How to make Bulgarian Rakia

by Georgi Lazarov
(Bulgaria)

Rakia is a traditional Bulgarian drink , similar to Whiskey and is traditionally made by the distillation of fruits or wines in a special metal pot.


It is heated by setting up a small fire underneath the pot.

The first thing that will be created is a substance rich with methyl achohol, which should be thrown away immediately as it’s poisonous.

You should get 1/2 litre of this substance when boiling 100 litres of fruits or wines.

The main ingriedients for the Rakia should have a fine taste, not too sweet, sour or bitter. The bitter taste means that it is more than 5 months old.

The fire underneath the bot shouldn’t be very big, otherwise you’ll burn the whole mixture

Rakia ( cyr. Ракия ) is considered to be the national drink in Bulgaria and all the other Slavic Balkan nations.

It has a very high alchohol content and is made by distillation of fermented fruits like plums, grapes, apples, quinces and other.

Most people in rural areas make Rakia at home, therefore it’s alchohol content can reach 60% or more.

It’s usually consumed with shopska salada, pickles, turshia. The Rakia is often compared to brandy and vodka.

To make rakia you will need a still. Obviously the ideal would be a copper pot still, but if you want to go cheap, get an electric pressure cooker (do not use a stove top model, as there is a significant fire/explosion risk). Where the valve is, you will need to hook up some surgical tubing. The tubing then connects to a coiled copper tube in a bucket filled with ice water.

The copper coil pokes through a hole in the side, where a glass catches the distilate.

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