January 7, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:35 pm

Slivovitz a/k/a plum brandy is most often made in places like Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary and Israel. I’ve seen it range in colors from crystal clear, to having a slight greenish color, to being almost amber.

While “plum brandy” might sound like something your Great Aunt Tessie might drag out of the closet, dust off, and sip to “break up a chest cold,” I assure that Slivovitz is some serious shit. At 100+proof, the stuff is like rocket fuel. I’ve seen some pretty tough drinkers get flattened by Slivovitz.

In fact, many years ago, I found myself in a toe-to-toe friendly debate with a recently discharged swabbie, who fashioned himself quite the drinker. He said that there was no way that a “military intelligence puke” (that would be me) could keep up with him. Being damned near as young as he was, and being just about as stupid, I accepted his challenge and asked the good brother if he had ever tried Slivovitz, as I just happened to have a new bottle handy.

He responded, “No, but if it’s booze, let’s go.” At that moment, I knew that his fate was sealed.

About 45 minutes (and the better part of the bottle) later, I was bleary-eyed, but Popeye was out in the back yard fertilizing the bushes with the contents of his stomach, just before he passed out on the grass.

The poor bastard had no idea what he was getting into.

Like I said, Slivovitz is some serious shit.


  1. good story i wonder if you happen to have a receipe for slivo.givio

    thanks jim

    Comment by jim — August 20, 2004 @ 1:31 am

  2. Sorry. Never heard of it.

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — August 20, 2004 @ 4:00 am

  3. Sounds about right. I discovered Slivovitz at the tender age of thirteen, but I don’t remember what the Germans call it.

    I was staying in a Gasthaus in Heidelberg (my family was waiting for GI quarters,) and the owner of the place had a still in one of the rooms off the courtyard (*very* traditional gasthaus, obviously a farmhouse at some distant time in the past.)

    Anyway, I came home from school one afternoon to discover the damndest smell saturating the place. When I inquired about what was going on, I was shown to the still and given a full rundown on the entire process. You’ve never smelled anything like a 40 gal barrel of fermented plums being dumped into the pot!

    I was also privileged to taste some of the first of the second run, fresh from the cooling coil — hoo, BOY! Nothing like it, probably well over 180 proof, and fever-hot.

    48 years later, and I’m still a sucker for the stuff …

    Comment by Bill — October 24, 2004 @ 5:21 pm

  4. Oh yeah if you’re not used to it, it’ll wipe you out. We hosted a Slivovitz Festival last year (www.slivovitz.us) and learned the hard way.

    Castle Spirits, in New York, makes a kosher slivovitz that is sweet, with carmel and maraschino cherry notes that completely disguise the 105 proof kick. It’s a great chaser to Maraska, a slivovitz with plum pit bite and plum skin biterness, but means that you just did two shots at once.

    Comment by Bill Radosevich — April 11, 2005 @ 7:57 pm

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