It seems that many Central European nations have some sort of a bitter-tasting liqueur based on wormwood and a bunch of other herbs.
The Germans have Jägermeister, probably the most famous brand among them, there’s also Underberg, the Hungarians have Unicum, the Czechs have Becherovka, and so on. Croatia is no exception. Here we have Pelinkovac. The name is pretty straight-explanatory, as it derives from the word pelin, for wormwood ( Lat. Artemisia Absinthium). Variations of it are also popular in the neighboring countries. All major Croatian distilleries have their own version. Most popular are made by Maraska and Badel Distillery, and as in football rivalry, there are those who like just Badel and those who like just Maraska Pelinkovac, although there are other “clubs”/distilleries which produce Pelinkovac; Dalmacijavino, Darna Distillery (Rovinjski Pelinkovac), Zvecevo… The alcohol volume is from 28% in Marsaka’s Pelikovac to 32% in Dalmacijavino’s Pelin.
Pelinkovac on the Adriatic coast is served pure, with ice and lemon, as an aperitif or digestif. Some people like it with lemon juice made from 1/4 to 1/2 of fresh lemon, and it is called “Štrukani Pelinkovac”, The nickname for Pelinkovac is Pelin.
Pelinkovac is known as “stomach restorative”. It can be bought in some shops out of Croatia.
The story of Badel’s Antique Pelinkovac
ANTIQUE PELINKOVAC is Badel’s oldest and most famous premium herbal liqueur and also one of the most intriguing Croatian drinks. The product dates back to the year 1862, the founding year of the company Badel 1862.
It was created by Franjo Pokorny, a tradesman, and founder of the company Badel 1862. At that time Antique was sold solely in pharmacies with the recommendation “stomach restorative”. It was so successful that Franjo Pokorny became the supplier of this fantastic liqueur for the Viennese and French royal courts, and in accordance with records from that time, it was also exported to America. The recipe for the production of Badel Antique Pelinkovac is the oldest and most secret in Badel 1862 archives (…) and the original bottle in which the product is sold is exhibited in Zagreb City Museum.
Since the year 1862 Antique Pelinkovac is produced in the same, traditional manner, in accordance with the original recipe, from 100% natural ingredients. To those who understand the production technology of fine liqueurs, we shall reveal that selected aromatic herbs are first macerated in alcohol, and then the aged macerate is distilled in small series in coppers and after it is aged, it is manually bottled and thus it is a true Croatian craft product. Every bottle is marked with a unique serial number printed on the label at the back of the bottle. The flavor of this premium herbal liqueur is dominated by wormwood (Cro. Pelin), an aromatic herb characterized by its scent and bitter note, by which it is remembered and recognized due to the beneficial effect on the human body, thus making Pelinkovac the perfect digestive but also one of the best bases for traditional aperitif cocktails. (…)
If sweets delicacies are one of your loves, sweeten your life with Croatian delight and taste a Rapska torta (Rab cake)
It is believed that this symbol of a superior dessert was served for the first time in 1177 to Pope Alexander III on the occasion of the blessing of the Rab Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, while it is certain that the Rapska torta (Rab cake) was made as a specialty during the reign of the Venetians three hundred years ago in the houses of rich Rab patriarchs.
One hundred years ago this unique Rab dessert was made by nuns in the monastery of St. Anthony of Padua, while sometime later also in the Benedictine monastery of St. Andrew. The original and at the same time secret recipe with all details required to make this sweet delicacy was only know to a few of the Rab women who miserly passed it on so that even today it is only known to a few of them. They only make them on especially festive occasions. Once reserved only for dignitaries and rich citizens, the Rapska torta (Rab cake) has become the most original souvenir of the Island of Rab, which along with the special delight for the taste buds has also taken a breath of Rab tradition and history to many corners of the world.
Some places to buy Rapska torta on Rab are “The House of Rab cake” by Vilma and by Nuns in their shop. Both places are located in the Old Town of Rab. There are also more places to buy it or to order it as a dessert in some of the restaurants. The shop of the main producer “Vilma” is also nearby Shopping center Petra at Banjol 162.
Za tijesto / Dough :
500 g glatkog brašna / Flour 50 g maslaca / Butter 2 jaja / Eggs 2 žlice šećera / 2 tablespoons of Sugar prstohvat soli / Salt – pinch
Beside Rab cake, I recommend you to try other traditional delicacies, Muštaćoni and Baškotioni. There you can find also An Almond in sugar, Pikantini (almonds combined with garlic, chili, cumin, pepper, ginger and salt), Rogačići (Carob) and Arancini.