Tag Archives: plum brandy

Why Is Slivovitz Considered A Noble Brandy?

Slivovitz or Slivovica or Sliwowitz or Sljivovica is a common name for plum brandy. „Sliva“ is a Slavic name for plum. Good Slivovitz is made of the plums of various species that were femented for 3 weeks before the distillation. So the alcohol that we dring in a Slivovitz is actually crafted from ripe fermented fruit. Unlike other spirits like Gin, Vodka or even Whiskey, Slivovitz or Plum Brandy originates from fruit and bears all the advantages and disadvantages of fruity origin. The main disadvatage is its price, because usually 10 kg of ripe fruit is needed to craft 1 litre of Slivovitz. So it cannot be any cheaper.

But advtanages are numerous on the other hand.

COMPLEXITY. As every beverage made from fruit, like wine, its aroma and content is not simple nor dymensional. Fruit is a very vivid raw material and, if not burned down, its aroma, fragrance, colour (and destiny) must be granted to its brandy. It is complex enough that each year a slightly different slivovitz is made from the same orchards and fruits.

AFTERSMELL. When you have a sip, the fragrance is retained on your palate for a long time. Unlike simple artificial spirits, you feel its complexity on your palate. And after a while, you feel it is your stomach.

AGING. As Slivovitz is made of fruit containing tannins in its skin, its first sign on your palate can be harsh. Some people, especially those who have it for the first time and are not prepared to it, even said it was burning. The effect of harshness is lost over time, if Slivovitz is aged in an oak barrels for 3-5 years, and sometimes even longer. This is the reason why aged Slivovitz is appreciated.

BARREL. Every alcoholic beverage, if not artificial, is colourless when it is produced. So as Slivovitz. The colourless and hot liquid Slivovitz flows from the distillation pot. Its tawny and amber colour is gained over time, due to the contact with the oak barrel. Lately the producers use barrique oak barrels volume of 225 l. Then its colour is more beautiful and its aroma is more complex.

DENSITY. Hot liquid from the distillation pot is poured into the barrels and is left to age for years. It is gaining density over time. Some people say it reminds of oil after few years. You can judge its density on the glass: the tears must show up if it was aged properly.

AS Group

There are many different ways to express bravery, and one of my favorite is stepping into the unknown. I really like


when people enter the caves no one has ever entered before, or dive in the underground lakes, or change their current profession for another, the one they dreamed of, but never had a chance to actually try it.

That’s why I admire the man who stands behind AS Group, Goran Stosovic, who took several steps many other people wouldn’t dare. First of all, from a small village called Igros, he dared to go to Chicago, where he successfully founded the construction company. Most of people who work abroad never return home, and here is another incredible step he took: many years later, he returns home, so that he can invest in the winemaking. In 2004, he founded AS Group, a company which produces brandy. Now, when people start their agricultural work of any kind, they usually look how to find their place in the local market, among people they know better… Of course, since he already lived in America, he had some idea of how American market is functioning, but still, his next step, to export his products to America was quite impressive!

His example proved that:”America isn’t a boogeyman,” as he likes to say.

Did you know?


While the company is called AS Group, the actual name for brandies is Imperian. So, if you’re searching for their alcoholic beverages, you need to search for Imperian Plum, Imperian Pear, Imperian Raspberry, Imperian Quince, Imperian Loza, Imperian Slivovitz and Imperian Klekovaca. Each beverage has a luxurious package, with an interesting slogan that says:”From Serbia With Love.”

Must say, the slogan reminds me of a Bond movie, “From Russia with love,” and I’m not sure if it’s


something like stealing the idea, or is it simply based on the love Mr Stosovic feels toward his motherland, to which he returned when he realized he can help her anyhow.Of course, we should recall, that stated how he really loves the process of creation of the brandy, all the way from the beginning, which means the collection of the fruit. Indeed, all fruit is gathered in an area close to his village, where the air is clear, as well as the earth and water.

Ecological factor is very important when it comes to production of the quality brandy. And, while we all hope that the area with such clean fruit won’t be disturbed, we also need to hope that there will be enough people to work on plantages, and in a distillery, so that we can never run of this liquid gold.

Simex- Young But Well Known Brandy Distillery

Simex from Subotica is one of young distilleries, and as such, has no long history to talk about.


However, the quality of their product is well-known, and therefore, Simex is one of the most frequent names in the fancy restaurants in Serbia. It still hasn’t found its way to the wide open world, but, on the local level, the company proved itself. At Agronomic fair in Novi Sad, it received both gold and silver medal for two different types of rakia. Besides the recognition regarding the quality of the drinks, it also received recognition for the design of the packages.

