If you are familiar with Serbs and their tradition, you have probably heard of Serbian Rakia. It is the national drink of Serbia, although some will say it is more than that. We use it to toast when times are good and to drown our sorrows when they are bad. The best thing is that you can drink it whenever you want- in the morning, at noon, in the evening, before or after a meal. Rakia has its own tradition, its own rituals, and particularities. We decided to share with you one of the recipes for making this glorious drink.
How to make Serbian Rakia?
Serbia has always been a fruit growing country. Its terrain and climate make fruit healthy, tasty, and abundant. Such high quality of fruit made it possible to produce Rakia in the first place. You can make good quality Rakia from the fruits of any fruit species. However, the important thing is to follow the whole process, from boiling to roasting.
In order to make Serbian Rakia, these are the steps:
- crush ripe and healthy fruit and put it in a barrel to boil;
- add 5% of sugar during placing;
- do not fill the barrel to the end, you should leave up to 20 cm empty;
- stir during fermentation;
- cover the barrel lightly so that no flies can enter.
Once the fermentation is complete, it is crucial not to delay with distillation. It can take up to two months for that or you can wait until the spring. The art of making Rakia is in capturing just the best part of the distillate. You distillate it slowly, over low fire, so it would not burn. A good Rakia contains 40-45% alcohol, trickles smoothly down the throat, warms the chest, and does not burn in your mouth.
Types of Rakia
You can make Rakia of almost any fruit. Each has its own specific name. The most popular are Šljivovica (plum), Dunja (quince), and Viljamovka (pear). Šljivovica is made from different varieties of plum, but Požegača is the best of all. Rakia is also made from apricot (Kajsija), grape (Loza), apple (Jabuka), honey (Medovača). On the other hand, Travarica, Komovica, and Kleka are made when Rakia mixes with medicinal herbs. Ladies like to drink cherry (Višnjevača) and walnut (Orahovača) Rakia.
You can find some of the finest in Rakia Bar in Belgrade.
Why we drink and idolize it?
The novelist and painter Momo Kapor said it best: “In rakija is the essence of the Serbian being—first joy, the celebration of taste, then anger, compassion, the feeling that the world is good and that all those who drink it are friends.”
Do not think that Rakia is the only alcoholic beverage that Serbs drink. We drink the others, as well. Still, Serbian Rakia is our tradition and something we are known for. Before trying it, we have an advice for you. Do not drink it too quickly. Try to enjoy every sip of it. Cheers!