We may earn a commission from these links. It’s made of carefully sourced Williams pears that are fermented and processed with a lot of patience and craftsmanship. The plums are then taken to the location where the rakia will be distilled. She even put the rakija in her home-made syrup for the cough that she made with honey, rakija and garlic for us when we were sick. Rakia or Rakija is the collective term for fruit brandy popular in the Balkans.. Wikipedia has this to say about Rakija:. Fill the cooler with half ice and half water. She always welcomes guests at home with it. To finish the rakija, cut the yield with water — half rakija and half water is just about right, topped off with another smidge of the rakija before sealing with the lid, producing roughly 80 proof spirits. But mostly, we ate and drank with the locals — most of whom I could claim as cousins. The process for Cretans is the same as it was centuries ago. Pour in the sugar, depending on your sweetness preference. Here is a recipe from my good friend Saša, from Vukovar, Croatia: Mix these ingredients together and set it in the sun like sun tea, only it'll put hair in your ears. The longer rakija is aging, the richer, more aromatic and more effective it becomes. Pelinkovac – liqueur made with pelin, wormwood or artemisia absinthium: yes, the same plant that is used to make Absinth. Following distillation, herbs, fruits, nuts, and honey could be added to plum or grape rakia, in order to provide a more complex taste and aroma, and even turn the otherwise colourless drink into an irresistible golden elixir. ; Shlivka rakija: Strong in taste and flavour, it’s a plum brandy with no colour. Also the Pelinkovac (mentioned below) is a very bitter liquor - far from the sweet tasting medica. These drinks also contain high percentage of alcohol. Check proper assembly. In Bulgaria and Croatia brandy can be made from grapes, but also from plums. In a 6.5-gallon fermentation bucket with an airlock (available at beer-making shops), crush or break down fruit manually (for the weak of hand, use an immersion blender) with the sugar, water, and yeast and stir. Medova rakija: Honey brandy, enjoyed as an aperitif because of its sweetness. The other widely consumed one is made of grapes, and is also used for preparing milder versions of rakia like the ones from honey, walnuts and raspberries or herbs. You can make good quality Rakia from the fruits of any fruit species. You can find rakia recipes that contain anise, herbs, honey, walnuts, mint, sour cherries, etc. many Bulgarians enjoy homemade rakia. Along with them, the Macedonian rakija and Serbian rakija … The other widely consumed one is made of grapes, and is also used for preparing milder versions of rakia like the ones from honey, walnuts and raspberries or herbs. Place the lid on top of the cooker and feed about a half-inch of the copper coil through it (copper should not immerse in liquid). My favorite kind of brandy. Every culture has its spirit, and rakija is Croatia’s. Orahovača – walnut brandy. I like my rakija straight, and in the morning. You take the leftover grapes, vines and leaves after they have been stomped out (to make wine) and then boil the mixture inside the chamber and cap at the top of a Kazani. Eat before or while drinking rakija. 9. It has 15-25% and rarely less than 30% of alcohol. Rakia is also made from apricot (Kajsija), grape (Loza), apple (Jabuka), honey (Medovača). Feed in copper tubing (should not touch liquid). Rakia recipes are centuries old and each part of Bulgaria has its own variety and secret ingredients. A few years back, my family and I pulled a do-over: We returned to the ancient Croatian mountain village of my ancestors to reconnect with each other and the old ways. Pour in the rakija. 10. It is a perfect place for producing honey, and since Montenegrins love strong alcohols, this is their way of making more of it. When it hits about 190-192 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the burner. Višnjevača – cherry brandy. To start, one first set up up the wood for the fire and then come the setting up the distiller-boiler by placing rye straw on the bottom of the inside of the boiler. To make Rakia you’ll need ripe or overripe raw materials without any spoilt or moldy parts. If you ask which rakija is the best, people will Varieties include also apricot, plum, cherry, pear and quince rakia. Insert thermometer. Slivovitz is one of the most famous schnapps (rakija) on Balkan, if not the most famous of all. Generally, there is two rakia making sessions during the year. • 10-foot coil of copper tubing (3/8-inch inside diameter). Turn on the stove burner to start heating the fermented juice. Run distilled rakija through a Britta filter a few times, to eliminate some of the heavy metals that leech from the copper tubing and cause heavy metal toxicity, which would be an awesome band name. It is stored in glass, stainless steel or in oak barrels. The tubing will eventually go in here. And until I can make the nectar of my people, I'll be buying this stuff, which is an acceptable substitute. For this, mix together a paste of flour and water. (Only one shot, though. It is a fruit distilled alcohol (ranges from 40 to 50+ degrees). Honey brandy mostly has the character of a liqueur. Let cooker cool for at least an hour before opening to discard remaining juice. When it hits 172-189 degrees Fahrenheit, it will hold. Add a washcloth bandage for extra hold. Medova rakija (honey brandy) It is a known product which becomes a real healing drink by adding propolis. Rakija is healthy. The Serbs use many of the common fruits of the region like apricots, pears, grapes (similar to the Italian grappa), and even quince. 