis Grose, who prowled the seedier parts of London in search for slang, heard moonshine used to mean unlicensed booze.
- His Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785) includes for moonshine that captures both its earliest and emergent meaning.
Moonshine is: “a trifle, nothing. The white brandy smuggled on the coasts of Kent and Sussex, are also called moonshine.” And contrary to the often-peddled proposition that moonshine is synonymous with corn liquor, moonshine has been made from just about every foodstuff imaginable, and nearly every nation has its own version of moonshine.
Enya has Changaa’, made from sorghum and corn. Uganda has Waragi, AKA war gin, made from bananas. Myanmar has toddy made from palm tree sap, and Mongolia has Arkhi, a horse-milk-based distilled spirit. In prisons, moonshine has been made from ketchup packets, fruit juices and other things I shall not mention.
These days, all sorts of folks moonshine. Hobbyists and foodies in search of “authentic drink” and learn how to distill from, Some of these newbies eventually open licit craft distilleries. Some indigenous cultures still produce their own spirits for use in ceremonies.
- All too often, unfortunately, moonshining is a criminal racket that imperils public health.
- Rarely a week goes by without the media abroad on people getting sick, going blind or dying from toxic moonshine.
- Criminals, unsurprisingly, have no reservations about swindling customers and peddling poisonous methyl alcohol (commonly called wood alcohol) and other toxic chemicals.
A century ago, many Western nations enacted prohibition in a religious hissy fit, and criminal gangs rushed in to serve the market. Today, moonshining is rampant in failed states with collapsed currencies and corrupt governments, and in nations where radical Islamic regimes have banned drink or heavily taxed it.
What is the spirit of Croatia?
Rakija – In Croatia, national drink rakija is shared with other Balkan countries, but the Croatian way is to drink a herbal rakija – known as travarica – at the start of a meal with some dried figs. It packs quite a punch, with up to 40% alcohol content (and potentially even more than that if you’re trying someone’s homemade batch), and it’s the country’s most popular beverage.
- Each region of Croatia has its own take on this classic fruit brandy.
- If you’re heading to Istria, you’ll definitely want to try rakija made with honey or mistletoe, while over in Dubrovnik, it’s made with anise.
- In Dalmatia, you’ll find it made with walnuts, and on the island of Hvar, the local speciality is to use myrtle.
Head inland and you’ll find yet more rakija varieties, with šljivovica being one made with plums, and another called viljamovka made with Williams pears. And that’s still not all. There’s a sour cherry one called višnjevaća, and one made from quince called dunja.
What is Croatian brandy called?
Rakija – traditional Croatian brandy.
What is Croatia known for producing?
Croatia is very well known for its production of olive oil. A point of pride for Croatians is that the oldest olives in world history date back to the island of Pag.
What type of alcohol is rakija?
My evening at a family-run distillery located atop Goč Mountain in central Serbia was shaping up to be a decadent affair with ample amounts of high-quality rakia, a potent fruit brandy that is ubiquitous in the Balkans. Yebiga is the brainchild of Bill Gould, a rakia fanatic and bass player for the band Faith No More; He explained that his first encounter with rakia was in May 1992 at a Faith No More concert in Budapest, when some Serbian fans brought bottles to the show.
Some of those bottles found their way backstage, and Gould was hooked. He began traveling throughout the Balkans, particularly Serbia, consuming more rakia — but grew frustrated that he couldn’t find any back home in California (or pretty much anywhere in the United States, for that matter). It took a couple of decades, but in 2018 Gould cemented a partnership with the Urošović family, the clan behind the respected Tok rakia,
For centuries, rakia was ubiquitous in the Balkans in the form of moonshine. The first official, legal rakia distillery, Bojkovčanka, about 10 miles south of Belgrade, was founded in 1985, with legal distilleries trickling onto the market in the following decades.
By 2012, there were about 200 registered rakia distilleries in Serbia, but, an artisanal, small-batch rakia movement has emerged in the last few years. Today, there are over 800 legal, registered rakia distilleries in Serbia alone, many of which are aging the spirit in Serbian oak barrels for five, ten, or even twenty years, adding depth and flavor to the spirit, similar to the process of aged whisky,
Even on my Air Serbia flight, the only direct route from the US to Serbia, the airline offers five different types of rakias from the Belgrade-based Rakia Bar. Yebiga is part of this Serbian artisanal movement. Made on the Urošvić family farm using organic plums and the clean, crisp mountain spring water that flows down from Goč Mountain, the brand hit the U.S.
