Bistra Slivovitz

History
Slivovitz is the national drink of Serbia, and plum is the national fruit. The word “Slivovitz” is derived from Slavic words for plum. Serbia is the largest exporter of slivovitz in the world, and second largest plum producer in the world. Bistra is top quality brandy produced from Serbian plums.
Production
Selected ripe plums are crushed and the pits are separated away. After temperature controlled fermentation based on regional yeasts, the fermented mash is double distilled and blended until distinctive fresh slivovitz is obtained. The slivovitz is then placed in oak barrels of up to 5000 liters for aromatic completion and then stored in stainless steel tanks for further ageing until bottling. Three years of oak aging gives the brandy a golden color and smoother taste; fresh, vigorous, vibrant.
Taste
The unique taste of Slivovitz comes from the plum seeds. When pressed, the seeds release amygdalin which tastes of almonds. On the palate it tastes of vanilla and almond. As you sip it, notice how the brandys fiery start mellows leading to a smooth clean finish. Traditionally, Bistra Slivovitz is sipped neat just like a cognac or any other fine brandy and is mature enough to be drinkable with ease, particularly when slightly chilled.

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Featured Recipe

TENDER BEEF OR VENISON STEW WITH PLUMS & SLIVOVITZ

Ingredients for 6 people
1.5 cups coarsely chopped onions
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1 ounce dry Boletus mushrooms, previously soaked in 4 oz warm water
9 oz dry bacon sliced
2 lbs meat tender beef or venison, cut in 2" cubes
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 spoonfuls of double concentrated tomato puree
3.5 oz of Bistra Slivovitz
5 oz of red wine
1 cups of clear beef soup-broth
1/2 cup of dry plums without pits
sunflower or vegetable oil
wheat flour
sweet red pepper powder
green pepper, ground
salt
Instructions
Fry onions in a pan, on medium heat, till glassy, and add fresh mushrooms. Cover and fry on low heat for further 3-4 minutes, then put aside. Take a casserole pot and fry meat and bacon on high heat till brown. Turn to low heat and add the prepared onions with mushrooms; also stir in dry Boletus mushrooms along with the water they previously soaked in. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Heat the oven up to 350 degrees. Stir in tomato pure and finely cut garlic and simmer for further 2 minutes. Add wine and soup, cover and put in the oven for an hour and a half. When meat is almost done, fry plums and a spoonful of flour in 3-4 spoonfuls of oil in a pan on low heat for a minute, add slivovitz and continue stirring till it turns into sauce. Stir the plums and Bistra Slivovitz sauce in the casserole pot. Add a teaspoonful of ground green pepper and three teaspoonfuls of red pepper powder, salt to taste. Cover, simmer in the oven for further 5-10 minutes and the meal is done. Serve with warm potato gnocchi or polenta with lettuce salad on the side.

MARINATED TERIYAKI FILET-O-BEEF

Ingredients for 2 people
Marinade:
- 2 oz soya sauce
- 2 oz Bistra Slivovitz
- 1/2 cup full bodied white wine
- 2 tps of brown sugar
- 1 spoonful of ginger juice /squeezed out of ground fresh ginger/
1 lb filet-o-beef
corn or rice starch
salt
Instructions
Cut filet-o-beef in 3-4 cm thick pieces to be grilled. Prepare the marinade and marinate the meat on room temperature for three or more hours. Grill the meat to taste and salt to taste at the end. Put the remaining marinade in a small casserole on low heat, dilute starch in 3 oz of cold water and add to simmering marinade, stir till thick. Salt to taste. Pour the thickened marinade over grilled filet-o-beef and serve with tempura vegetables /mushrooms, broccoli, green bell pepper rings, onion rings/ and young potatoes roast on oil & butter.

