Residents of Toplica, Southern Serbia are famous for their excellent fruit brandy. They also make herbal brandy, with medicinal herbs added to the fruit brandy. The healing effect of the herbal fruit brandy is well known since the ancient times of Saint Sava.
Population has been moving away from Toplica for the last 50 years, so domestic hand crafted brandy is made in very few homes in Toplica. But “Prokupac” from Prokuplje produces more and more every year. It has kept the customers all over the world, says PR of Prokupac Zeljko Rasic. “Prokupac increased the production of Manastirka, and Manastirka (Monastery brandy, Serbian translation) is now exported to Canada, Australia and New Zealand, apart from existing markets. ”
“Prokupac has loyal consumers who originate from the Balkans”, says Rasic, “and wherever they move, we have to follow them with our brandy. Every fourth resident of Chicago originates from the Balkans. Therefore, Prokupac is well known in the USA, Canada, Australia, as well as in the EU.”
“European countries introduced complicated system of protection of their domestic alcoholic beverages. It doesn’t refer to quality. They produce brandies that are not of natural origin. Whiskey made of potato is priced 7 EUR in wholesale in the EU. This brings us a lot of problems.”
There are 400 workers employed at “Prokupac” nowadays and they produce over 35 wagons of brandy a month. This makes them one of the largest alcohol distilleries in the Balkans. Around 35% of the production is being exported worldwide. It was awarded a Charter of St Sava in 2010 as the most successful firm in Toplica with over 2500 medals in its lifetime.
People from Prokupac like to emphasize that famous American tennis players, Williams sisters hold a wooden flask of Prokupac brandy on their table.