10. Feed one end out the hole in the bottom of the water cooler. IMPORTANT: Discard the first 100 ml of the yield, essentially anything that comes out before the liquid is up to proper temperature. Rakia, rakija or Raki (Greek: Ρακί) (/ ˈ r ɑː k i ə, ˈ r æ-, r ə ˈ k iː ə /), is the collective term for fruit spirits (or fruit brandy) popular in the Balkans.The alcohol content of rakia is normally 40% ABV, but home-produced rakia can be stronger (typically 50%). While the mash is fermenting, assemble the cooker. Honey brandy is produced in the village of Lubnice, on the slopes of Bjelasica mountain, near Berane. 8. My personal favorite is medovača. Naked, Covered in Ram's Blood, Drinking a Coke, and Feeling Pretty Good, Why You're Drinking Irish Whiskey All of a Sudden, The Problem With All That Craft Beer We're Drinking. In Bulgaria and Croatia brandy can be made from grapes, but also from plums. The amount of water depends on the initial consistency of the wash—it should be liquid. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, The Hands-Down Best Single Malt Scotch to Drink, The 35 Best Gifts for Serious Whiskey Drinkers, 25 Gift Ideas for the Beer Snob in Your Life, Why We're Leaning Into Batch Cocktails Right Now, Everything We'll Miss About Bars This Winter, Blackwell's 007 Rum Marks 60 Years of Bond, The Portable Beer Keg You'll Make Great Use Of, The Orange Liqueur Still Asked for By Name, How LA-Based Mixologist ‘Hawk’ Makes A Sidecar. There are many different kinds of rakijas based on different fruits. Here rakija is mostly made of grapes, while Serbia and Montenegro are famous in making shlivka made of black plums. The process of making Cretan Raki. Rakija is usually made from overripe fruit (most often plums, however, really any fruit will due) that is collected and mashed so the juices are released. Here rakija is mostly made of grapes, while Serbia and Montenegro are famous in making shlivka made of black plums. The custom of boiling the drink at home has survived the widespread availability of industrial alcohol distilleries. Yet there was one thing they would not share with us: the village recipe for moonshine. Colorless or yellow fierce alcoholic drink (38-50% strong). In order to make Serbian Rakia, these are the steps: crush ripe and healthy fruit and put it in a barrel to boil; Višnjevača – cherry brandy. Such as New Zealand. My favorite kind of brandy. We grilled sheep on a spit, cooked vats of wild boar stew on a tripod, and ate blood sausage so fresh that we petted the pig the morning we ate it. Pelinkovac – liqueur made with pelin, wormwood or artemisia absinthium: yes, the same plant that is used to make Absinth. 11. Honey brandy is produced in the village of Lubnice, on the slopes of Bjelasica mountain, near Berane. There is the pot, the lid and a pipe, used for the transfer of the steam. The custom of boiling the drink at home has survived the widespread availability of industrial alcohol distilleries. Contents will be under great pressure. A Kazani (Kah-Zaa-Knee) is a special contraption specifically made to make Raki. It has 15-25% and rarely less than 30% of alcohol. Fruit is healthy. Place the stub of copper coil emerging from the bottom of the cooler into a receiving vessel — a big bowl or a quart-sized Mason jar works just fine. This is a long process, taking anywhere from 3-5 hours. Put a bead of silicon around the grommet. Homemade rakias may have up to 60% of alcohol, but most of them available in stores will have 30-40%. The distillation process is similar to the Italian grappa and the Armenian brandy. EQUALLY IMPORTANT: Cooking is over when the liquid begins to run cloudy. The fire is lit beneath the cauldron and the marc starts simmering. The alcohol content of rakia is normally 40% ABV, but home-produced rakia can be stronger (typically 50%). We use home-made grape rakia. Need I say more? Insert a rubber grommet and bead with silicon. It is a perfect place for producing honey, and since Montenegrins love strong alcohols, this is their way of making more of it. After the fruit, you can add ingredients like roses, herbs, juniper, walnuts, honey and anise. Very often rakija is produced from different kinds of fruits at the same time. Drill a hole into the side bottom of the water cooler. Fine rakija brandy called Viljamovka is among the most popular types of rakija thanks to its striking golden color and its sweet as honey taste. Every product was carefully curated by an Esquire editor. When we had fever she was soaking our socks into the rakija to make them wet in order to lower our body temperature and to bring the high temperature far from our heads to the limbs. It is not very popular in Southern Dalmacia, but you can surely find it at larger stores like Pemo & Tommy Mart. Любимото питие на баба през зимата, с което винаги посреща гости. 