Just like in most of the other countries on the Balkans, rakia production in Serbia started in ancient times and just like in all other Balkan countries, rakia is widely considered to be the country’s national drink.
Serbia is currently widely considered to be the major and dominating rakia producer on the Balkans. In terms of rakia production, the rakia producers in Serbia are still enjoying a very favourable environment. Due to the fact that Serbia is not a member of the European Union, the legal basis and requirements in Serbia are still very favourable for the rakia producers compared to some of its neighbours on the Balkans like Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.
Serbia is sort of unique with the fact that all the produced kinds of rakia are more or less equally popular around the whole country with the Loza (grape based) being slightly more popular in Eastern Serbia and less popular in Western Serbia with the Western part being firmly focused on fruit (other than grape) based rakia. In Serbia you can find a top quality producer for basically any kind of rakia existing in the world. In other words, all kinds of rakia and from all kinds of fruit is produced in the country. You can find excellent rakia made out of plums , quince , apricot, pears, grape, apple, raspberry, cherry, sour cherries and also medovina (plum or grape based with honey), orahova (usually grape based, similar to walnut liqueur), etc, The only kind of rakia which seems not to be so popular is Travarica (made with weeds and herbs).
The rakia production in Serbia is also based on the very strong agricultural production of the country, led by Vojvodina. The agricultural sector has historically been very strong and well developed. The country enjoys abundance of high quality fruit which, among others, is used also for the production of rakia. In addition to that, Serbia also has very good trade of fruit across the country enabling fruit to move between the different regions and thus basically all kinds of rakia are produced in all regions.
Another typical feature of the rakia production of Serbia is the availability of producers having different capacities. While Serbia has the large volume producers, it also has a reasonable number of small to mid-sized producers, producing very high quality non mass, boutique style rakia.
Homemade production for private use remains of course very popular in the country, but due to the relatively relaxed legislation know-how, experience, etc, it is absolutely not a problem to find a lot high quality rakia for non-private use. That enables a vibrant market and a lot of research and development in the production process.
In addition to the homemade rakia and the one for non-private use, there are also a couple of monasteries in the country producing very high quality rakia for own as well as for commercial use.
Based on everything written above, we shall say that when visiting Serbia, you should also make sure to experience also this side of Serbia –excellent rakia combined with warm hospitality. In fact, we may conclude that Serbia is a place which is worth visiting even on what we would call pure “rakia tourism”.