However, even though there are many good results of their work, there is something that causes the trouble and nightmares to all the people working in Simex. For some reason, groups of forgers decided to create and sell fake packages of this company. They would produce it in an uncontrolled environment, and sell on the local green market. The loss of the company was not only based on the price of the drinks they didn’t really sell, but also based on all of the bottles people refused to buy in the future, fearing for their health. And all those losses were enormous.simex_promotion_schnaps

On the other hand, there are sources who claim that the entire story regarding the forgery is nothing but a trick to gain the media attention. Well, there is no such thing as “the bad marketing,” right? But there is a huge difference between a product and a pop star. Or, at least, I hope so.

Did you know?

Simex Slivovitz has the name Brka, which means “A man with a mustache.” And, if you take a look at the gentleman on the package, he indeed has a mustache, following the fashion of ancestors. Some said that it’s a younger version of the man who can be seen on the old packages of Jagodinsko Beer, and as such, a copy. It’s quite incredible how people can find a way to argue about just anything.

Not so long ago it was discussed in the Chamber of Commerce, how the companies should act toward the design options. Besides the all the trouble regarding the copy/paste moments, they also thought how the package needs to show from which part of the Serbia it came. The next problem that came out was the fact that every distillery gets their plums from everywhere where there is a healthy fruit.

Prokupac- One of the Oldest Distilleries of Slivovitz in the Balkans

The story of Prokupac begins over half of the century ago, in 1955. For all this time, the factory managed to produce almost 270 million liters of beverage.

Manastirka Plum Brandy Slivovitz

Manastirka Plum Brandy Slivovitz

My mother still keeps the old package of Manastirka Slivovitz, made by Prokupac distillery. I remember, when I was a kid, I would always grab it, and pretend to be an adult, but a pretty drunken one. I would start talking nonsense and my sister would laugh at it. Some may say that it’s not how kids should play, but on the other hand, it seems as a way better option than sitting in front of the computer.

The story of Prokupac begins over half of the century ago, in 1955. For all this time, the factory managed to produce almost 270 million liters of beverage, and as such, became the biggest factory of alcoholic beverages on Balkan. It really makes me sad to see that after all the success this factory had, and after all the medals and prizes it won, it ended up fighting to survive, in the new, grim days.

Not so long ago, Prokupac was supposed to be joined with another company, but instead of better work with a joined forces, all that happened was the other company acting like a parasite. Business, contracts and politics almost destroyed the well-known producer of excellent drinks.

Did you know?

One of the most well-known products of Prokupac distillery is Manastirka Slivovitz. Besides being a tasty drink, Manastirka was often used and a healing potion. I don’t know what would doctors say, perhaps they wouldn’t agree on this, but my grandmother would use it whenever I catch a cold. In order to bring down the temperature, she would perform a massage over my hands and feet with the Manastirka. Some say that any alcoholic beverage would do the trick, but this one has been often in our home, so it had the main role in everything: healing, drinking, cheering…

Some say that the recipe for this drink was invented centuries ago, perhaps even by St. Sava himself, but those are just stories without actual proof. However, it is most likely that its production started in monasteries, as the name suggests (manastir=monastery).

Even today, during the whole struggle Prokupac has to deal with, Manastirka is welcomed in every home. I’ve seen lately on the online auctions, that people are ready to give over 2000e for a 30-year old bottle of Manastirka. Considering the fact that the crisis is still present in this part of the world, we can assume that it remained popular and that people haven’t forgotten its old glory.

Forest Plum Brandy Slivovitz

If you like the mixture of pure classic brandy making and innovation of taste Forest Plum Brandy should definitely be your first pick. This product is all about design, both in means of packaging and drink itself. It is made on Zlatibor mountain, surrounded by nature and fresh air. Ingredients are 100 percent organic and raised in an amazing environment.

The bottle is a real eye-catcher, interesting shape, archaic lettering and it’s sealed with wax. This way producer made sure that taste last for years and be as fresh as possible once you open it.

After you take the cork of your nose will feel bliss instantly. You can feel smooth aroma of forest fruits and honey that simply calls you to have a sip. Honey that is used in distillation process is picked from local honey farms and it has a strong fragrance of acacia. Since brandy is stored in oak tree barrels mixture of wood aromas gives it rich smell.buy_forest_brandy

Honey, fruit and plum brandy mixture gives it a dense texture which is very appealing to your tongue. The color is dark yellow, just like honey.

The most important thing is the taste of it. First you’ll feel that smooth and sweet taste coming from honey and forest fruits and then mushed plum taste kicks in. Plums are prepared for distillation traditionally. First they are left to lay inside the wooden barrel for days. This way every bit of juice and sugar from plums is used. That’s why other ingredients can’t take over the primary taste of it.