BEEF CUTLETS CHOPS WITH PLUMS & SLIVOVITZ

Ingredients for 4 persons
2 lbs beef cutlets
4 tbps butter
1/2 cup dry plums without pits
1 cup dry bacon
2 oz Bistra Slivovitz
1 oz warm water
150 ml gravy
1 tsp of ground cummin
a handful of fresh parsley, finely sliced
salt, ground black pepper, sunflower oil
Instructions
Season the cutlets with salt and pepper and beat-tenderize them with a bat. Put a large deep pan on high heat, add butter and oil, fry the cutlets till brown. Add whole dry plums and fry for another couple of minutes. Remove done cutlets to a plate aside. Add bacon to the pan, season with ground cummin and fry on medium heat till bacon is done, but not crisp. Add gravy and simmer for a couple of minutes. Put the cutlets back into the pan, add slivovitz and warm water and parsley, dig the cutlets in the sauce and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with potato gnocchi or tagliatelle. Pairs well with full bodied red wines.

PORK FILLETS IN SLIVOVITZ SAUCE

Ingredients for 4 people
2 lb pork tenderloin, filet-o-porc
1/2 cup dry plums without pits, soaked in wine
7 oz sour milk cream
5 oz milk cream
5 oz Riesling
1 oz Bistra Slivovitz
polenta
wheat flour
vegetable oil, salt, ground white pepper
Instructions
Cut the tenderloin into 3 cm thick pieces. Beat salt, pepper into them with palm of your hand. Lightly press them into wheat flour and fry on medium heat till done. Remove the meat from the pan. Slice the soaked plums and add them to the pan with Riesling. When boiling, put the fillets back to the pan, cover and simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add slivovitz and milk creams, simmer uncovered for a couple of minutes, then salt to taste. Serve with polenta medallions. Pairs well with full bodied white wines and rosees.

STUFFED PORK FILLET FLAMED WITH SLIVOVITZ

Ingredients for 4 people
2 lb pork tenderloin
2 cups dry plums without pits, pre-soaked in wine
1/2 cupwhite wine
1 cup cream
2 oz Bistra Slivovitz
sunflower oil, lemon, ground black pepper, salt
Instructions
Using a thin knife, cut wholes through the center of each tenderloin and stuff them with soaked plums. Fry the stuffed tenderloins on medium heat until done. At the very end, pour slivovitz over them and ignite /flame/. Use a grater to peel off most of one lemon skin-zest. Add the remaining plums, wine, lemon zest and simmer until wine almost evaporates. Add milk cream and continue simmering for a couple of minutes. Salt to taste. Take the tenderloins out of the pan, cut into 2-3 cm slices and serve in plates seasoned with sauce from the pan. Serve with parboiled rice seasoned with green pepper and/or mushrooms and lettuce salad on the side. Pairs well with full bodied white wines and rosees.

SERBIAN OPLENAC PANCAKES - CREPES

BASIC PANCAKES
Ingredients for 10 pancakes:
1 cup soft wheat flour
1 cup milk
1 cup room temperature mineral water
2 eggs
1 pinch of salt
Instructions:
Mix all of flour, both eggs, salt and half of milk & water in a bowl. Merge with a scoop and beat till smooth. Add remaining milk & water and stir till uniform. Leave it rest for half an hour, at room temperature. Put medium sized teflon or other non-stick pan on medium-high heat slightly grease with a pinch of butter. When it gets hot, pour one ladle of mixture to one part of the pan and diffuse it all over to obtain as thin as possible uniform and complete round pancake. When edges start curling up and inwards, turn the pancake. Fry the other side for another 10-15 seconds and let it slide out into a plate. Slightly grease the pan for each pancake. These basic pancakes can be filled in many ways. "OPLENAC“ FILL Ingredients for filling 10 pancakes: 3/4 cup ground walnuts 1/4 cup dry plums without pits, sliced and soaked in Bistra Slivovitz 1/4 cup dry grape raisins, sliced and soaked in Bistra Slivovitz one flat teaspoonful of cinnamon powder 1 cup milk 2 oz Bistra Slivovitz 1/4 cup sugar 6 egg-whites, mixed with 1/2 cup sugar till hard Instructions: Constantly stirring, bring ground walnuts, milk, Bistra Slivovitz, cinnamon and 2/3 cup sugar to boil and put aside to cool down. When cool, mix gently with half of beaten egg-whites. Spread 1/9 of that fill on the first pancake, sprinkle with plums and raisings and cover with another pancake. Repeat the process till all 10 pancakes are piled up with all the fill and fruit within. Cover them with the rest of beaten egg-whites, sprinkle with sugar and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm with raspberry confiture on the side.