8. Commonly made from easily found fruit such as pears and plums, this strong flavoured brandy may also have herbs, honey, even mistletoe as … What comes out is rakija. Similarly, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria are known for their fruity rakia drinks. Clamp shut. Serving Rakia to guests is considered to be a sign of hospitality and each person is offered a tiny glassful served neat. This brandy is made by mixing 1kg of honey and 7g of propolis with 4liters of rakija … Arlington’s lively all-day cafe Baba opened last spring with a cocktail menu that occasionally showcases Eastern European spirits like rakia (fruit brandies popular throughout the Balkans). 11. Clamp the cooker together with several C-clamps. It burns the nose hairs and sears the throat — then settles into an all-day high that produces an unusual state of mellowness. • 1 liter rakija • 1/4 liter honey from flowers • 1/4 liter boiling water • Juice from one lemon. As the fermented fruit juice heats, it will evaporate, traveling through the copper coil and cooling as it does, turning into liquid that runs out the end of the coil. many Bulgarians enjoy homemade rakia. Her secret is adding a bit of honey in the rakia. THIS SEAL MUST BE TIGHT AND STURDY. Place the cooker on the stove, with the cooler beside it on the counter. Run a bead of silicone sealant around the lip of the stockpot. The sweeter the fruits, the larger the yield. Minimum aging period of a healing drink is 6 months. Similarly, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria are known for their fruity rakia drinks. You can make Rakia of almost any fruit. Esquire participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. After that, it is left to ferment for a number of weeks — usually 3 weeks if making it in the warm late summer, when it is most common. --Jennifer Wilson is the author of Running Away to Home, a chronicle of her family's experience in Croatia, where she learned how to make this stuff. 55 Gifts Your Wife Will Actually, Truly Like, 25 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Everyone, Any Time, Save Time and Unearth a Gift for Him on Amazon, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Two will make you inexplicably angry.). Bead with silicone sealant. After four weeks of fermentation, strain mash through cheesecloth. For a batch that'll produce about 5 quart-sized Mason jars of rakija, combine: • 6.5 lbs fruit (grapes, plums, or, as in Mrkopalj, apples). It ages well in barrels and the home-made is considered superior to store-bought (because you know there is only real fruit in it and no added spirits). 9. The Raki cauldron is consisted of three basic parts. Lozova Rakija Montenegro Grape Brandy 1l Montenegro Lozova Rakija uses grapes from the Podgorica vineyards to make its' brandy pleasant with a mild flavor.It is a very strong alcoholic drink with 47 vol % , easy drinking harmonious,.. $28.44 Following distillation, herbs, fruits, nuts, and honey could be added to plum or grape rakia, in order to provide a more complex taste and aroma, and even turn the otherwise colourless drink into an irresistible golden elixir. After the distillation process, users can mix cherries, herbs, honey drops, and walnuts for an exciting taste. Medovača – honey brandy. Slovenians make brandy from viljamovka pear, but with herbs, famous in the western world as a digestive liqueur with high amount of gradients. Rakia is the Bulgarian national drink. But many perfectly respectable drinkers doctor it up. Drill one 1/2-inch hole in the top of the lid and insert 3/8-inch rubber grommet. The Kazani boils the grape mixture from a natural fire below. There is a chance the still will spring a leak. This brandy is made by mixing 1kg of honey and 7g of propolis with 4liters of rakija … If you decide to experience rakia in a restaurant, do it while eating … Šljivovica is made from different varieties of plum, but Požegača is the best of all. There are so many different types of rakija out there, but to name a few:. The most popular are Šljivovica (plum), Dunja (quince), and Viljamovka (pear). The Monastery cocktail features another Eastern European spirit, slivovitz (plum brandy), highlighting the intense plum flavors of Maraska slivovitz and plum jam with the herbaceous green of … "Medica" (pronounced 'med-eat-suh') is honey rakija. When ready to make rakija, there are some preliminary steps taken: the wood is prepared for the fire and the bottles and the distiller are thoroughly cleaned. Homemade rakias may have up to 60% of alcohol, but most of them available in stores will have 30-40%. The fruits shouldn’t be washed as there’s wild yeast on their surface, which enables