Slivovitz or Slivovitsa (//; Serbian: шљивовица, Bulgarian: сливовица, Czech: slivovice, German: Sliwowitz, Bosnian: šljivovica, Croatian: šljivovica, Hungarian: sligovica, Italian: slivovitz, Macedonian: сливова, Polish: śliwowica, Romanian: şliboviţă, Slovak: slivovica, Slovene: slivovka, Yiddish: שליוואָוויץ, Ukrainian: слив'янка) is a distilled beverage made from Damson plums. It is frequently called plum brandy, and in the Balkans is part of the category of drinks called rakia. In Hungary and Slovakia it is part of the category of drinks called Pálinka (in Hungary; also used in Romania) or Pálenka (in Slovakia), which are essentially the same as Rakia.
Slivovitz is produced in central and eastern Europe, both commercially as well as homemade. Primary producers are in Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria.
The word "slivovitz" is derived from Slavic words for plum or (more specifically) for damson plum: Serbian (Serbian) - damson plum, Czech "slíva" or Slovak "sliv(ka)", and the postfix "-vice" or "-vica" /vɪtsa/ to add to the name of the brandy to distinguish what fruit was distilled (e.g. Czech meruňka (apricot) → meruňkovice (apricot brandy), broskev (peach) → broskvovice (peach brandy)).
Production and consumption 
Slivovitz is produced in Slavic regions of central and eastern Europe, both commercially as well as homemade. Primary producers are in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria.
It is most popularly consumed in those nations, as well as wherever communities of expatriate from these nations exist. Similar plum brandies are also produced in Germany, Switzerland, France, the United States, and Canada, but marketed under other names, such as brandy, Pflümli, or eau de vie. Clear Creek distillery in Oregon is now producing clear slivovitz labelled as such.
Distilling process 
In the manufacturing process, the plums and their ground kernels are first crushed and pressed; yeast, starch, and sugar may be added to the juice; and the mixture is then allowed to ferment. There may be one or several distillation stages, depending on the desired final product or region of production, and ageing is common to enhance the distillate's finer flavours.
Some producers have obtained a Hechsher for their slivovitz, certifying that it is kosher for Passover. Among Ashkenazi Jews slivovitz is associated with Passover because it contains no grain products and may therefore be consumed during the festival when grain-based liquors are forbidden.
- Tamborine Mountain Distillery.
Bosnia and Herzegovina 
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In Bulgaria, the "Troyan plum brandy" (Troyanska Slivova) has been distilled in the Troyan Monastery by the monks ever since the foundation of the monastery in 14th century. The original recipe included 40 herbs and was passed through the centuries from abbot to abbot. Back in 1894 the plum brandy of the Troyan Monastery was presented at a spirits competition in Antwerp, Belgium, where it won a bronze medal. Some of the secrets of the Troyan plum brandy are the following: Firstly, it is made of a plum variety that only grows in the Troyan region. It is an old variety which the locals call "Madzharkini plums", very juicy and aromatic whose stone, unlike the Teteven plums, is easily removed from the fruit. Secondly, and a very important condition for good brandy is that the fermentation vessel is as big as possible. Thirdly, it is important that the distillation vessel has a capacity of 80 to 120 litres. Experienced distillers noticed that the same source material gives different taste of the end product depending on the distillation vessel. Fourthly, the fruit quality is important; even a small amount of rotten plums deteriorates the brandy. The plum brandy should not be very strong: it is best in the range between 39 and 41 degrees. Then its flavour is most strongly felt and it is best to drink. Some of the most famous people who tasted the Troyan plum brandy are Pope John Paul II and the former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria celebrated his 95th birthday in 2009 in the Sofia Metropolitanate with Troyan plum brandy.
In cooperation with the Bulgarian government, the Czech distillery Rudolf Jelinek protected the brands "Troyanska slivova" and "Tetevenska slivova" in the EU in 2007. The same year, this largest European manufacturer of fruit distillates bought a majority share in the largest Bulgarian slivovitsa vinery "Vinprom-Troyan" having bought half a year earlier the second largest "Destila Teteven". However, the Czechs reduced the alcohol content to pay less duty. The production of "Vinprom-Troyan" is mainly for export. For the past 18 years, Troyan has a special holiday, The Festival of Plum. This holiday is celebrated at the end of September in Troyan and in the village of Oreshak where the Troyan Monastery is located. The cult for the plum in the Troyan region exists for ages. The plum has always been an essential produce in this region. Since the beginning of the 20th century plums have been made into marmalades, pesto, dried prunes, and pulps which were exported in Western Europe. Of course, this fruit is most important as a raw material for the production of Troyanska slivova.
- Troyanska Slivova (owned by Rudolf Jelínek)
- Tetevenska Slivova (owned by Rudolf Jelínek)
- Lesidrenska Slivova
- Elenska Slivova (owned by the Lyaskovets winery)
Czech Republic 
In the Czech Republic slivovice (as well as its variations from other fruits) is primarily produced in the southern and eastern provinces of Moravia and in Vysočina, where the country retains its rural character. The production of slivovice was introduced to Czech lands probably by Wallachian or Croatian migrants from northern Balkan since the 16th century.
Although traditional (illegal) home distilleries still exists, the majority of home production moved to certified local community-owned distilleries to prevent errors during the distillation process (leading to production of toxic Methanol). It also allows state authorities to collect their respective taxes based on the proof of the product, however there are tax-reliefs for private and non-commercial production of the drink. The usual proof of private-produced slivovice is over 50% of alcohol in the final product, commercially available mass-produced drinks are mostly lower proof.
