Slivo-mix

The most unlikely mixer gets mixed.

Alright already, alright, we all know that Moravian motherfucker—clear, sometimes unlabeled, definitely dangerous. But is it “slivovice” or “slivovitz”? Tell you one thing—it ain’t fruit brandy. Ain’t nothing fruity about it. It’s poured in a glass, not a snifter (which sounds too much like rectal anatomy anyway). You can call it schnapps if you’re over, say, 75. Then you drink it with a spitz, or maybe a shmeck. Whatever. And you drink it on the toilet. Yes, slivovice is a cure for the common constipation. It’s also a cure for beer hangovers. And plum, as opposed to peach or apple or whatever, is the favorite (or not-so-favorite-but-necessary) variety.

How bad does it hurt? Well—the Slavic word for plum is sliva, a derivation from the Latin lividus, meaning bluish or bruise-colored. And it hurts so good. From the Vomitorium we mopped up the word “livid,” then meaning something like black and blue, the description of the discoloration caused by a bruise. The Indo-Europeans had the root slei, not as in “slay me” but as in “bluish,” which was intoxicated into the English “sloe,” a small, sour dark-purple plum (specifically the blackthorn plum) that is the flavoring in sloe gin, a drink that unites teenage girls and homosexuals the world over.

Whereas sloe gin can be mixed into any number of concocktails, from A Dixon Thing (dreck) to a Wynonna’s Strawberry Delight (dreck), slivovice isn’t usually mixed with anything. Except pathos. And bad, bad ideas. And suicide. The party line is that slivovice is its own man; that slivovice is meant to be drunk alone—meaning the sauce is unencumbered and so are you.

I’ve spent nearly two years asking local tenders to come up with some alchemical mixology for slivovice. I was plumb tired of drinking it solo or sans chaser. I wanted multiple partners. But many tenders refused to even attempt a mix, afraid to violate some imaginary sanctification. Whatever. Ain’t nothing holy, including our livers. Like sex, like dying, I had to do it myself. The personally tested results are reported below. These drinks ain’t pretty, but neither are bruises. The slivovice is always plum, except where noted.

Der Geschunden Jude
1 part kosher slivovice (preferably Jelínek)
2 parts prune or pear juice

French Connection
1 part calvados
1 part peach slivovice

Romanian Border Crossing
1 part anisette
1 part slivovice
2 parts carbonated water

Yorsh 2.0
1 part slivovice
2 parts dark beer (preferably Krusovice, or the elusive Pilsner Dark)

Slivo-Gimlet
1 part slivovice
1 part lime juice (preferably Rose’s)

Dobre fucking rano
1 part slivovice
1 part shitty white wine
1 egg white

Sickovice
1 cup tisane
1 shot slivovice
Honey

READERS' COMMENTS

"Um, "peach slivovice" is broskvovice. Pear "slivovice" is hruskovice. Etc."
Joe

"Will have to try some of your 'con-cock-tions' LOL Been having a few 'slivo' nippers since I can't remember when...pardon the pun. You forgot to mention it is a big favorite for making slumber parties...yep...not having them...MAKING THEM!!! LOL There is ALWAYS a bottle around at the church hall bar. I remember missing a Eastern Orthodox Easter one year because of it. An aunt who was preparing dinner wasn't too pleased...but she's been known to have a few slivo's too. Have fun. Nice site!"
Kim Scott...part Serb somewhere in my ancestry
September 4th, 2006

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