Rakia

Rakia or rakija ( _sq. raki, _ru. arichii _bs. rakija, _bg. ракия, rakia, _hr. rakija, _gr. ρακί, _hu. pálinka, _mk. ракија/rakija, _ro. rachiu (reg. "răchie"), _sr. ракија / rakija, _sk. pálenka, _sl. žganje, _tr. rakı) is similar to brandy, made by distillation of fermented fruits, popular throughout the Balkans, Italy and France. Its alcohol content is normally 40%, but home-produced rakia can be stronger, typically 50 to 60%. "Prepečenica" is double-distilled rakia, with alcohol content sometimes exceeding 60%.

Rakia is considered to be the national drink among some of the South Slavic peoples. Common flavours are slivovitz, produced from plums and grozdova, made from grapes. Fruits less commonly used are peaches, apricots, apples, pears, cherry, figs, and quinces. There is a mixed fruits rakia in Serbia, Bulgaria also. In Istria, however, rakia is made exclusively from grapes, where the drink is also known locally as "trapa" or "grappa" (the latter name also being used in Italy). Plum and grape rakia are sometimes mixed with other ingredients, such as herbs, honey, sour cherries and walnuts, after distillation.

There are many kinds of rakia, depending on the fruit it is produced from:

* "Kom" or "džibra" is the fruity grape mash that remains after winemaking. It contains up to 5.5 litres of pure alcohol per 100 kg, and at least 40% dry matter.
** Not to be confused with mead, which is made solely of honey.
Normally, rakia is colorless, unless herbs or other ingredients are added. Some types of rakia are kept in wooden barrels (oak or mulberry) for extra aroma and a golden colour.

It is supposed to be drunk from special small glasses which hold from 0.3 to 0.5 dl.

A popular myth is that one can tell the strength of rakia by the size of the ring of bubbles ("venac") which forms when the bottle is well shaken. This is also mistakenly used as a measure of the quality of the liquor.

In Bulgaria and Republic of Macedonia, rakia is generally served with shopska salad, milk salad, pickled vegetables (turshiya) or other salads, which form the first course of the meal. Muskatova rakiya is made from Muscat grapes, while the preparation method of dzhibrova rakiya is the same as for Italian Grappa.

In Croatia, travarica (herbal rakia) is usually served at the beginning of the meal, together with dried figs. The Croatian Adriatic coast is known for a great variety of herbal grappas, some typical for only one island or group of islands. The island Hvar is famous for grappa with the addition of myrrh (mrtina — bitter and dark brown). Southern islands, such as Korčula, and the city of Dubrovnik are famous for grappa with anise (aniseta), and in central Dalmatia the most popular rakia is grappa with nuts (orahovica). It's usually homemade, and served with dry cookies or dried figs. In the summer, it's very typical to see huge glass jars of grappa with nuts steeping in the liquid on every balcony, because the process requires the exposure of orahovica to the sun. In the northern Adriatic — mainly Istria — rakia is typically made of honey (medica) or mistletoe (biska). Biska, which is yellow-brown and sweet, is a typical liquor of Istria.

Another popular way of serving is "cooked" ("kuvana" or "greyana") rakia (also called "Šumadija tea" in Serbia), which is heated and sweetened with honey or sugar, with added spices. Heated in large kettles, it is often offered to visitors to various open-air festivities, especially in winter. It is similar to mulled wine, as weaker brands of rakia are used (or stronger ones diluted with water).

Ritual use

Although wine is the essential part of the Eucharist rite in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in the region, rakia has found uses in certain religious and related rituals across the Balkans.

At the end of the Orthodox Christian burial service, at the exit from the cemetery, visitors are offered a piece of soda bread ("pogača") and a glass of rakia. When drinking "for the soul" of the deceased, one spills some rakia on the ground, saying (in Romanian, "Dumnezeu să-i primească" (May God receive this for her/him), before drinking the rest.

During wedding ceremonies, the groom's father goes around all tables and offers a glass of rakia to all guests, sharing a toast for the happiness of the newlyweds. In general, in the Balkans, rakia is offered to guests in one's home as a welcoming gesture.

Drinks similar to rakia

* Rakı, an anise-flavored liquor in Turkey
* Tsikoudia a similar drink in Greece, especially Crete
* Tsipouro, an alcoholic beverage of Greece
* Ţuică, a similar drink in Romania.
* Palinka, a similar drink made in Hungary and Romania.
* Mead, an alcoholic drink made directly from honey
* Grappa, an alcoholic drink similar to komovica
* Pisco, South-American drink similar to vinovica.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rakia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Idioma Nombre Búlgaro ракия, rakia croata rakija griego ρακί macedonio ракија o rakija …   Wikipedia Español

  • Rakia — de prune de Bulgarie La rakia ou rakija (Albanais : raki rrushi, Bulgare : ракия; serbe cyrillique : ракија; roumain : rachiu; croate, slovène …   Wikipédia en Français

  • rakia — ra·kia …   English syllables

  • rakia — noun see rakija …   Useful english dictionary

  • Rakia Al Gassra — (رقية الغسرة), née le 6 septembre 1982, est une athlète de Bahreïn, spécialiste du sprint. Sa spécialité est le 200 m mais elle court également le 100 m. Elle mesure 1,70 m pour 65 kg. Elle a gagné la médaille d or 200 mètres femmes à Doha, Qatar …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rakia Al-Gassra — (رقية الغسرة), née le 6 septembre 1982, est une athlète de Bahreïn, spécialiste du sprint. Sa spécialité est le 200 m mais elle court également le 100 m. Elle mesure 1,70 m pour 65 kg. Elle a gagné la médaille d or 200 mètres femmes à Doha, Qatar …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rakia Al Gassra — Ruqaya Al Ghasra (arabisch ‏رقية الغسرة‎ Ruqaya al Ghasara, DMG Ruqaya al Ġasara, auch Rakia Al Gassra geschrieben; * 6. September 1982, Bani Jamra im Nördlichen Gouvernement) ist eine bahrainische Sprinterin. Die Leichtathletin erregt besonderes …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority - RAKIA — An organization established under a 2005 decree issued by the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah in United Arab Emirates (UAE). RAKIA s vision is to become the leading authority in making sound investments in Ras Al Khaimah and partner with other parties… …   Investment dictionary

  • Rakija — Rakia Rakia de prune de Bulgarie La rakia ou rakija (Bulgare : ракия; macédonien et serbe cyrillique : ракија; roumain : rachiu; croate …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ruqaya Al Ghasara — Rakia Al Gassra Rakia Al Gassra (رقية الغسرة), née le 6 septembre 1982, est une athlète de Bahreïn, spécialiste du sprint. Sa spécialité est le 200 m mais elle court également le 100 m. Elle mesure 1,70 m pour 65 kg. Elle a gagné la médaille d or …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.