Slivovice is usually consumed deeply chilled from a small shot glass known locally as "panák" (literally: a dummy), "kalíšek" (colloquial for a small cup) or "štamprle" (from German "das Stamperl", little glass), but is almost never served on the rocks. The cooling helps to overcome the effects of high proof during the drinking, however to enjoy the aroma and taste of the original fruit it is better to drink slivovice at room temperature.
The following mass produced slivovice are available throughout the Czech Republic:
- Rudolf Jelínek, the most famous distillery based in the town of Vizovice
- Žufánek, small family-run distillery known for quality products
Slivovice, due its somewhat symbolic status of Moravian "national" drink, is strongly presented in local traditions, culture and popculture like in proverbs, folk songs, TV shows and movies.
Šljivovica is the national drink of Serbia, and plum is the national fruit. The name Slivovitz is derived from Serbian (Šljivovica). Plum and its products are of great importance to Serbs and part of numerous customs. A Serbian meal usually starts or ends with plum products. Šljivovica is served as an appertif. A saying goes that the best place to build a house is where a plum tree grows best.
Serbian Šljivovica is consumed chilled in a special shot glass called "čokanji-čokanjčići" ("fićok-fićuci" in Vojvodina) of 0.3 to 0.5 dl. It is both part of history and tradition in the country and among Serbs across the world.
Traditionally, Šljivovica (commonly referred to as "rakija") is connected to Serbian culture as a drink used at all important rites of passage (birth, baptism, military service, marriage, death, etc.). It is used in the Serbian Orthodox patron saint celebration, slava. It is used in numerous folk remedies, and is given certain degree of respect above all other alcoholic drinks.
Following the claims of several nations to the protected designation of origin, in October 2007 the European Union went for a compromise solution, leaving "slivovitz" as a generic name, and granting individual nations the right to protect the origin with their own adjective. Thus, "Serbian Slivovitz" (Srpska šljivovica) will become Serbia's first certified national brand.
There is also a town in Zlatibor, called Šljivovica.
- Wolf Inter Export|Stefan Nemanja slivovitz
- Stara Sokolova
- Zlatni Tok
- Zlatna Biserka
- Katz Rakije
- Bošácka pálenica (Bošácka slivovica)
- GAS Familia (Goral Slivovica 52%)
- Old Herold (Bošácka slivovica)
- St. Nicolaus (Zbojnícka slivovica 52%)
- S 52
- Myjavská slivovica 52°
United States 
See also 
- Ward, Artemas (1911). "Slivovitz". The Grocer's Encyclopedia. New York. p. 567. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- Haraksimová, Erna; Rita Mokrá and Dagmar Smrčinová (2006). "slivovica". Anglicko-slovenský a slovensko-anglický slovník. Praha: Ottovo nakladatelství. p. 775. ISBN 80-7360-457-4.
- Pokhlebkin, William (1992). "Appendix 5: The Raw Materials and Production Techniques of Other Principal Spirits of the World". A history of vodka. London: Verso Books. pp. 206. ISBN 0-86091-359-7. OCLC 28183139.
- "Rudolf Jelínek: Kosher production". Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- Ezra Glinter, Have Another Shot of Slivovitz, The Forward, March 30, 2012.
- "Тайните на Троянската сливова" (in Bulgarian). Десант. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Марката "Троянска сливова" мина в чешки ръце" (in Bulgarian). Регал. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Сливова ракия" (in Bulgarian). Винпром-Троян. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- "Чехи купиха тетевенския винпром "Дестила"" (in Bulgarian). Дневник. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- "Лесидренска сливова ракия" (in Bulgarian). Леседра. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- "Our high [sic] alcoholic drinks". Lyaskovets Winery. Retrieved 2008-08-19.[dead link]
- "Product range: spirits". Badel 1862. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
- "MARASKA ZADAR". Maraska Zadar. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Company profile". Rudolf Jelínek. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
- "Slivovitz". Zufanek. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
- "Slivovice". Bonfier. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- "Slivovice". Stock a.s. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- "Passover Slivovitz". Polmos Bielsko-Biała. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- "Our products". Polmos Toruń. Retrieved 2008-09-16.[dead link]
- Mennell 2005, p. 383
- "Problemi oko izvoza šljivovice" (in Serbian). B92. 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
- "Slivovitz becomes Serbia’s first brand". B92. 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
- Grolier Incorporated 2000, p. 715
- "Flores". Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "STEFAN NEMANJA slivovitz". Retrieved 2008-08-13.
- "Navip products". Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- "Stara Sokolova". Retrieved 2008-09-11.
- "Rakija Zlatni Tok".
- "Zlatna Biserka". Retrieved 2009-06-10.
- "Katz Rakije". Retrieved 2008-12-29.
- "Gorda Plum Brandy".
- "Bošacka Slivovica". Old Herold. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
- "Branded spirits". St. Nicolaus. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
- "Fruit Destilates". s52. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
- "Fruit Liquors". Budič. Retrieved 2009-08-01.[dead link]
- "Spirit of Plum". Black Star Farms. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
- "Additional Clear Creek Eaux de Vie". Clear Creek Distillery. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
- "Jack and Jenny Plum Brandy". Peach Street Distillers. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
- "Plum Brandy". Stringer's Orchard. Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
- Stephen Mennell (2005). Culinary Cultures of Europe: Identity, Diversity and Dialogue. Council of Europe. ISBN 9287157448, 9789287157447 Check
- Grolier Incorporated (2000). The encyclopedia Americana. Grolier. ISBN 0717201333, 9780717201334 Check
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