We have distilled a very small batch of Pear Rakija, the pears used are from the 200-year-old pear trees at Black Horse Estate. They come in 250ml bottles and are available exclusively at the Distillery or online at blackhorsedistillery.co.za. 43% Alc /Vol.
How to drink Rakija like the Balkans?
it is customary at a wedding for the groom’s father to go around to all of the guests and offer them a shot of rakija. It is also traditional to offer it to any guest in your home, which is why, if you will be staying at a locally owned hostel, guesthouse, or B&B, you will not be able to avoid it!
Step One: Eye contact, eye contact, eye contact!
The citizens of the Balkans have a superstition about making eye contact when first toasting and they are very serious about it. It is considered to be bad luck to break eye contact while taking the first drink. When you are offered a shot, clink glasses as is customary and say “živeli” (zhee-ve-lee, cheers in the former Yugoslav republics) and make sure you are looking your drinking mate in the eye! Maintain eye contact until you have taken the first drink! And the brings us to…
Step Two: You are not doing shots!
I know, I know, the rakija was served in a very small glass and you could quite easily down it in one go. Many people before you have made this mistake as well and it’s not until later that they learn that rakija is meant to be sipped and savoured, not down like a tequila shot at a hen do. The first sip is meant to be taken slowly. It generally has quite a high alcohol content, so it is altogether more wise to pace yourself while drinking, anyhow. A glass of rakija should be enjoyed in 2 – 3 sips. And finally, that brings us to…
Step Three: Repeat!
Because let’s face it: you’re in the Balkans and you can’t find rakija anywhere else! You’ve gotta savour what you have while you have it! Živeli!