The Simic family is proud of its long tradition of brandy.
I ts first founder was Maharije Simic who, in late 1876, started the production of brandy for his own needs, from the finest brand of plum called madzarka which is held till today with the great effort and work on half the hectare. Maharije and its descendants expanded the orchards so today the Simic family have even seven hectares. Each land span in orchards was studied and analyzed through generations, every tree was checked, every plum picked from the orchards was carefully selected, which resulted the production of the best brandy over years in the Simic cellar.
That was one of the main reasons why are the amounts limited. The real producers of the brandy are not satisfied with what they’ve achieved; they have a vision, they move the borders of what they have achieved, they keep on learning, giving the new goods, work hard and always look for the new challenges. Here, the tradition, family passion, knowledge and skill are conjoined by the modern way of production and the huge standards of the quality control.
Orchards of the Simic family are divided into three parts of which the first and the second are on the slopes of Tara, in Kokosinci village, and the third is in Draksin village. The structure of land in these three parts is with the unified quality.
The first beginner, Maharije Simic, in 1876, started using the method of tree-parts-fraction in order to dismiss the unwanted ingredients and get an extreme taste. The Simic family started hearth furnace right after boiling has finished and without stopping they work till the end of March. By this process the first distillate is made which is called soft brandy because of its extremely soft volume and very strong fruit aromas.
After this, the family continues with the second distillation called prepek (undercooked brandy), there is only certain worthy part called plum brandy (called prepecenica), which is taken out. This kind of double distillation keeps its simple taste in M&S plum brandy (prepecenica).
Ageing is placed in the oak barrels made of special oak wood, which has been carefully chosen from the carpenter’s workshops of the great handyman Dragojlo Simic. Easy ageing the taste and the color are developed and they are very specific for plum brandy (prepecenica) so that anyone who taste the aroma of old oak barrels and stone cellars become a great worshipper of the old was plum brandy(prepecenica). Cornel brandy, juniper brandy and herbal brandy. During years of ageing, plum brandy (prepecenica) loses some of its alcohol volume and strength, on a yearly level 4% volatilize from the oak barrels. All of the non-abiding substances leave by this process, and the most quality ones which give a unique harmony of taste stay.
The old M&A juniper, the old M&S cornel and the old M&S herbal brandy are the products made in exact model which presents the secret of their structure.
Milorad and Stojanka Simic know thoroughly the production of brandy and have the nose and palate, capable to differ the great number of different tastes.
After 5 years of brandy ageing, they expertise the products which are brought, in order to decide which are going to be brought back to the ageing for another five years so that after ten years a final product is got (final natural plum brandy).
They decide in which cellar and in which barrels the process of ageing of the brandy is going to be performed. Some technology is being changed, but the traditional taste and quality need to stay the same. Only that way, in each drop of the old brandies from the Simic cellar, love and the strength of the ancestors will beat.
The most beautiful fruit of nature cornel and juniper are, by unique taste joined the Simic family with plum brandy, according to the recipe which is known only to them. The most beautiful ingredients from cornel and juniper are all joined together with the most beautiful ingredients of plumb and give the harmony of taste which is impossible to describe.
God gave to Kokosica healthy and clean area, for circling the growing up of plumbs, over the picking up, fermentation, broiling to getting of the final product.
The geographic position of Tara and Zlatibor, where specific streams flaws, met from different direction, is a simple and gives to brandies something special to feel.
Especially soft climate of this part of Tara around Bajina Basta gives to the brandy a unique taste and favor connected to the traditional family recipe give a brandy with a unique taste, which, with its strength, elegance and harmony, are on the top of the world famous drinks. The other tradition, skill, knowledge and commitment of the Simic family and the constant quality care are the factors responsible for the unique, incomparable and natural tastes of the old M&S plum brandy, the old M&S cornel brandy, the M&S juniper brandy, the M&S herbal brandy, the M&S honey brandy, the Persona raspberry brandy, the M&S yellow quince brandy, the M&S apricot brandy, the M&S pear brandy, the M&S blueberry brandy, the M&S gentian brandy, which differ and separate them from the top drinks.
The old M&S brandies are unique, produced in limited amounts and cherished and kept in special conditions. They have the spirit of the old ancestors, stone cellars and oak barrels, from a hundred-year-old oak, where all the brandies are kept.
Rakija over centuries
The first alcohol drinks production started with the non-distillated grapes wines, mare’s milk and the others.
The oldest facts show the usage of the distillated devices which were firstly used for the distillation of flavor herbs in order to gain a perfume, scent and oil for embalmment. The drawings in the antic temple of the Egyptian capital show this..
The Greek philosophers and doctors: Aristoteles, Hypocrites, Galen, and others, described distillation much before A.D. In China, in the 7th century, and in India in the 9th century, aromatic herbs were distillated and quire and rum were produced.
Marco Polo in 1297 described that the Mongolian nomads in their habitants’ areas north from the Gabi desert in the 8th century produced alcohol drink made by fermenting the mare’s milk in the leather paunches (milk wine kumis), and by its distillation milk brandy karaknmiis was made. During the time of Genghis Khan, the liqueurs are mentioned made of the twice distillated brandy karakumis.
In the mid-century in France and Italy the production of wine brandy called in different names: grape water, fire water, life water and similar, enlarges and blooms. The alchemists and chemists produced it first, because until the 10th century this one was treated as a medicine., and supernatural powers were prescribed to it like rejuvenation, life extension, etc. Monasteries and merchants continued this job later. Many different wars and the epidemics of the infectious diseases were useful for the brandy production. Its consumption extended among the people. It started to use as a way of payment.
Brandy in Serbia wasn’t acknowledged before the second part of the 14th century. The word brandy (Serbian word is rakija) wasn’t mentioned on the old Serbian monuments and in the language. The word came from Turkey in the 14th and 15th century. The word brandy, or “rakija” is of the Arabic origin, from the word “al-rak”, which means sweat.
Under that name was considered a special drink- brandy arak which used to then and also is used now, produced in India, Indonesia and Malesia and in other Far East countries. In that period brandy was produced by distillation of the ricotta juice or wine from the different kinds of palm trees. Today, after the technology improvement, the brandy is produced from the different raw materials, like sugar cane, fruit, wine, wheat, molasses, etc. .
When most of the vineyards were destroyed in the end of the 19th century by phylloxera and the production of wine dramatically fell, the production of brandy dramatically rose.
In the songs sang for the liberation of the uprisings in Serbia at the beginning of the 19th century, wine was changed by the brandy. So, for example, in the song “Uprising against the Dahije” (Known as “Pocetak bune na dahije” In Serbian literature”) , describing the Karadjordje (a national leader from the 1st uprsing) , a national singer said: “ Djordje the hero learnt before the dawn to get up early to wash his face and say a prayer to the God and drink a glass of brandy…”
The brandy is not drunk as a habit but as a pleasure. The first to do is to look the color of it, with the eyes closed to feel the scent and after that to take a lick of it for tasting. This way the quality of brandy can be felt. The brandy in our area is present in many life occasions, and also in everyday life. It cannot be imagined to any kind of celebration without a glass of brandy. The brandy became a custom in our country, and sipping goes with a toast. The toasts are many, and they differ from the place to place.
The brandy is used in natural medicine as a main source of disinfection. It is well known that it is used with many other things as a cure for a lot of diseases and body strength. In people there is a great number of recipes for healing different diseases in which the brandy has a great and special part. Plum brandy, juniper, cornel and also the special kind of brandy- herbal brandy, are mostly used for healing even today.