It’s best to be served before lunch, but you won’t be able to stop after one glass. Because of its soft taste you’ll enjoy it over and over again. The best way to describe it is as Zlatibor’s nature transformed into alcohol beverage.

Stara Rakija at a Shelf

Stara Rakija at a Shelf

Vojvoda Slivovitz Plum Brandy: A Glass Each Morning


Every now and then I like to try something different when it comes to drinks. Usually, I’m stuck with a lot of fancy spirits that come in well-designed bottles, beautiful labels and interesting background stories. Recently I’ve stumbled upon a very minimalistic brandy called Vojvoda. Design of any kind is totally out of the picture and that is the main reason I’ve bought it and gave it a shot. I was led by a saying “Don’t judge the book by its cover” and I was pleasantly surprised.

As I’ve said earlier design is totally out of the picture, bottle is poorly shaped and the label seems like it’s done in a local copy shop. But what I like is inside of the bottle so let’s just forget about this aspect.

The color of Vojvoda is tawny yellow which I liked since it reminded me on domestic slivovitz I always liked. This shade is what makes you think “Yeah, this is healthy and organic for sure!” at least that’s my opinion.

The smell of this slivovitz was surprisingly mild, even floral. If you have it with a glass of water it can resemble to sherbet as well.

Its main quality is its taste! The label said it has 45 percent of alcohol, so I thought it’s going to burn quite hard once I drink it, but it hasn’t. Taste is very mild and smooth! It has a strong aroma of pepper and a bit of wood. After few sips I’ve tasted tobacco as well. Before it’s bottled this slivovitz stays inside of the wooden barrel for at least two years which is enough time to calm the fermentation taste, but not too much to kill the beauty of plum’s aroma. Overall this is great slivovitz if you look at its price and surely something you’ll enjoy before your meal.

"Vojvoda" At the Fair

“Vojvoda” At the Fair

Stara Rakija Promotion Photos

Quince, pear, plum, honey, apricot and brandy with forest fruit distilled by Stara rakija and packed in 0.5 L bottles will soon join sour cherry brandy.


Stara Rakija at a Shelf

Stara Rakija at a Shelf



Stara Rakija Promotion at The Belgrade Airport "Nikola Tesla"

Stara Rakija Promotion at The Belgrade Airport “Nikola Tesla”


Stara Rakija at The Belgrade Brandy Fair

Stara Rakija at The Belgrade Brandy Fair

Stara Rakija at Skadarlija, Belgrade Bohemian Block

Stara Rakija at Skadarlija, Belgrade Bohemian Block

Plum Juniper Brandy – Stara pesma (Old Song)

Very special brandy, often called a Serbian gin.


Somewhere around the Serbian city Bajina Basta you can find the best juniper berries for a brandy. Local people love to spice their plum brandy with approximately two dozens of forest juniper berries. In that way they get a perfect combination of the finest plum brandy and the tastiest juniper berries.

A perfect brandy, colored old gold, with the smell of dried plums, juniper, lime and smoke.

People who decided to taste it, never regretted it. And always asked for more.


Few centuries ago one family came to the village Pepelj, near the mountain Tara, and started making one of the finest brandies in county. Generations of their descendants followed the tradition of cultivating orchards, making barrels and producing brandy. They have been working hard, enjoying life with a song and couple of drinks, and they managed to produce brandy Stara pesma, to the delight and pride of present and future generations.

A 300€ Slivovitz

The worldwide known “Thread of Gruza” plum brandy slivovitz is exported in the EU, US and Australia. And how did it all begin?

Golden Thread of Gruza Plum Brandy Slivovitz 7 Years Old

Golden Thread of Gruza Plum Brandy Slivovitz 7 Years Old

Prvoslav Aleksic, a former importer of furniture, saw a distillery once in Italy and realized that this production of brandy became his dream and passion. The same kind of distillery he built in the countryside, on the estate of his ancestors and hired experts from the Faculty of Agriculture and technologists who have helped him to make “The Thread of Gruza Slivovitz”. Now he is preparing a new product: 12 years old brandy and a bottle will be priced 300€.

We’ve tried it, it’s excellent. It is like the finest French cognac.

Prvoslav’s wife says he started this job with so much desire and passion. He usually got up at 4 AM every morning while the distillery was built and was travelling from Kraljevo to the village to oversee the works and assist the masters, and then he would come back to Kraljevo and be in the workplace at 8 AM  in the company of which he was the owner at the time.

