WHAT IS SLIVOVITZ?
Slivovitz is the name of a strong spirit made from plums. It is most famous and most popular in different parts of Eastern Europe where it is brewed by many locals in a home brewery setup. There are a handful of good international companies that brew and export Slivovitz around the world as well, especially to Israel and the US.
There is a lot of appeal for Slivovitz in Israel and among Jewish people around the world, as it is a kosher drink that is suitable for the Passover celebration. This has helped the drink it make its way across various continents and into the homes of many who would otherwise never have tried it.
BEST BRANDS OF SLIVOVITZ
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get varied remarks about this particular brand of Slivovitz. Some say it is the stuff you give to those who you don’t like, while others recommend it as a mild alternative to some of the strongest Slivovitz available on the market. It has a lower alcohol content than some, although still very high by many people’s standards. The plum taste can really be felt from a sip of this drink, with a hint of toasted almonds from aging process.
The older aged Navip Slivovitz is a nice choice for anyone looking to get a sweeter taste from their drink. The plums used for this brand are generally very well ripened and may not be fermented to their entirety, leaving behind some residual sweetness that can be enjoyed when you’re sipping the bottle. You might be able to try this as a good first choice if you are a beginner, as the sweetness will help to mask the fire of the alcohol to some degree. It also makes for a very pleasant cooking spirit which is good for sweeter dessert dishes as well as hearty meat dishes.
If you want to try a Slivovitz which doesn’t taste particularly like a distilled plum brandy, you might get a bottle of this brand to help you adjust to the drink more easily. It is well aged for around 10 years and boasts a lot of complex flavors that are seen in bourbons, brandies, and other liquors around the world. While the alcohol fire is still very strong, the plum taste is not necessarily front and center and there are a few other things to taste alongside of it that might make the first experience more enjoyable for some. Additionally, it tastes great in many cold weather cocktails.
The Szilva plum brandy may not be called Slivovitz, but it is exactly the same as the distilled spirit. This brand is exported around the world including to the US more recently. It is recommended as a good brand for those who have never tried Slivovitz before, because it has a distinguishable flavor amidst the strong and potent alcohol. You’ll find this brand to have a very bitter and herbal taste, making it great for mixing into a cocktail or sipping on the rocks as a stronger drink.
HOME BREWED, LOCAL SLIVOVITZ
You’ll hear it over and over again that the best Slivovitz is found from home brewers in the Slavic region of Eastern Europe. These home breweries and local brewers don’t usually export internationally and only sell their stock to local bars. Some even keep it within the family, friends, and neighbors for the sake of convenience.
If you get the chance to go to around the region, you will find some truly delicious Slivovitz which will be many times better than the international brands sold by larger breweries.
FINDING THE BEST TASTING SLIVOVITZ
You have to consider your own particular tastes as well as your tolerance for high alcohol content when choosing the Slivovitz that will suit your needs the best. If you’re looking for something to add to a mixed drink, you may be able to get by with a lower quality, stronger drink. However, if you need something to sit down and sip, you might prefer looking for an aged bottle that has a bit more flavor and some complexity to it. Those who really enjoy Slivovitz will always tell you that home brewed batches are the best wa