Monday, February 3, 2014

Warm Slivovitz a.k.a Shumadian Tea

My husband is a guest on my blog...

Nothing is better on a cold winter day than Warm Slivovitz.

Slivovitz (Šlijivovica) is a plum brandy and Serbian national drink. Actually, it is much more than that, it is a symbol and beverage with almost mythical power. Overall hospitality of a household is measured by the quality of Slivovitz it can offer to their guests. Especially if it's homemade, using micro-distillery such as one that my father-in-law has. Births and weddings are saluted with a glass of it in your hand. Last respect it paid to the departed, again with a glass of Slivovitz in your hand, right there at the cemetery. Many people never wash shot-size Slivovitz glasses, confident that no germ can survive on the their surface due to high alcohol content of the drink. When I was sick as a child and had a fever, my parents would put a cloth soaked with Slivovitz around my ankles, believing it will take the fever out.

Serbians were never much fond of the tea, but they still needed something to warm them up and make long winters more bearable in the age before TV and Internet. So they invented Warm Slivovitz. Since the best-known region for making Slivovitz in Serbia is called Shumadija (Šumadija), Warm Slivovitz is often, half-jokingly, called Shumadian Tea. 

Bitterly cold winter in Baltimore inspired me to make one for myself and share the recipe with you..

You need:

1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup Slivovitz - you can find it in well stocked large liquor stores.
1/2 cup water


In a small sauce pan, melt sugar over medium heat until it's dark brown in color. Now add Slivovitz and water. As you add cold liquid, caramelized sugar will immediately firm up. Keep the heat on, stirring until all caramelized sugar has melted back again and until the liquid starts the boil. Although Slivovitz is a very strong spirit, a lot of alcohol will evaporate as you heat it up, and you will end up with a smooth and relaxing warm beverage, comparable to mulled wine. Pour into heat-resistant glasses and enjoy.

You can alter proportion of sugar, Slivovitz and water in this recipe depending on your taste.

Serves two.


  1. Ovaj "čaj" i ja volim ;) Još uz kiseli kupus posut ljutom tucanom paprikom, milina...
    Bio je i neki narodnjak "Ajd u kuću da pijemo vruću..."

  2. Bas sam se dobro zabavljala citajuci tvoj post. I uspomene su krenule da naviru :)


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