Vinjak (Serbian Cyrillic: Вињак) is a brand of brandy produced by the Serbian company Rubin. Previously marketed as Cognac, it was renamed when stricter laws governing what may be branded Cognac came into force. The drink itself is light brown, and contains 40% alcohol.
Brandy-making was introduced in Serbia by Dragoljub Marković, a long-time winemaker from Aleksandrovac. He made the first brandy in 1933 after finishing the school of winemaking in Paris in 1932 and after he had returned to Serbia. His production was almost stopped during the war and then ended after the war when communists nationalised his property.
Rubin, a company created in 1955 and privatised in 2005, has produced the drink since 1957. The spirit is produced by wine distillation, resulting in a 67–70 % alcohol-by-volume (abv) concentration. It is then aged several months to several years, depending on quality range, in oak casks of 500 litres each. Before bottling, it is mixed with distilled water, to obtain the 40% abv beverage. Between 4.8 and 5.5 million litres are produced each year. Like French cognac, Vinjak is labelled with V.S. ("Very Special"), 5 V.S.O.P. ("Very Special Old Pale") or XO ("Extra Old"), depending on how long it was aged.
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