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In the cold countries having a drink in the morning is like washing your face: it energizes you and puts the blood in motion. The Balkans are not exception to this rule. The weather there is not mild and a taste of hard liquer can really help people keep their health strong.
All around the Balkans there is a very popular drink called ‘rakia.’ Actually this drink is highly appreciated in Bulgaria although it comes in different varieties all over the region (rakjia in Croatia, rakiu in Romania). Those of you who have visited the area know the story and taste of this strong drink. Those who haven’t can easily learn it here, as it follows!
What is Rakia?
Under different forms and types we have all tasted rakia at least once in our lives. Rakia is the equivalent of the Italian Grappa or the Schnapps of Austria and it is a sort of fruit brandy that is made out of fermented fruits, distilled to alcohol levels that are in excess of 40%.
However, its preparation and ingredient depend on each region.
What does it contain?
Rakia can be made out of different type of fruits: plums, grapes, apples, apricots, pears, figs or even combinations of multiple fruits. Most often it is stored in metal or plastic barrels and the fruit is added together with the sugar and the water. After this process the liquid gets heated over a flame, usually low. The resulted liquid doesn’t have a color but those who want to obtain color can add herbs or honey.
– Rumor has it that if you shake a bottle of rakia and it forms a large ring of bubbles then the quality is great.
– This drink is also a good choice for religious celebrations (especially to funerals). In this case, each guest has to accept a glass of rakia together with a piece of bread as walking out of the cemetery. This is considered to be a way of honoring the soul of the deceased.
– On the other hand, at weddings, the father of the groom uses Rakia in order to toast with the guests for the future happiness of the young pair.
– Some even believe that Rakia has medical powers: if it is rubbed on the chest it can cure a cold and if it is poured on a wound it can sterilize it.
Relax, kick back and drink a glass of rakia. It will give you the energy that you need and help you enjoy every single moment!