Plum Brandy – Palinca, Slivovitz, Rakia

20130531_172331The wonders of Eastern Europe! The food is cheap, clothes expensive, women are beautiful, and liquor is distilled in everyone’s backyard. One of my favorite liquors around the world include one from Eastern Europe, influenced by my very German mothers side, and further grown through a Romanian relationship. Plum Brandy has got to be one of the tastiest liquors out there. And it is much more popular than one would think, just not in the United States.

20130602_180700There are many variants. Basically the majority of families living in Eastern Europe grow their own food, raise their own live-stock, and distill their own liquor. And what better ingredient to use than the plum, apple, and pear trees which may have spoiled or looks to get close.

Here are a list of common names and where you will find them:

Palinca: Hungary, Romania, and Austria
Slivovitz: Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria
Rakia: Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia

tuica-in-bottlesThe funny thing, everybody stores them in random unused bottles. When individuals travel through the airport, if questioned, they claim it is holy water for their mother. And another juicy nugget, if you ask for Tuica (sri-ca), which simply means fruit mashed liquor / wine, at any bar, even an established chain, you will likely get to sample all the bar tenders home distilled fruit brandy, along with going a very far way to get to know the locals. Try it!

Common Ingredients: plums, apricots, apples, pears, cherries, any fruit that is lying around really. You cannot go wrong.

20130528_145355You can take it a step further and really impress the locals by ordering Ciorba de Burta (Romanian), which is cow stomach stewed in oil, butter, and garlic. I still haven’t mastered that one. Remember to keep the Palinca close by.

Side Notes:

  • Traffic in the city is crazy!
  • Do not drive at night time due to Pot Holes and Night Thieves
  • Don’t be too friendly to stray dogs, it’s a common problem
  • Enjoy! It’s Amazing

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