Top 5 Most Popular Slovak Drinks
Apart from an extensive culinary tradition, Slovakia is also home to locally made non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, which are all very popular with the locals.
All of them have a specific taste, and sometimes the taste is so intense not everyone actually enjoys them. But with a large variety of products available, there is certainly something for everyone to choose from.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular traditional drinks in Slovakia.
Kofola is a type of Coke produced in Slovakia and Czechia. It is very similar to Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and is so popular that it has become a serious competitor to those two world renowned brands. It became very popular in the 1960s and 1970s during communism, and it continues to retain its popularity today.
This is especially noteworthy because after the fall of communism, more brands entered the market, but Kofola proved it was here to stay. Due to the non-existence of the trademark at the time and the publicly available recipe, the kofola brand was perceived as more of a general name for that type of beverage rather than a specific product.
Many companies produced their own kofola, although they had nothing to do with the original product. This has since changed and Kofola has become a trademarked, well-known, and extremely popular drink in Slovakia.
This is a carbonated, sweet drink made with grapes. There are three types produced: a white, a red, and a soft pink or rosé. The white Vinea is from white grapes, the red from red grapes and the rosé is a combination of the two.
The production of non-alcoholic grape and soda drinks has existed since the 19th century, and Vinea specifically has been produced since 1974. Vinea is an award-winning drink, winning prestigious awards domestically and internationally.
In Slovakia it is a very popular drink, a staple in any restaurant and in many households. Since it is non-alcoholic, children are able to enjoy it as well.
This is an extremely strong-tasting alcoholic distillate that is not for everyone. It is one of those drinks you either love or can’t stand the smell of, let alone the taste. Being an acquired taste, trying it for the first time is often not the most pleasant experience. But it is quite popular in Slovakia with those who fall into the ‘love it’ category.
It is a distillate made from the ripe fruit of the common pine tree, with a typical juniper aroma. In the European Union, there are a number of Borovička brands that are only sold in Slovakia and are not produced anywhere else in the world. These include Spišská borovička, Inovecká borovička, Liptovská borovička among others.
This is probably the most popular distillate made in Slovakia. Slivovica is a strong, noble, plum distillate. It is produced through a process of fermentation, distillation, and water treatments of plums. The color is either clear or soft yellow and it has a fruity and strong aroma.
The technology consists of four production phases: fruit processing and harvesting, fermentation, distillation, and ripening. Fermentation with yeast breaks down fermentable sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Alcohol and aromatics are separated from the fermented raw material by distillation.
This technological process is used to prepare all true fruit distillates. The fruit is the basic factor influencing the quality of the plum brandy. The type of fruit, ripeness, sugar content, wateriness, aromatic properties, health status of the fruit are important.
Optimally, ripe fruit should be used; you will never get a quality plum brandy from green or rotten fruit. Plum brandy of the highest quality is stored for maturation in oak or stainless steel barrels. Slivovica in wooden barrels are the most sought after. The older the plum brandy, the better.
In Slovakia, this liqueur is considered to have almost medicinal properties, with many old people having the habit of drinking one shot per day for health purposes. It is made with herbs so the taste is not medicinal, so perhaps there is some truth to this belief.
Some people even add a little bit to their tea when they feel a bit off sorts. Demänovka is a Slovak hot herbal liqueur, which like many other products originated in the 1960s, during the communist era, and managed to stick around the market to this day. This herbal liqueur is produced in three variants: Demänovka sweet with an alcohol content of 33%, Demänovka hot with an alcohol content of
38% and Demänovka Cranberry with an alcohol content of 33%. Demänovka production is quite complex and time consuming. At least two weeks leaching the herbs in fine grade alcohol, followed by three-month maturation of the extracted macerate. For the next three months, the final product is left to sit, which is said to give it an additional delicate taste.