Skip to Content


« Back to Glossary Index

**Production and Consumption**:
– Primary producers include Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia.
– UNESCO included slivovitz in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2022.
– Distilled spirits from different fruits are named similarly in various regions.
– Names for slivovitz include slivovitza, slivovitsa, șliboviță, šljivovica, śliwowica, Schlivowitz, slivovice, and slivovka.
– Similar spirits are produced in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.

**Regional Names and Designation**:
– The European Union designated slivovitz as a generic name.
– Nations were granted the right to protect the origin with their own adjective.
– Regional names include plum spirit, Pflümli, and eau-de-vie de quetsche.
– Different regional names exist such as Ukrainian: сливянка and Yiddish: שליוואָוויץ.

**Distilling Process**:
– Only Damson plums may be used for distillation.
– Plums may be slightly pressed before fermentation without damaging their ground kernels.
Yeast, starch, and sugar may be added to the juice for fermentation.
– Aging is common to enhance flavors.
– Some modern techniques omit pits in fermentation for a less bitter taste.

**History by Country**:
– Bulgaria: Troyan plum spirit has been distilled in the Troyan Monastery since the 14th century.
Czech Republic and Slovakia: Slivovice is a national drink with strong cultural significance.
– Serbia: Šljivovica is the national drink of Serbia, with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
– Serbia was the 5th largest producer of plums and sloes globally in 2017.

**Cultural Significance and Recognition**:
– Šljivovica is used in traditional customs and rites of passage in Serbian culture.
– Serbian Slivovitz became Serbia’s first certified national brand in 2007.
– Šljivovica is consumed directly from a leather-wrapped bottle or in a shot glass called čokanjčić.
– In 2021, Serbia’s šljivovica was added to the United Nations Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Slivovitz (Wikipedia)

Slivovitz is a fruit spirit (or fruit brandy) made from damson plums, often referred to as plum spirit (or plum brandy). Slivovitz is produced in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, both commercially and privately. Primary producers include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. In the Balkans, slivovitz is considered a kind of rakia. In Hungary it is considered a kind of pálinka, but in Romania and Moldova it is considered pălincă, similar to țuică. In Czechia, Slovakia, Galicia, and Carpathian-Ruthenia it is considered Pálenka. UNESCO put it in a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2022 on request of the country of geographic origin Serbia.

Slivovitz from (clockwise) Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Serbia
TypeDistilled beverage
Country of origin Slavic-speaking Central Europe and Balkans
Introduced14th–15th century
Alcohol by volume 40–70%
Proof (US)80–140°
ColourClear, pale yellow
Related productsPlum jerkum, damson gin, damassine, țuică, Pálinka, Palenka
Social practices and knowledge related to the preparation and use of the traditional plum spirit – šljivovica
Serbian Slivovitz from Valjevo region
RegionEurope and North America
Inscription history
Inscription2022 (17th session)
« Back to Glossary Index