Bill Gould of American rock band Faith No More has launched Yebiga Prva rakija, a Serbian spirit made from fresh plums and aged for 18 months.
Gould, the bass player in Faith No More, said he first discovered a taste for rakija while backstage at a show in Budapest in 1992. The musician has since strived to introduce the plum-based spirit to drinkers in the US.
Yebiga Prva is made from ripe plums, which are distilled into a spirit and then barrel-aged. Yebiga Prva has a light gold colour and spicy aromas, leading to notes of vanilla and citrus on the palate.
Gould said: “The fact is, the only way I could ever get a good rakija before was to travel in the Balkans and load up the suitcase or wait for someone to bring a bottle from there.
“The best rakijas are rarely purchased in shops in the Balkans, but are sipped around the table in someone’s home, kept for welcoming direct family and friends. It was my goal to have Yebiga be a rakija that stands up in quality to rival the finest family recipes, so that we could enjoy the good stuff, without needing to wait for some life-changing event. I’m sure there are people in the US who miss this taste of home even more than me.
“Lastly, there just needs to be more awareness among Americans about this criminally underrated spirit, and the deep cultural essence that is part of it.”
Yebiga Prva is bottled at 43% ABV and carries a suggested retail price of US$38.99. The rakija is available in California and Illinois, with plans to launch in Washington DC, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania soon. Yebiga will also launch a second expression in 2021.