The word brandy ( 'rakija' in Serbian ) is of Arab origin. It originates from the word 'al-rak', which means 'sweat', freely translated. The word arrived in our regions with Turks in the 14th and 15th century.At the beginning, it denoted the beverage arak which was produced in Indonesia, Malaysia and other Far Eastern countries by distillation of fermented juice or the wines made of special sorts of palms. The knowledge on distillation process was quickly spread across Europe and the production of distilled alcoholic beverages that were called 'the water of life' started in many countries. It is not at all easy to find out the exact origin of a spirit because the recipes quickly became a part of national pride. The production of 'national drinks' began in European countries in the 15th century, with the appearance of gin in England, schnapps in Germany, aquavit in Scandinavia, vodka in Russia and Poland and BRANDY in the Balkans.
At the beginning, these beverages were used to therapeutic and medical purposes, but also to put consumers in a good mood.
Serbs did not start producing brandy until the end of the 19th century, when Serbian vineyards had already been destroyed by philoxer and wine production had been reduced. Brandy was made from various fruit, usually plums.
Today, brandies in Serbia are made from various fruit, although plum brandy still has primacy.