“After 30 years spent in the city we decided to move to the country. My husband had a great will and wish. Mine was a little bit weaker, but when I came here I saw how nicer it was, much nicer than living in the city. Life is more relaxed here, there is a lot of work, but  we feel happy and satisfied, “says Vladanka.

Prvoslav says he began producing the brandy on his own but consulting profession and the quality is achieved by proper choice of fruit. He says Serbian brandy is much appreciated in the world, but there is a lot of smuggling and illegal sales, which greatly lowers the price of brandy that domestic producers export, especially in the countries of Europe.

“Everything was done according to the laws and rules, that is why the result could not be missed,” he says with pride and leads us to show us eight hectares of fruit that he planted to produce their own brandy.

He is also satisfied with life in the country, says that when he arrived he had about 105 kilos and now 83. He feels healthier and more vital, on Sundays socialize with friends and often go hunting. Children continued to live in Kraljevo, he has four grandchildren and intends to leave this job to his grandson.

He has built the old Serbian house with two entrances and ethnic restaurants for themselves and guests who come from all over the world. One entrance to their private quarters and the other, from the restaurant for guests

Vladanka is dedicated to rural tourism, her realm is the kitchen built in the courtyard, next to which is the family Ethno house from the last century that Prvoslav intends to rearrange for tourists. But it is under state protection as a historic monument, and he is waiting for the state to issue the official permission to renovation.

Aleksic Ditillery

Aleksic Distillery

The Ethno restaurant atmosphere is steeped in tradition, on the walls of hand-woven curtains with embroidery, on tables the woven work of several generations of women in this family. On the walls the paintings of hand-made musical instruments, folk costumes, tapestries …

Visiting the Aleksic household we met guests from Germany. Ivica Micic and his son were staying here for a few days and were very pleased. Next time they will bring the whole family with them and are already thinking to buy a property in this or another nearby village of Sumadija.

For Aleksic Ethno household they heard on the Internet, but also in Serbian serial “My cousin from the country” whose scenes were recorded here.

Buy Brandy Online UK: Customs Charge

3 Things You Should Know About How To Avoid Duty When Buying Spirits From Abroad To UK


In tastebrandy.com we deal with international parcels delivered worldwide every day. A significant portion of our parcels is delivered to the customers in the UK. UK has the third highest excise duty rate in the EU (right after Sweden and Ireland) and our UK customers understand that if they buy their favourite fruit brandy on tastebrandy and receive it uncharged, they had a very good bargain.


Very often, the price of the whole brandy is smaller than the UK  excise duty itself. We assist our buyers every day advising them how to avoid UK customs duty. This text is part of our „manual“.



2-3 bottles are usually not charged by HMRC.

Although each drop of alcoholic spirit should be charged if the parcel arrives from a non-EU country, HMRC has the instruction not to charge parcels if the charged amount is too small. They can’t afford to charge every single parcel. So many parcels every day… And HMRC has its internal targets…



Avoid couriers! Courier parcels have a completely different regime of customs inspection. If you order your brandy to be delivered by courier service to UK (Fedex, TNT, DHL), it will be delivered in 2-3 business days. Really fast! But you have to be aware you will be charged VAT, excise duty and administrative cost. If the brandy arrives from a country that is not a candidate for EU membership, customs duty as well will be charged. All of this can be as high as 150% of what you already paid for the brandy and the shipping. Totally opposite to the postal parcels, courier parcels have no exemptions: every drop of spirit is charged.

So, we suggest you to use courier delivery only if you really need it fast (expecting guests for the weekend, forgot that your grandpa has birthday in 3 days…), but be ready to pay for the speed.

Our experience shows that 89.7% of our customers would wait longer for its parcel if there4 would be no customs charges.



It happens sometimes that the parcel arrives in UK without customs declaration, invoice and other documents that were supposed to be attached to the parcel. Only the recipient’s name. HMRC Officers will open the parcel, examine its contents and determine the eventual customs charges. Since UK Customs Officers don’t know what is the price of the brandy from your parcel in Serbia and at what price you bought it, they will take as the basis for charging- their own catalogue values. Which means: you will be charged as if you bought the brandy in the UK. We all know that UK brandy prices are at least half higher than prices of the brandy in Serbia. But they simply have no other way to determine the value.

This is the reason why we always put one copy of the invoice inside the parcel. Because, the postmen always claim it’s not their fault.

If you order your brandy from any other web shop outside of UK or EU, ask the sender to attach one extra copy of the invoice to the parcel. The paper’s not that expensive as the postmen’s sloppiness.


Based on 5 years experience of plum brandy slivovitz mail delivery business from Serbia.