Montenegro is characteristic by an extremely immense water treasure. Profiled as an ecological state it devotes a lot of attention to preservation of natural treasures and qualities, especially when we are talking about food and drink. In the majority of European countries bottled drinking water dominates.
In Montenegro you can drink water from any drinking fountain in the country and e completely sure that you are drinking exquisite well water richer with minerals and healthy ingredients than any bottled water in Europe. Montenegrin Rivers are extremely rich with calcium and hydro carbonates, so all the water which comes into the households all over Montenegro keeps its quality and is absolutely recommendable for drinking during any period of the year.
North of Montenegro is very rich with the wells of mineral water, where on several locations, especially in the surrounding of Bijelo Polje, one can find wells of mineral water or as people like to call them, of sour water (fizzing water). These wells are known for centuries, and the local people and numerous tourists do not miss the opportunity to drink a glass of water directly from the well in an unusual rural ambience. The quality of water was confirmed by the highest European institutions so lately everyone is talking about project of export of Montenegrin waters on the world market which are worth millions.
With a decade old tradition of bottling of water Rada from Bijelo Polje could be your first choice in getting to know the drinks of Montenegro. Light and easily digestible mineral water from the surrounding of Bijelo Polje for decades is found on the tables all over Montenegro. Gorska, mineral bottled water from the slopes of Durmitor beside the visual and other sensual representations, which the national park offers, will allow you to feel the taste and freshness of the north of Montenegro.
Considering the fact that Montenegro spreads across several climate zones it is no wonder that on such a small area you can find so much various and quality fruit kinds. The tradition of production of juices at home is just as long as Montenegro. Almost every house in Montenegro has its technique of production of juice, most often from the products of the fruit which grows in that part of the country. By all means the most famous would be those made of the berry fruit such as raspberry, blackberry, which the north of Montenegro abounds in, then from blueberry, forest strawberry, cornelian cherry, plum, elder, pomegranate etc.
The process by which the drinks from these fruits are obtained is especially interesting, because beside the entire absence of the preservatives and similar preparations, with exclusively water and sugar you get the potions which are extremely delicious and above all healthy.
The south part of Montenegro is characteristic for making the juices from wild pomegranate, grapes, and on the very coast it is made from the south fruit. The juice made of wild pomegranate – “sipak” (and not nar) as people from here like to call it, is a real specialty. After 7 days of mixing of the grains of pomegranate and sugar, syrup is being released of extremely pleasant aroma and mildly sour taste, which is often being used as a sweetener of the tea.
The juice has the healing effect because it is often being used when a person has high temperature or some state similar to cold. Similar procedure applies for the production of juice made of grapes, in which especially skilled are the inhabitants of Podgorica, Zeta valley and area of Crmnica.
Of other drinks of this kind especially beautiful is the juice of kiwi and the one made of lemon where almost the entire lemon, including the skin, is being milled and mixed with the sugar and water. Especially beautiful lemon is the one from Bar Riviera so the drink which is being produced by some old Bar household would surely be worthy of your special attention.
In the central and north part of Montenegro especially frequently are produced juices which are made of elder and cornelian cherry, which from the local tables are growing into real trademarks of numerous top notch hotel and restaurant facilities of Montenegro.
Niksic beer today is a real trademark of Montenegro. With a taste on which much bigger producers in the world would envy it, today it is a regional leader when we are talking about the taste and the quality. Niksic beer is made of barley, hard mountain water and bitter and aromatic hops. It is usually being served cool at the temperature of 5ºC.
It contains 11, 8% of extracts, and about 5% of alcohol. Today on the market you can find it in packages of Nik, Nik Gold, Nik Cool, and Nick dark. Each of them has its own specific taste, and the connoisseurs of the beer in every occasion know which one to chose. During the summer months extremely refreshing Nik Cool with the lemon or draught dark beer will be a real choice for you. Niksic beer is something you must not miss when we are talking about the offer of drinks on the Montenegrin dining table.
