Rakija, rakija…come here as there is no consolation in water.

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“Rakija, rakija…come here as there is no consolation in water,” reads a famous line by Croatia’s greatest poet from the 20th century, Tin Ujević. It showcases just how important rakija (Croatian grappa) plays in the culture of its people. Not only do people enjoy it as a drink but its believed to cure stomach cramps, and it works as a great disinfectant and window cleaner.

Rakija is considered the national drink of Croatia and is produced by distilling fermented fruit, much like grappa of Italy and schnapps of Germany. Winemakers will usually use grape must to produce their rakija and this is the classic base of this popular drink. This fierce beverage usually has 40% alcohol but some domaći (home-produced) rakija can have even higher levels.

It is a custom to enjoy a rakija after a meal as a digestive but be careful, this stuff is strong and is not a drink for the weak. There are several flavors or rakija, such as šlivovica made of plums, višnjevac from cherries, but for something a little easier to swallow, try medica which is flavored with honey, or orahovac with almonds.

Every bar or restaurant will have a couple of rakijas on option but if you want to go all out, you can try one of 25 rakija flavors at Split Circus in the palace or hide underground in Split Circus II. They have creative combos such as apple cinnamon, grapefruit mint, and the list goes on.


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