Rakia, also spelled rakiya or rakija, is a clear alcohol similar to brandy, made by the distillation of fermented fruits (grapes, plums, apricots, pears, apples, cherries, figs, quinces).
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This potent hot drink is made with caramelized sugar, slivovitz (plum brandy) and water.
Every family and church group has its closely guarded recipe.
After the traditional Christmas Eve vespers service and Yule log or badnjak burning, a great meatless meal is enjoyed with a sip of vruca rakija.
The practice of toasting to another's health or welfare and the clinking of glasses when first taking a sip of an alcoholic beverage goes back centuries.
There's some scuttlebut about it having been a way to ensure your drinking partner hadn't poisoned your drink.