Scotland has whiskey, Greece has metaksa, and Montenegro has rakija (BRANDY). Montenegrin vineyards, especially the ones in Zeta valley and Crmnica area are characteristic by the exquisite grapes and even better masters for preparation of this strong alcoholic drink. The brandy is therefore made from the grapes in special boilers where with the fermentation almost during the whole day, a drop by drop, you get a drink similar to Russian vodka, but stronger and with more aromatic.
Beside the grapes, for the production of brandy in Montenegro apple, especially the small and half wild one from the north of Montenegro, plum and pear are being used. The old Montenegrins boiled it even from the figs and cornel, and the special kind is the one which is made from the fruit of juniper tree. Each of these brandies bears the name of the fruit from which it is made of, so in that way we can differ “lozovaca” or “loza” (made of grape), “sljivovica” or “sljiva” (made of plum), “krusku” (made of pear) etc.
The most quality brandy, Prvijenac is obtained by the first boiling in the production and beside the fact that it is extremely aromatic it is the strongest brandy according to the so called grades (degrees). Prvijenac or the first flow of the grape brandy is by far of best quality when we are talking about any kind of the brandy. In some areas the brandy is re – baked with which its aroma, taste, and look are changed and with that we are obtaining “prepecenica” (over baked brandy).
The brandy is served as an aperitif and it goes well with “meze”, the famous salty snack. With brandy sometimes slices of some fruit are being served. There almost doesn’t exist a welcoming and a feast in Montenegro which goes without a brandy and a toast which accompanies it. The technique of production of this beverage is known to almost all households in Montenegro, and for every head of the house his brandy is his pride, and something that you must praise no matter the personal taste.
Today the leading regional producer of top notch wines and brandies Agrokombinat “13 jul” and the enterprise Plantaze offer a wide palette of drinks: Kruna, Prvijenac, and Lozova rakija (GRAPE BRANDY) each of them with a specific taste are dominant on the market and if you wish to take a part of Montenegro with you a quality brandy such as Prvijenac in a stylish package will be the right choice.
Sun, water and the soil in Montenegro play an important role in every part of life. When we are talking about the wine, these three segments merge together giving an aroma to the drink of gods, specific just for this part of Europe.
The south of Montenegro is characteristic by two kinds of grapevine: Vranac and Krstac. Today these are by far known brands which carry the wine from the area of Zeta valley and the area of Crmnica. On Cemovsko polje (CEMOVSKO FIELD), not far from Podgorica, vineyard which is managed by Plantaze, gives exquisite wine of high quality which undergoes a carrying technological process of production so it is no wonder that nowadays more and more often it is found in the tables in the North America.
Vranac, black wine – as the red wine is called in the majority of Slov languages, is characteristic for the area of Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, and Montenegro. It is made of extremely coarse and dark grape which is picked from the middle of September to the end of October.
Especially interesting is the way of production of wine in Crmnica which today is almost a cult place when we are talking about the Montenegrin enology. Days of wine and bleak in the nearby Virpazar are an opportunity to meet at least 20 producers who in the technologies which are even several centuries old are producing white and red wine.
Most often they keep it during the year in large barrels made from walnut tree in which the aroma and the taste are preserved in best way, sometimes even for several decades. It is recommendable that it is served at the room temperature, and it goes well with the smoked meat or grilled meat, as well as with all strong cheeses.
Montenegro is extremely rich with healing herbs and from one generation to the other the traditional experiences and knowledge are being transferred concerning the gathering and preserving of the herbs, as well as the production of the teas.
Today there almost isn’t a plant kind which is not used for making of some tea, but there are several kinds which have been dominating already for decades such as: dog rose, peppermint, chamomile, primrose, nettle, thyme and others. Somewhat older Montenegrins can show you the secrets of production of mead. In the south, especially in Bar municipality the production of olive oil is a real art, because in some places the technologies several centuries old have been kept.
The spoon of olive oil with lemon even today are considered as great guards of health, and the old ones recommend it. Still, inviolable prime, when we are talking about the drinks, in Montenegro has the so-called Turkish coffee, which you can taste in any home or restaurant – an the way in which it is prepared is very simple – in a demitasse of boiling water you add a teaspoon of milled coffee and a teaspoon of sugar, put it back on the stove and boil it and you have made a strong drink which will refresh you and with which Montenegrins spend their days.