Rakia e Manit të Boboshticës
The Korça area, the driest region of Albania, is characterized by a transitional Mediterranean climate. Here, the villages of Boboshtica, Drenove, and Trebicke have a long tradition of producing mulberries, most of which are transformed into raki (raki or rakija is the fruit brandy popular throughout the Balkans).
Mulberry trees are gently shaken to collect the fully ripened fruits, which are then placed in large wooden vats and left to ferment for up to seven days. The must is then distilled twice using discontinuous distillation in copper alembics, and then cut with distilled water to obtain a pleasant final strength of 45% abv.
This unique raki has a light green color and a delicate aroma of mulberries and herbs, and is famous throughout Korça and in neighbouring municipalities. However, Boboshtica mulberry raki is often not easy to find for sale. Quantities are limited, and most producers process this product at home (where it is used for cheers and home drink) and sell it on the informal market. If local small-scale producers were given the tools to legally produce and sell their brandy, they could switch their production from homemade to artisanal and production could easily increase, making a significant contribution to livelihoods in the three villages involved.