Barrique Plum Brandy in a Barrel
R a k i j a is the Serbian name given to an alcoholic drink made from the distillation of fermented fruit. Rakija can be made out of almost any fruit, and each fruit has its own specific rakija name. Rakia recipes are centuries old and every rakija maker has his own variety and secret ingredients. You can find rakija recipes that contain anise, herbs, honey, walnuts, mint, sour cherries, etc. Each type of rakija has its own subtle and particular taste lying just beneath the initial strong flavor. Slivovica (plum rakija) is the most popular, as well as the cheapest and strongest. Good rakija has a strong taste first, followed by a subtle fruity flavor. Rakija is served in shot glasses but 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. Rakia is generally served with serbian salad, shopska salad, pickled vegetables (trushiya), serbian cream cheese (kajmak) or any other salads (depending on the season). This combination forms the first course of the meal. Wine or beer is served with the rest of the meal. If a drop of rakia is spilled while pouring, it is said “that’s for the deceased.” After a funeral a toast of rakia is made and a little is spilled on the ground for the soul of the departed.