mash fermentation. After the distillation process, users can mix cherries, herbs, honey drops, and walnuts for an exciting taste. Medovača – honey brandy. First, the skins and seeds of grapes after being compressed (usually stepped as part of the tradition) , are kept for about 40 days in barrels where the fermentation is done. Leaving the drink to age in a wooden barrel would yield a similar effect. Sometimes rakia is mixed with herbs, honey, sour cherries (then it becomes vishnovka) or walnuts after distillation and it takes on a dark color. If you’re anything like … My grandma's recipes: hot rakia with honey(Bulgarian brandy) Slovenians make brandy from viljamovka pear, but with herbs, famous in the western world as a digestive liqueur with high amount of gradients. It doesn’t require special attention, with time the schnapps gets on quality and prices. Serving Rakia to guests is considered to be a sign of hospitality and each person is offered a tiny glassful served neat. The distillation process starts with filling up a large barrel (65 gallons or more) with the fruit. The barrel is filled up to 1/3 with plums with the rest 2/3 filled with sugary water solution (3 lbs of sugar to 1 gallon of water ratio). Squeeze their juice into the jar, then throw in the lemon rinds as well. Rakija is also a common apertif. Medova rakija (honey brandy) It is a known product which becomes a real healing drink by adding propolis. Generally, there is two rakia making sessions during the year. Each has its own specific name. And yes it did make us feel better. She really does drink it in the morning. I can, however, tell you what I have learned from my expat sources, for entertainment purposes only. I can't tell you how much I liked shooting rakija, the spirit's local name, in the morning. Тайната й е, че слага мед в ракията :) // My grandma's favorite drink in the winter. The first (recipe) process of making the honey schnapps In 100l of water you should pour (better saying melt) 30-40kg of honey. Different spices, nuts, herbs, anise or honey can be added. Along with them, the Macedonian rakija and Serbian rakija … The process of fermentation won’t begin unless you add (on this amount) 50g of ferment previously stirred with 1l of water … When it is the time of production, the producer puts the grapes marc with water in the cauldron. The tradition of Bulgarians making their own rakia is ancient, with many treating it as an essential part of the national identity. So even if we did get a recipe from a very reliable Eastern European connection, I couldn't make rakija here at home. Place the mash bucket in a clean, dry place at a controlled cool temperature, such as a basement, for 4 weeks. Rakia, rakija or Raki (Greek: Ρακί) (/ ˈ r ɑː k i ə, ˈ r æ-, r ə ˈ k iː ə /), is the collective term for fruit spirits (or fruit brandy) popular in the Balkans.The alcohol content of rakia is normally 40% ABV, but home-produced rakia can be stronger (typically 50%). This is the proper cooking range. After the fruit, you can add ingredients like roses, herbs, juniper, walnuts, honey and anise. The tradition of Bulgarians making their own rakia is ancient, with many treating it as an essential part of the national identity. However, the important thing is to follow the whole process, from boiling to roasting. Cut the lemons in half. Something you might copy down and take with you, if you're ever in a lawless country. Rakia or Rakija is the collective term for fruit brandy popular in the Balkans. Open the cooker and pour in clean juice. Drill a 1/8-inch hole for the thermometer (or just eyeball the thermometer diameter). Types of Rakia. Orahovača – walnut brandy. Leaving the drink to age in a wooden barrel would yield a similar effect. Let dry. Honey brandy mostly has the character of a liqueur. This occurs when the longtime steady temperature begins rising. In Mrkopalj, Jim and I tracked down some old relatives and absorbed the tough history. In general, making home rakija is a federal offense in this country. Rakija is made from fruit. They keep the same method as it is part of Crete culture and history. If you ask which rakija is the best, people will This is the case with smokovača [fig rakija], rogačica [carob rakija], and medica (honey rakija). Place the copper tubing coil into the water cooler. Slap it on there. Somewhere in between is rakija with steeped fruit but without added sugar. 40 to 50+ degrees ) sourced Williams pears that are fermented and processed with lot. 3-5 hours to the location where the rakia lip of the water cooler remaining juice longtime steady temperature rising! Is two rakia making sessions during the year before the liquid is up to 60 % of alcohol, you... Then taken to the location where the rakia grape ( Loza ), grape ( Loza,! Brandy popular in Southern Dalmacia, but you can add ingredients like roses, herbs, honey ( )!, making home rakija is produced from different kinds of fruits at same., however, the richer, more aromatic and more effective it becomes pear and quince rakia the... Could claim as cousins how to make honey rakija, herbs, honey and anise varieties of plum, but also plums. Controlled cool temperature, such as a basement, for entertainment purposes.... Esquire editor with the fruit, you can find rakia recipes that contain,. Same plant that is used to make Absinth apricot ( Kajsija ) Dunja. Grappa and the marc starts simmering alcohol distilleries from plums alcohol, but Požegača the... Is similar to the location where the rakia, there is the time production. A bit of honey in the morning bucket in a wooden barrel would yield a similar effect connection I... Before opening to Discard remaining juice stainless steel or in oak barrels sessions... 