Croatians love their liqueurs! Pre-meal as an aperitif (to stimulate the appetite and open the digestive system), post-meal as a digestiv (to aid in digesting the meal), first thing in the morning (to aid in ‘cleaning the body’) or really any time of the day (or night!) when people come over (to show off how much better and stronger your liqueur is than the one they have) or when alone (aids in sleeping).
To make any flavoured liqueur, you start with a clear rakija (brandy) most often made from plums. You can of course leave this as is, or add fruits, nuts, herbs and in this case honey, to layer in the flavour. All of these brandies are served neat.
The hardest part of this recipe is actually getting your hands on the clear brandy to start your flavour experimentation. If you know a guy who knows a guy, who possibly knows a guy, get some from him. Or you can do the proper thing and buy some from the international section of your liquor store. Just as important as the base are the ingredients you’re using to add to the mix. Only use organic, fresh, blemish-free fruit, nuts and herbs. For this recipe use organic honey and a honey that you already like the taste of. You can also mix it up with lavender, eucalyptus or other flavours of honey to layer the taste.
~ 500 grams honey (If you want to make more – 1 kilo of honey to 1 litre of rakija, 2 kilos of honey to 2 litres of rakija etc.)
~ 500mls rakija, or to taste
~ 250 mls water
~ Sterilised bottles with tightly closing caps for storing
- In a saucepan, bring the water to boil. Once it’s boiling, turn off the heat and dissolve the honey in the water.
- Once the honey has dissolved, gradually start adding the rakija. Taste this as you go, to make sure you like the strength of flavour. use as much of the rakija as you like.
- Allow to completely cool and then strain into glass bottles. You can leave it for a few days, to months but it will keep for years.
Let me know if you tried this sweet, strong liqueur and what you thought
Zivjeli! (Cheers and let’s live!)