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Slivovitz or Sliwowitz is a distilled beverage made from Damson plums. It is frequently called plum brandy, and in the Balkans is part of the category of drinks called rakia.

The word Slivovitz derives from the Serbo-Croatian (Slavic) "šljivovica" from "šljiva"- plum.

Left: Various bottles of Slivovitz.

Slivovitz is primarily produced in Slavic regions of Central and Eastern Europe, both commercially as well as by many households on an informal, homemade basis. Primary producing nations include Serbia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bosnia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and North-East Italy. It is most popularly consumed in those nations, as well as wherever communities of expatriate from these nations exist. Similar plum brandies are also produced in Switzerland, France, the United States, and Canada, but marketed under other names, such as brandy, Pflümli, or eau de vie.

In the manufacturing process, the plums and a liberal proportion of the ground kernels are first crushed and pressed, then starch and sugar may be added to the juice, and the mixture is allowed to ferment. Distillation gives the crude product, and clarifying processes complete the liqueur, but aging is required to develop its finer qualities. Its pleasing flavor is due largely to the plum kernels, which contain a considerable percentage of amygdalin, the characteristic component of bitter almonds.

The Serbian šljivovica (ؚ) of which the English rendering "Slivovitz" also originates from, is the national drink of Serbia and the ethnic Serbs. The Sljivovica has been produced in Serbian Orthodox monasteries for centuries.

The Manastirka from Propkuplje uses fresh ripened organic nature plums, grown only in Prokuplje, that are crushed and allowed to ferment. The mash is twice-distilled and aged in oak barrel casks. Hand selected fresh plums are then added to yield more of the fruit taste. After being aged for at least 10 years Manastirka Sljivovica gets a golden-yellow color and a unique aroma specific for the plums of this region.

Serbian Slivovitz is consumed chilled in a special shot glass of 0.3 to 0.5 dl.


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