THINK PINK

1 oz Bistra Slivovitz
1/2 oz Port wine ruby
Splas of vanilla liqeur
1 spoonful of vanilla ice cream
Instructions
Mix all ingredients in a blender till smooth and creamy. Pour in a cocktail glass and garnish with maraschino cherries.

YELLOW PLUM

1 oz Bistra Slivovitz
Splash of Maraschino liquer
1 oz lemon juice
Splash of sugar syrup
2 ice cubes
Instructions
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain in a whiskey glass and garnish with a slice of lemon.

TRUE BLUE

1 & 1/2 oz Bistra Slivovitz
1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1 & 1/2 oz tonic water
1/2 oz orange juice
3 ice cubes
Instructions
Mix Bistra Slivovitz, Curacao and orange juice with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain in a whiskey glass. Add tonic water. Garnish with a slice of unpeeled orange.

CREAMY DREAM

3 oz Bistra Slivovitz
2 oz Irish cream
2 oz Creme de cacao
2 oz Half&Half
3 ice cubes
Instructions
Mix Bistra Slivovitz, Irish cream, cocoa cream, half&half and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a bit of cinnamon powder.

MELUM

3 oz Bistra Slivovitz
2 oz Melon syrup
2 ice cubes
Instructions
Mix the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain in a whiskey glass.

PLELDER

1 oz Bistra Slivovitz
2 oz Elder syrup
2 ice cubes
Instructions
Mix the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain in a whiskey glass.

MULLED BISTRA SLIVOVITZ

Serves 6
2.5 cups of Bistra plum brandy
1.5 cups of water
3/4 cup of white sugar
Instructions
Caramelize sugar to the point when it acquires color of tea. Add water and bring to boil. Add Bistra and heat to the point when small bubbles start rising to the surface. Take if of the heat, cover, let it rest for a couple of minutes and serve in tea cups or mugs. - To be consumed warm, not lukewarm or cold - Do not keep it on heat till boiling, since by then most of the alcohol and aroma will evaporate - Optional: adding 3-4 dried plums into water before bringing it to boil, and keeping them in the drink up to or during serving, will enhance the sweet fruity aroma.

Chicken rolled with Ham, Plums and Bistra Slivovitz

Serves 4
Ingredients:
4 chicken breast
10 slices ham or meaty bacon, sliced very thin
12-16 dry pitted plums
2 oz Bistra slivovitz
vegetable oil, salt, ground pepper
12-16 wooden toothpicks
Instructions:
Cut and beat chicken breast into thin spread
slices and season on both sides with
salt and ground pepper to taste. Soak the plums in diluted slivovitz,
two parts slivovitz to one part water.
Soak wooden toothpicks in water. Let all
rest for about 30 minutes. Cover each slice of breast with a slice
of ham or bacon, place one plum on top,
roll and fix with a toothpick pushed through.
Ham or bacon and plum remains
inside the roll.
Heat the oven to 180 deg C.
Fry the rolled breast slices on high heat on
all sides till reddish crust
begins to form. Then place into
lightly oiled or non-stick pan and
finish in the oven for further 10-15
minutes.v Serve hot with baked potatoes.
Preferrably serve also with a mix of broccoli
or Brussel sprouts and baby carrots
cooked in salted water for 5 minutes, drained and consequently shortly fried on
butter, lightly seasoned with a single crushed clove of garlic and a pinch of
ground green pepper.

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