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Distilling Rakia (whiskey) in our Kazarnica (distillery), as I remember.


In our village Besiste, there were many Kazarnici. These were the locations where rakia was distilled. Rakia is a national drink in Macedonia, and throughout the Balkans, all the way to Turkey. It is basically ‘moonshine’. It holds a big place in our Macedonian culture, and is found in every household. Macedonian people are known for their hospitality, and offering homemade rakia (domasna rakia), along with meze (appetizers) to guests is always done.


Our kazarnica was the busiest, and was located in the center of Besiste. It was steps away from the creek (dol) that ran through the village. The process of distillation requires a steady source of cold water, as vapour must turn to drops of alcohol. The building itself was a small structure, with an approximate size of 5 by 5 metres, built from locally mined stone and large pieces of slate for the roof.


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Last Update: August 17, 2017