Selijas Darzi Smakovka Miezu (47%)

In Latvia, moonshine is called by different names, depending on the location. In the north and west it is called Kandza, and in the east, in the province of Latgale, Šmakovka (Shmakovka). Šmakovka is such a traditional drink that there is even a museum dedicated to it in the city of Daugavpils. It is not unusual in eastern Latvia that a moonshine stirs up in the normal looking house, and the finished distillate is modified into various drinks, with adding juices, berries or other spices. Selijas Darzi is a small winery, brewery and distillery in the city of Daugavpils. Their products are sold mostly in their hometown, but also in Riga in at least one souvenir shop. Unfortunately, the company’s website has been under renovation since 2019, so there is no information about the production. Miezu means clear, so it’s pure moonshine without any spices or other additives. A 10 cl bottle cost €3 at the Daugavpils shopping center souvenir stand.

The smell is smooth and slightly sweet. The smell has bread and grain, but also typical sugar wine aroma. The taste is sweet and surprisingly soft, even though it is a 47% strength product. There is also alcohol kick, but the burn is rather moderate. Although it seems to last a very long time in the mouth, so it’s good to have juice or something else next to the shot glass. There is also a slight aroma of rye bread in the taste, also fruitiness, so it must have been done by some kind of rye mash with sugar. By adding a little water, the taste softens even more and the sweet, fruity aromas are better revealed. The drink is probably most enjoyable at 40% strength or slightly less. By smelling the empty glass, a strong aroma of rye bread or homemade root beer emerges. A high-quality product that is worth getting to know if you are traveling in eastern Latvia.


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