Plum Brandy
Troyan Plum Brandy
Plum Brandy

Brandy (rakiјa in Serbian, cuika in Romanian, arak in Arabic) is a traditional strong alcoholic drink prepared in the Balkans. Originally the brandy is colorless, as it can acquire a yellowish to brownish color when aged in barrels or after the use of various additives. The taste is similar to the Italian grappa, Japanese sake, Russian samogon, Mexican tequila or American brandy. The brandy is repared by distilling of fermented fruit. The most common varieties are grape and plum brandy.

Selecting the plums for brandy
Plum Brandy

The first ripe fruits, which had fallen alone on the earth and the damaged ones, must be put in vats for brandy. Nevertheless, farmers assess which plums for which type of processing will go throughout the picking campaign. It is well known that brandy becomes delicious and with a best from nice and ripe plums, and worse from lower quality plums. The rule is to not to put unripe ("green") and rotten plums in the mash.

Picking Plum Fruits
Plum Brandy

Picking plums for brandy requires more labor because the plum trees are picked to the final.

Plum Brandy

The filled vats are left for several days while fermentation of plums starts. During this time the level of fruit in the vat is lowered from squashing the plums (the mash thickens) and a top cover is formed. During fermentation foam is formed and it comes to the surface around the internal periphery of the vat, or if the vat is filled to the brim, the foam comes out.

Distilling brandy
Plum Brandy

The brandy is destilled in November and December. However, not every household has its own still. Average of 10-15 households one owns a still.

History of The Troyan Monastery
Plum Brandy

Troyan (independent) Monastery is the largest monastery in Northern Bulgaria and third in the country. It was founded in the early 15th century. It is located 9 km southeast of Troyan, in the valley of the Cherni Osam.

Monastery Burenovka
Plum Brandy

Early in the spring (early April) in large demijohns (15-20 liters) you pour aged at least one year pure brandy (42°-43°), as 2-3 liters volume of the demijohns are left empty to make room for the herbs.

List of the herbs
Plum Brandy

Popular name                                                                         Latin name:

1. Aromatic violets                                                                Viola odorata L.

2. Lily-of-the-valley                                                              Convalaria majalis L.

3. Wild cherry blossoms                                                         Prunus cerasus L.

Mulled brandy
Plum Brandy

The mulled brandy is prepared in a special container - a copper. Cold brandy is poured. The copper is put on the stove or in the embers of the fire. The flame should not “lick” the brandy because it ignites. Put some sugar to sweeten the brandy. Hold with preheated tongs a sugar cube over the boiling brandy. The sugar cube melts from the heat and turns into brown caramel which drips into the brandy. Stir well to get a nice yellow-amber color and the brandy to become very sweet and smooth.

Plum Folklore
Plum Brandy

"He pricked himself on a plum thorn." - Drunk.

"Brandy drinks, does’t not eat bread" - Sot.

"Forgive me for the wine, the brandy is over.

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