AP

AP PHOTOS: UN distinction sought for prized Serb plum brandy

Nov 17, 2022, 1:31 AM | Updated: 2:27 am

A worker holds a glass container with brandy, inside the distillery in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, No...

A worker holds a glass container with brandy, inside the distillery in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. The U.N.'s culture and education organization is set later this month to review Serbia's bid to include "social practices and knowledge related to the preparation and use of the traditional plum spirit - sljivovica" on the list of world intangible cultural heritage. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

ROZANCI, Serbia (AP) — Forget whiskey or cognac. For Serbs, nothing beats homemade sljivovica, a plum brandy they hope will win U.N. recognition soon as an example of an important cultural tradition.

Sljivovica (pronounced SHLI’-vuh-vitsah) has been handcrafted — and consumed — in Serbia for centuries, a custom carried from generation to generation that experts say has become part of the national identity.

The tradition remains widespread in rural areas of the Balkan country despite a boom in modern distilleries and brands. U.N. cultural agency UNESCO is expected to decide this month whether to include “social practices and knowledge related to the preparation and use” of the spirit to its list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

Sociologist Ilija Malovic says sljivovica is a typically Serbian product because it is derived from a locally grown fruit — plums — that is widely available, and because the brandy is made and enjoyed within families and local communities.

Serbs drink sljivovica when they celebrate, mourn, welcome guests and mark important events, Malovic explained. People have always stashed away their best bottles for weddings, the birth of a child and funerals, he said.

“It (sljivovica) always has been tied intimately to family,” Malovic, who is an editor of a blog about local fruit-based spirits known as rakija.

“Sljivovica is part of people’s lives from beginning to end, and has always been part of this nation’s identity,” he said.

These days, sljivovica is also an important Serbian export and a local tourist attraction. Small businesses producing sljivovica and other fruit brandies have sprouted in recent years, offering modern packaging with ethnic-style designs.

For improved quality, sljivovica is sometimes kept in oak barrels that give it a brownish, whiskey-like color and a somewhat bitter taste. And, it gets better with age.

In the central Serbian village of Rozanci, Miroslav Milosevic makes his own sljivovica, using plums from the family orchard and a technique that his father and grandfather used before him.

A peek inside Milosevic’s backyard shed reveals a distillery that includes metal barrels, wood-fueled stoves and white cotton clothes through which the final product is filtered.

Milosevic says he makes a pure, high-quality spirit for himself and the friends and relatives to whom he gives a few bottles.

“Our elderly used to say it’s like a medicine,” he smiled. “You drink one small glass and it’s a cure.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

1 day ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

1 day ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

2 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

2 days ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

4 days ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

AP PHOTOS: UN distinction sought for prized Serb plum brandy