Jessica, a young black American woman, and her friend Grace Lee Barlow made a trip to Belgrade last month. They had both a great time in Belgrade, enjoying Serbian food, Skadarlija (the bohemian quarter of Belgrade), Kalemegdan fortress, and Rakija (plum brandy) at 11am!.
I just came across a great article by Valentino Lucio on the Houston Chronicle talking about Boyan Kalusevic, a Serb who was born in Belgrade, and who is going to carry on the tradition of Serbian rakia (also rakija) in San Antonio, United States. Really happy to see Serbian people living abroad carrying on Serbian traditions. In a bottle of Serbian rakija lies the spirit of Serbia full of history and hospitality.
Kalusevic and Mobley met nine years ago while attending the University of Texas at Austin. Mobley said he remembers Kalusevic mentioning his family’s craft as a student. It was something that always intrigued him. But it wasn’t until they took a trip to Europe and paid a visit to Kalusevic’s family in Serbia that the idea became more solid. After seeing the distillation process firsthand, Mobley said, he was hooked. “I told Boyan if you want to do it, let’s do it,” Mobley said. The company’s name was taken from Dorcol, an urban area in Belgrade where Kalusevic and his family lived.
Already amazed by the hospitality of people all across Europe, Serbia yet outgunned the idea we had of hospitality and helpfulness. A few minutes after checking in at our hostel in Belgrade, a round of homemade Rakija stood in front of us. “It’s on the house!”, the hostel owner welcomes us. During the following night with some more Rakija and a glance at the Belgrade nightlife, we nearly forgot that we had stumbled into Serbia in the midst of an election campaign.
Around 95,000 Serbs are living in Australia, and some of them let us know they have not forgotten the spirit of rakija. Well worth watching this fantastic short documentary film made by UTS Masters students, Vedrana Music, Audrey Svoboda. Best viewed with a shot of Serbian rakija or two:
In a bottle of Serbian Šljivovica (commonly referred to as “rakija”) lies the spirit of Serbia, a country full of history and hospitality. Serbian Šljivovica (Rakija) is great, but it’s not for the timid:
Back in May, we wrote about Serbian hospitality and rakija. Ezequiel Gomez Davel pointed out that in a bottle of Serbian rakija lies the spirit of a country full of history and hospitality. Well, I just came across a fantastic video on youtube about Serbian rakija. It’s a short documentary about rakija that was shot on Kalenic market, in Belgrade for the Kinobus (August 2010). It’s worth watching this film. Serbian people are saying that there’s always a reason to drink rakija. It’s true. They are also saying that rakija is very healthy for those who know how to drink. That may be true…
Alexander Vidakovic, a Dutch (of Serbian origin) professional Make-up Artist, spent recently seven days in Serbia with his Dutch friend Ger. Despite Alexander’s advice, Alexander’s family kept feeding Ger with rakija and Jelen pivo (Serbian beer) in the mornings and whole days long, so from their Seven days in Serbia, Ger spent two days in bed. Yes, rakija is a strong drink – and Jelen pivo a good beer. That said, it looks like rakija and Jelen pivo are also good “networking drinks”. Here’s a short excerpt, but it’s worth reading/watching the whole thing:
Where were we.. oh in Serbia, right.
It was late in the afternoon when my brother asked: “Where is Ger?”
“In his bed, sleeping I think, why?”
“Again? But he’s been sleeping a whole day, is there something wrong with him?”
“You shouldn’t give him rakija for breakfast anymore. He’s not used to it. We don’t have rakija’s for breakfast in Netherlands either you know… How many did he have this morning?”
“I think 3 or 4 shots when we woke up, not that much I guess.”
“True, it’s not much, but he was also partying with me in pub a whole night long, last night, so he doesn’t need that much.”
Ezequiel Gomez Davel recently put up a post over at EuropeUpClose.com talking about Serbian rakija. It’s well worth reading as it covers a bunch of different things, including the different types of Serbian rakija. As he notes, in a bottle of Serbian rakija lies the spirit of a country full of history and hospitality. Here’s a short excerpt, but it’s worth reading the whole thing:
Serbians are very open and generous people with a big sense of hospitality. They will open the door of their homes to you and treat you as a guest, offering you food and making you feel comfortable as if you are among friends. Even if their knowledge of English is little to none, through their gesticulation and big smiles, you will know you are in a safe place.
Being a guest also means you will immediately be offered some rakija, no matter what time of the day it is. So please try not to reject it even if you don’t feel like drinking. They will expect you to at least try it. If you don’t feel like drinking more, leave some in the bottom of your glass. Be aware that if you finish the entire glass, they are going to keep pouring more. A rakija session can surprise you at anytime of the day, even in the morning, and will quickly put you in a tipsy state. So don’t overdo it, as this drink should be taken with a lot of respect.
Earlier this year, we wrote about aLLeYNe & tEMuS, a hip hop black group from Toronto. Christopher Rudder ”Alleyne” (pronounced ahhh-lean) had a great time in Belgrade. “Belgrade is very beautiful and was an awesome entry into Europe as a first time going. I can’t wait to come back (Next year). The people are amazing!!! The food is amazing!!! (Especially Lamb, the best in the world). Alleyne’s video of Belgrade was amazing. Now, there is another one. It’s all about Rakija. “Rakija” This type of vodka will lower your fever, put hair on your chest and power your car if there isn’t a gas station nearby. LOL.”