Food and Recipes

Slivovice – a homemade version

It’s summer here. School is finished, and all the summer fruit is in the stores. It’s a lovely time of year – it’s not yet too hot, and the humidity isn’t overwhelming.

I’m not a huge fan of plums, although I love their color. I picked up a bag of not so great plums this week, and rather than having them go to waste because no one in our house wanted to eat them, I decided to make a batch of some homemade fruit brandy.

I was familiar with a type of rakija (fruit brandy) called slivovice from one of my language instructors when I was studying Serbian and Croatian at DLI in California. I was intrigued. True slivovice (plum brandy) is much like Calvados, where the fruit itself is allowed to ferment into the nectar that is plum brandy. I don’t have the luxury either of getting my hands on real slivovice (let alone Calvados) or fermenting and distilling the fruit, so I came up with a shortcut, moonshine type version, which I will share with you here.

Homemade Plum Brandy

1 kg ripe plums (about 2 lb)

750g sugar (which is about 3 cups. You may cut back on the sugar a bit if you have nice, sweet plums)

1 L good brandy (N.B. Brandy is sold labeled as VS, VSOP, or XO. VSOP and XO are really the only ones worth drinking. Anything less will disappoint.)


Add all ingredients to a large jar. Seal, and shake the jar a little each day or at least every couple of days. Let this sit for at least 2 months, at which point you may strain and bottle. Then proceed to drink and enjoy.

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