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Saturday 14 January 2023

Ferocious plum brandy is recognised by UNESCO

It is definitely an acquired taste, but Serbia’s national drink sljivovica now has UNESCO world heritage status.

The fierce spirit is made from fermented plums and used to toast births, marriages and mourn deaths. Many Serbian families distill their own versions.

The plum spirit is known as rakija in other parts of the Balkans and as slivovitz in Poland.

The best are delicious, but some can be positively dangerous.

Sljivovica is usuaully enjoyed as a shot, but is sometimes served warm in winter.

In Serbian culture it is considered a cure for a range of physical ailments.

Local media reported that the brandy is placed around the neck to remedy a sore throat, while high fevers are tackled by massaging sljivovica into the patient’s feet.

Ferocious Commercial varieties come with an alcohol content of 40% but home-made versions are opften much higher, hence the need for caution from neophytes.

The UN announced that Serbian plum brandy is now recognised "as a cherished tradition to be preserved by humanity".

Its place on the Intangible Heritage list relates to the “social practices and knowledge related to the preparation and use of the traditional plum spirit”, the UNESCO listing says.

The organisation recognised “the complex knowledge and skills to prepare the drink in a home environment as well as its use in everyday and ritual practices”.

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