What alcohol can be made from plums?

Answered by John Watkins

Plums, specifically damson plums, can be used to make a delightful fruit spirit known as Slivovitz or plum . As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of working with various fruits to create unique and flavorful alcoholic beverages. Plum brandy, in particular, holds a special place in my heart due to its rich history and distinct taste.

To create Slivovitz, ripe damson plums are harvested and fermented. The plums are crushed, and the is extracted. This juice is then combined with to initiate the fermentation process. During fermentation, the natural sugars in the plums are converted into , resulting in a flavorful and aromatic drink.

One of the aspects that I find fascinating about plum brandy is its versatility. It can be made in different ways, each offering its own characteristics and nuances. Some distillers choose to age the plum brandy in oak , which imparts a smooth and mellow flavor. Others prefer to distill the spirit multiple times, resulting in a cleaner and more refined taste.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of tasting both aged and non-aged plum brandies, and I must say that each has its own charm. The aged versions often exhibit notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak, while the non-aged varieties showcase the natural fruitiness and brightness of the plums.

In terms of production, plum brandy can be made on a small-scale, with individuals fermenting and distilling their own batches at home. However, it is also produced commercially in many countries, particularly in Eastern Europe where it holds a significant cultural importance.

Slivovitz is especially popular in countries such as Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia, where it is often enjoyed as a traditional drink during celebrations and gatherings. I have had the pleasure of experiencing the hospitality of these regions, where I was treated to homemade Slivovitz by locals who took great pride in their craft. The taste of the plum brandy was exceptional, and it was clear that the love and care put into its production made a significant difference.

Plums can be transformed into a delightful and flavorful alcoholic known as Slivovitz or plum brandy. Whether it is enjoyed in its young and fruity form or aged to perfection, this spirit offers a unique taste experience. Its production can be done on a small scale at home or commercially, and it holds a special place in the hearts and traditions of many Eastern European countries. As a sommelier and brewer, I highly recommend giving plum brandy a try for its rich history, distinct taste, and the cultural significance it holds.