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    Rakia – Everything you wanted to know about this drink

    You must have heard of Rakia (or Rakija) at one point in your life, if not it is a extremely popular fruit brandy among South Slavs. Dubbed as a South Slavic version of Vodka, it’s a drink that will make you forget all other drinks.

    Read the full story here



    I think that Rakija might have actually come with the Ottomans, because there is a famous greek/turkish alcoholic beverage called Rakı.



    @Jaroslav Name probably does come from the Ottomans, but the drink itself is probably authentic.

    Boris V.
    Boris V.

    @Jaroslav yeah that is why it says it’s origins are not certain. Also read the part about Ottoman notes on Bulgaria and their consumption of Rakia.



    Jaroslav should be right, the name of the rakija is from the Turkish raki, the same meaning. Distillation as a technological process has been known since the time of the medieval alchemists, and the distillation of brandy was first uzvedena in the 17th century in a French monastery. Increasing the alcohol content in the drink could be achieved in other ways, but at the Medovina that was not necessary because the product had a 40 to 50% alcohol.



    Perhaps rakia comes directly from the arabic “arak”, either through the Byzantines or direct contant with the Arabs. That would explain the ottoman accounts. Didn’t we discuss this same subject in another thread already?



    Indeed we did (link).

    Btw, I remember reading another theory some time ago, that the name of the rakia actually comes from Slavic, namely the word “raka”, which is supposed to mean “foolish, empty-headed”. Raka doesn’t really mean anything in modern Bulgarian (as far as I know), so does such a word with a similar meaning exist in any of your languages (a question to all forumers, of course)?



    @NikeBG In Serbian “raka” means grave hole. Not the actual grave (which is grob), but the hole until it’s buried.



    Dont add sugar at all!



    @”Nedžad Skorupan” no one ever admitted adding sugar to their rakija :D



    Interesting place on web dedicated to Rakia



    Is making Rakija and Vodka similar in any way?

    This is a simple classic recipe of making Vodka at home. Nowadays, companies are using sophisticated methods of purifications.

    1) Make some ‘braga’ (fermented drink). Traditionally it was made from grains, sweet beetroot. Nowadays, sugar, yeast, water.

    2) Distil it.

    3) Add some potassium permanganate to remove a number of unwanted organic substances from liquor.

    4) Filter these unwanted substances in form of a residue.

    5) Second distillation

    5.1) Remove first 10-30% of distilled substance . These are light fractions with a higher amount of acetone, ether and so forth

    5.2) Remove last 10-30%. These are heavy fractions with a higher amount of fusel oils

    5.3) The midway fractions are left to make vodka. The narrower are midway fractions, the the higher is the quality.

    6) Infuse it with birch charcoal for a couple of months.

    7) Adjust acidity of the drink using acid or soda.

    8) Add some flavour of your choice in tiny amounts. The purpose of small amount of additive is to remove a smell of alcohol giving a slight after-taste. Standard flavour additive is orris.



    @Sviatogor yes, sans 8.



    @Sviatogor The process is a bit different.Rakija is made from ripe fruit which has been left to ferment in a vat for some time,after which it is being distilled,and then often distilled once more to get a better quality product.After the second distillation the distilled water is added to tone down the alcohol volume if so desired.



    @aaaaa and @Gvarda Thanks!

    The classic recipe I described is more recent one. People did not have potassium permanganate or any way of measuring acidity back in the days. The source of sucrose was always grains. In Ukraine sweet beetroots were used . Ukrainians are making sugar from it. Later, potatoes were used. Fruits were precious. They would be dried and preserved for winters. People were also making jam.

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