- Market in 2021, making it the first high-quality, artisanal rakia sold in the United States.
- Many of the bartenders and rakia makers I talked to in Serbia are excited about this movement to make higher-quality rakia, hoping Balkan spirit will be the next big thing in booze, the mezcal of the 2020s.
- Here’s everything you need to know about this potent Balkan brandy.
What Is Rakia? Rakia, or “rakija,” as it’s spelled in various parts of the Balkans including Serbia, is a double-distilled fruit brandy. It is made almost everywhere in the Balkans, from Albania in the south to Romania and Moldova in the north. The alcohol level of most rakias is usually between 40 and 50 percent.
Don’t confuse rakia with raki, a Turkish spirit made from grapes or raisins that has an anise flavor profile, similar to ouzo in Greece or sambuca in Italy. Rakia is also not Italian grappa, which is made from the leftover grapes after wine production. How is Rakia Made? Rakia is distilled with local fruit, using whatever fruit in the Balkans is most present in a particular region.
Along the wine-producing Dalmatian Coast in Croatia, for example, rakia takes the form of loza, a grape brandy that is made from just-plucked grapes. In Serbia, where the plum is prevalent, sljivovica, or slivovitz, is pervasive. It also happens to be the national drink of Serbia.
Rakia can also be made with quince, pear, apricot, apples, raspberries, and cherries, among other fruits. When it comes to the plum variety in particular, rakia can be unaged and transparent; When it’s barrel aged, it tends to be more flavorful, sophisticated, and smooth, reminiscent of a good cognac,
The fruit is picked and, in the case of plums, de-pitted. Sugar and yeast are added while liquid ferments in steel vats for about two to three weeks. Then the rakia is double distilled in a wood-fired copper still. After it goes back into the vats to rest for six to twelve months where it “softens” the rakia to make it more pleasant on the palate.
And in many cases, there’s an extra step: aging it in Serbian oak barrels for five or more years. How to Drink Rakia Even though it is typically served in tulip-shaped grappa classes or shot glasses, you shouldn’t shoot rakia. This brandy is meant to be sipped, and is often served as an aperitif before meals.
If the rakia is aged, let it roll around on your palate to pick up the fruit flavor, as well as the tones of the oak it was aged in. Bartenders in the increasingly great cocktail bar scene in Belgrade also mix it into cocktails. Filip Ivanović, owner/bartender of Beogradski Koktejl Klub in the Serbian capital, suggests mixing it with other spirits like gin or whiskey in order to moderate the strong taste.
What is Croatia main beer?
Ožujsko – Ožujsko is the most popular beer in Croatia, with 10 bottles being consumed every second. It has been produced since 1892. The main factory is in Zagreb, As of 2012, the Ožujsko brand is now part of the MolsonCoors brewing company.
What is the national beer of Croatia?
Ožujsko beer has been in production since 1892 and is the post popular Croatian beer. Try their lager pils, Ožujsko Pivo and see for yourself why it is the nation’s number one. Karlovacko beer is the national beer of Croatia, thanks in part to their huge level of marketing post release.
How do you drink rakija?
Rakija Traditions – When you are among the locals, you will learn all there is to know about the old tradition of Rakija, and they will be happy to talk extensively about the subject. Still, here are a few tips to keep in mind: Good Rakija has a strong taste first, followed by a subtle fruity flavor.
- Although Rakija is served in shot glasses, you do not need to drink it all in one sip.
- The first sip is the most important.
- Before taking this initial taste, exhale deeply, and then take a quick sip directly down your throat right to the stomach.
- Now take in a long breath through your nose.
- You should feel the burning in your chest, not in your throat.
Try to distinguish the fruity flavor that appears gradually. Now you are ready to start experiencing the world of Rakija. Your new goal is to try to find the most diverse home-made varieties of Rakija. You will have better luck in small towns where people can direct you to the people selling their own Rakija than in big cities.
Knock on a door, introduce yourself politely, and you could find yourself being drawn down into a cellar by an old man, where you end up trying various Rakijas directly from the barrel where they are being aged, and where you can buy bottles at a very cheap price (usually less than 10 euros per liter).
Don’t be worried if you receive your Rakija in a reused mineral water plastic bottle–that’s as domace (homemade) as it can get! And don’t forget to buy your own bottle and take it back home to share with your friends, as you tell them all about the tradition and rituals surrounding Rakija.