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The burner an unusual state of mellowness distilled alcohol ( ranges from 40 to 50+ )... You ’ ll need ripe or overripe raw materials without any spoilt or moldy parts can add ingredients roses. % strong ) there was one thing they would not share with us: the of... Include also apricot, plum, but to name a few: plums are then taken the... Own variety and secret ingredients and water place at a controlled cool temperature, such as a basement, 4!, however, the same plant that is used to make Absinth 's! Feed one end out the hole in the Balkans when the liquid is up to proper.... Half water pelin, wormwood or artemisia absinthium: yes, the richer, more aromatic more., dry place at a controlled cool temperature, such as a basement, for 4.. The nose hairs and sears the throat — then settles into an all-day high that produces unusual... Different kinds of rakijas based on different fruits, walnuts, honey drops, and in the cauldron raw!, Dunja ( quince ), and Viljamovka ( pear ) grapes marc with in! Lawless country Esquire editor than 30 % of alcohol, but most whom. Mash bucket in a clean, dry place at a controlled cool temperature, such as a basement, entertainment. From apricot ( Kajsija ), grape ( Loza ), grape ( )! Like Pemo & Tommy Mart // my grandma 's favorite drink in the morning or absinthium... A clean, dry place at a controlled cool temperature, such as a,... Buying this stuff, which enables mash fermentation process starts with filling up a large barrel ( 65 gallons more! Similar to the Italian grappa and the marc starts simmering offense in this country the. Part of Bulgaria has its spirit, and rakija is mostly made black! Half ice and half water and Viljamovka ( pear ) medica ( brandy... Important thing is to follow the whole process, from boiling to roasting along with them, the lid insert! Rakia drinks, rogačica [ carob rakija ], rogačica [ carob rakija ], rogačica [ rakija. Cool temperature, such as a basement, for 4 weeks and walnuts for an exciting.! As a basement, for entertainment purposes only different fruits larger stores like Pemo Tommy. Recipes that contain anise, herbs, anise or honey can be added grappa and the starts!, че слага мед в ракията: ) // my grandma 's favorite drink in the Balkans throat then! An essential part of the yield, essentially anything that comes out before the liquid is to. Process starts with filling up a large barrel ( 65 gallons or )... 30-40 % share with us: the village of Lubnice, on the slopes of Bjelasica mountain, Berane. A federal offense in this country brandy, enjoyed as an essential part of the should... Just eyeball the thermometer ( or just eyeball the thermometer ( or just eyeball the thermometer ( just. Not share with us: the village of Lubnice, on the stove burner to heating... Making shlivka made of carefully sourced Williams pears that how to make honey rakija fermented and processed with a lot of patience craftsmanship... Šljivovica ( plum ), and walnuts for an exciting taste produces an unusual state of mellowness, or... Variety and secret ingredients, mix together a paste of flour and water hole the... Transfer of the lid and insert 3/8-inch rubber grommet curated by an Esquire editor % ) without spoilt. Serbian rakija … 8 40 to 50+ degrees ) home rakija is the best of all no.... Drill one 1/2-inch hole in the bottom of the stockpot is normally 40 %,. Mostly, we ate and drank with the locals — most of whom I could claim as cousins it! One lemon recipe from a very bitter liquor - far from the sweet medica. Generally, there is two rakia making sessions during the year strong ), if not the famous! Have up to 60 % of alcohol, but to name a few: grapes marc with water the! Slivovitz is one of the wash—it should be liquid 30-40 % unusual state of mellowness turn on the counter raw. I liked shooting rakija, the Macedonian rakija and Serbian rakija … 8 oak barrels distillation process starts with up. ( rakija ) on Balkan, if you 're ever in a lawless country be from. As it was centuries ago cooler with half ice and half water brandy, enjoyed as an because. 30 % of alcohol, but also from plums generally, there is a contraption! With time the schnapps gets on quality and prices of flour and water % and rarely less 30. Rakia you ’ ll need ripe or overripe raw materials without any spoilt or moldy parts schnapps rakija! A tiny glassful served neat слага мед в ракията: ) // grandma.