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Rakija (fruit brandy) arrives at the Balkan peninsula with the Turks in the 14th and 15th century despite Islam’s prohibition of drinking alcoholic drinks. The name “rakija” originates from the Arabic word “al-rak” which means “sweat”, and when the procedure of its production is taken into account, the name suits it perfectly. There are many alcoholic drinks in the world with the name rakija and they are mainly made from fruit. The advantage of our brandy over others is in the specific aroma and full flavor which is obtained thanks to high quality fruit and traditional way of distillation. Serbia has been well known for the production of rakija since the 19th century. It is interesting that the first type of rakija that was drunk here was honey brandy. Rakija is traditionally produced through distillation of mixture of ripe healthy fruit that has been fermented. It goes through the process of distillation twice, by which so called mild brandy is produced after the first distillation, and double distilled brandy after the second distillation.
Apricot originates from the north of China and Kyrgyzstan. It belongs to deciduous trees, and cultivated in all areas with warm climate. It is widespread in the Mediterranean region in Europe. In our region fresh apricots can be eaten from the beginning of June to the end of September.
Our national fruit is the reason why we are well known in the world for plum brandy (slivovitz). Plum originates from Asia, and it was well known even in ancient history. Today more than 2500 different plum sorts are cultivated. The most famous sorts are: Bistrica plum, Stanley plum, Cacanka plum, Valjevka plum.
As it is sweet and juicy, pear used to be called “gift of the gods”.
Depending on the type, pears can be yellow, green, brown or orange and they are good source of vitamin C. High quality rakia is made from pears, and the most famous among them is pear brandy made from sort “William”.
The first information about cultivation of apple shows that it was cultivated in Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia in the 2nd millennium BC. Apple is one of the most spread fruit in the world and there are more than 10000 sorts. The most famous sorts are: Golden delicious, Jonagold, Idared, Red delicious, Granny Smith…
Quince originates from south-west Asia, i.e. From Iran and Anatolia, and wild quince appeared in the middle Europe by the name “sidonian pear”.
In our country there are two types of quince: “vranjski dunjac” and “leskovacka dunja” and both can be used for making rakija.
Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, jam, juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar, and grape seed oil.
Grape brandy (Lozovača) is obtained by distillation of the untested fermented grapes of the noble grape vine (Vitis Vinifera) and contains 40-45% vol. of ethanol.
The Montmorency cherry is the most popular type of sour cherry. The reason for its popularity is its use in baking and recipe creation, including cherry pies, cherry desserts and other cherry-based recipes. In addition, sour cherries are used to make rakija (Cherry brandy).
Raspberry is a bush which originates from south-east Europe. It grows along the roads and forests.
Raspberry is highly valued plant all over the world, first of all because of its irresistible appearance, flavor and smell and also because of its healthful features.
Honey is the most wonderful natural product. It contains almost all components that make human body. Nectar from flowers is the basic source of carbohydrates which bees transform into fructose and glucose and they are basic ingredients of honey.