According to the old Serbian saying, “the best place to build a house is where a plum tree grows the best”. Given the Serbian people’s penchant for that most delicious of alcoholic tipples, rakija, there might well just be some truth in that.
In Serbia, there are estimated to be 10,000 private producers of Rakija – the infamous fruit spirit known by similar names in many languages of the Balkans.
While popular varieties of rakija such as raspberry (Malina), Apple (Jabuka), Quince (Dunja), Apricot (kajsija) and pear (kruška) are to be found in abundance, it’s the plum variant (Šljivovica) which is arguably the most instilled into the culture of the region.
In the small Serbian town of Ljubovija, which lies above the banks of the river Drina around 200km south west of Belgrade, the townspeople have a long standing reputation for rakija distilling and beekeeping – traditions which are very much still alive today.
The Mićanović family are perhaps typical of this long-standing local rakija tradition. After sharing their rakija with family, neighbors and friends – as is customary in Serbia; Milorad Mićanović decided to set up a state-of-the-art distillery to share the family’s rakija worldwide. That’s how Vrelo was born.
Blessed with the most sumptuous of plums, apples, pears, quinces and raspberries from the leafy mountains of western Serbia along the enchanting river Drina, Mr. Mićanović perfected a variety of rakija flavours made following his family’s age-old, tried and tested methods and recipes. Each recipe captures the craftsmanship, irrepressible spirit and mystique of the Balkans in the shape of intense, yet refined flavours.