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See also: Slivovitz



Bottles of slivovitz (sense 1) from Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Serbia
A glass of slivovitz in Šarani, Gornji Milanovac, Serbia

From Serbo-Croatian šljȉvovica, шљи̏вовица (slivovitz), from šljȉva, шљи̏ва (plum) + -ica, -ица (suffix forming a feminine noun, often a diminutive). Šljȉva may be derived from Proto-Indo-European *sliwo-, the suffixed form of *(s)ley- (bluish), describing the colour of the fruit.



slivovitz (countable and uncountable, plural slivovitzes)

  1. (countable, uncountable) A type of rakija made mostly in Eastern European countries from distilled, fermented plum juice.
    • 1820, W[illiam] A[rchibald] Cadell, chapter I, in A Journey in Carniola, Italy, and France, in the Years 1817, 1818, [] In Two Volumes, volume I, Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co. Cheapside, OCLC 457221786, page 18:
      The spirit called Sirmischer Slivovitz is met with at Trieste. It is distilled from fermented plums, and is made in Sirmia near Belgrade. This kind of spirit is also in use at Vienna and Prague.
    • 1850, “Route 282. The Danube (F[rance]).—Presburg to Pest.”, in A Hand-book for Travellers in Southern Germany; [], 5th corrected and enlarged edition, London: John Murray, [] ; Paris: A[nthony] & W[illiam] Galignani & Co.; Stassin and Xavier; Leipzig: Longman, OCLC 4071150, section XV (Hungary), page 420, column 1:
      Four fairs are held at Pest annually; and while they last, it is calculated that 20,000 strangers and 14,000 waggons pass the outer lines. 8000 large barges unload at the quay in the course of the year: the principal trade lies in wines, raw hides, honey, wax, and a vile spirit, called Slivovitz, made from plums.
    • 1872 September, “D.”, “Servia”, in James Anthony Froude, editor, Fraser’s Magazine, volume VI, number XXXIII (New Series), London: Longmans, Green, and Co. [], OCLC 1031678033, page 351, column 1:
      There is a great abundance of all the necessaries of life and even many of its luxuries, as game, fish, very good wine, tobacco, plum brandy (‘slivovitz’), an excellent spirit, and silk in considerable quantity.
    • 1986, Buck Clayton; assisted by Nancy Miller Elliott, “Humphrey Lyttelton and My English Tours”, in Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, Basingstoke, Hampshire; London: The Macmillan Press, →ISBN, page 176:
      We went in the hotel bar, sat down and proceeded to order some Slivovitz. When I first tasted it I thought that it was nice, but it tasted so much like apple cider that I said to myself, "This stuff ain't so bad," and, before long, I had ordered many of these bad drinks.
    • 1996, Gordon Stevens, chapter 1, in Kara’s Game, London: HarperCollins, →ISBN, page 31:
      [W]hen I reach the bridge and begin to run across it, I will pray that the sniper who killed old man Samir yesterday and little Lejla the day before, is looking the other way, or moving position as the snipers do, or warming his fingers round a mug of hot coffee, or glancing up and downing a slivovic.
    • 2008, Frank E. Wismer III, “The Reverend Canon Andrew White”, in War in the Garden of Eden: A Military Chaplain’s Memoir from Baghdad, New York, N.Y.: Seabury Books, →ISBN, pages 33–34:
      It is almost impossible to attend a meeting, visit someone at home, or even call upon the sisters at the monastery and not be offered slivovic. Morning, noon, or night … it doesn't matter. When my meeting with the pcelari ended, Mesam presented me with a gift. It was a bottle of slivovic.
    • 2018 July 15 (last accessed) “Company Overview of STOCK Plzen – Bozkov s.r.o.”, in Bloomberg L.P.[1]:
      STOCK Plzen – Bozkov s.r.o. engages in the production of spirits and bitters in the Czech Republic. It offers brandy, herbal bitters, vodka, rum, slivovices, liqueurs, wines, and vermouths.
  2. (countable) A serving of this alcoholic drink.
    • 1992, Vladimír Páral; William Harkins, transl., “Part II—Games—Five”, in Catapult: A Timetable of Rail, Sea, and Air Ways to Paradise [...] Translated from the Czech (A Garrigue Book), [Highland Park]: Catbird Press, →ISBN, page 57:
      Jacek turned his back to the streetcar, from the yellow windows of the restaurant the lament of an accordion and near the door the sad figure of his neighbor Mestek in his green windbreaker with a hood sitting over a melancholy plate of kipper and a glass of stale beer, Jacek downed two double slivovitzes, tripe soup, herring and onions, ten ounces of sausage, and three beers, and quietly returned home.
    • 2002, John Szwed, So What: The Life of Miles Davis[2], New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, →ISBN:
      They were in Vienna for an evening, and after dinner and a couple of slivovitzes, he watched through the hotel room window as snow began to gather on a statue of Johann Strauss.
    • 2014, Jörg Fauser; Jamie Bulloch, Raw Material[3], London: Clerkenwell Press, →ISBN:
      Perhaps the Viennese didn't have a flair for beer. I drank a slivovitz. The slivovitz was bad, too, but when drunk in tandem with the bad beer it was almost good again.

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slivovitz m or f (in variation) (uncountable)

  1. slivovitz (alcoholic beverage made of distilled, fermented plum juice)