An interesting topic for many tourists. Montenegro alcoholic drinks are Vranac wine from Balkan grapes and other wines, inexpensive local beer and many types of rakia made from berries and fruits. Alcoholic drinks are affordable, the choice in all stores is very large, there are no restrictions. This is the kind of country that a lover of Bacchus will definitely love. At the same time, you will not meet a single drunk Montenegrin on the street for the entire vacation.
Table of contents:
- Montenegro alcoholic drinks: general points
- All about wine in Montenegro:
- Spirits in Montenegro: rakia, Pelinkovac, Gorki list
- Montenegrin beer
It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Montenegro without these websites
Montenegro alcoholic drinks: general points
Montenegrins are the nation that loves to drink, but they know how to drink. Here it is absolutely normal to drink two glasses of wine or 50g of rakia at lunch and go back to work. They all know when to stop and you won’t meet a drunk Montenegrin on the street. It is considered very disrespectful to walk drunk on the street so that your neighbors or other can see you.
Interesting Facts:We travel a lot around the country and when we arrive at a private apartment, the owner almost always offers either a glass of cold water or 50g of homemade raki saying “Dobro došli” (means “Welcome”).
You can refuse and no one will be offended. And they don’t pour more than one glass – after all, the owner still needs to return to work today 🙂
- Everything about the Montenegrin language and vocabulary for tourists can be found at the link.
Montenegro Alcoholic beverages are sold with almost no restrictions. Everywhere, in all shops, cafes and restaurants, at any time (during open hours). It is clear that they sell alcoholic beverages only to persons over the age of 18.
Interesting to know:Almost 20% of the population in Montenegro is Muslim. And in the article about the country’s religion, you will learn how different confessions and religions coexist in Montenegro, about the rules of conduct in Muslim areas. You will also learn about alcoholic beverages in different religions.
In short, such Montenegrо alcoholic drinks as Vranac wine and homemade rakia are the same national symbols and sights of the country as the Ostrog Monastery or the island of Sveti Stefan.
All about wines of Montenegro: Vranac and Krstač
It is probably impossible to call Montenegro a wine country. Countries such as France, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Chile and others are considered the best in wine craftsmanship and traditions. Montenegro is rarely mentioned in this list.
What you need to know about Montenegrin wine:
- The country has a huge selection of imported wines from all over the world at affordable prices.
- Almost every family makes their own homemade wine in villages and small towns. Wine is made from any grape, even the simplest Isabella.
- Often even in taverns and restaurants you can order homemade wine for dinner. It is made by the owner’s family.
Interesting to know:There are two brands of wine in Montenegro, which are national symbols and pride. They are Vranac and Krstač. I will briefly talk about them.
Vranac is a red dry wine (very dry), which is made from the Balkan grape Vranac. The word Vranac means color in Serbian, it is dark red, almost black. Actually bunches of ripe grapes and the wine itself is almost black in color.
- This grape variety grows all over the Balkans. And Vranac wine itself is also produced in several neighboring countries, and not just in Montenegro.
- This grape does not grow anywhere outside the Balkan Peninsula, and Vranac wine is not made.
- It is sold in all stores.
- There are three types of Vranac from Montenegrin grapes:
- Vranac (wine aged 1 year) – sold in 1 liter bottles. Price per bottle 3-4 euros.
- Vranac Pro Corde (premium wine, aged over 4 years) – sold only in 0.75l bottles. Price per bottle 6-8 euros.
- There is also Vranac Reserve, but it’s hard to find it in the store. Price per bottle from 15 euros.
Vranac and Vranac Pro Corde are absolutely in any store. I recommend trying both. I am not a wine sommelier, but the difference in taste and aroma is very big.
Krstač is a dry white wine (slightly sweet), made from an old white grape variety Krstač. This grape grows only on the mountain slopes of Serbia and Montenegro. That’s why it’s made here. Moreover, it does not grow everywhere, but in very specific places. In other parts of the country, either the vine does not take root or the grapes ripen with the wrong qualities.
- This wine is produced under the following names: Beli Krstač, Bijela Krata, Bijela Loza, Bijela Vinogradarska, Bijeli Krstač, Krata Bijela, Krsta Bijela, Krstač Bieli – all this is a classic Krstac
- There are no differences in the aging of wine like Vranac.
- The price of a 1l Krstač bottle in stores is 3-4 euros.
- The word Krstač translates as the Cross. A bunch of Krstač grapes looks like a cross.
Fruit wines of Montenegro
I also want to tell you about the fruit wines of Montenegro. You can’t call them wine, of course. But they are quite popular in Montenegro and these wines can be bought in every store:
- Sold in 0.75l bottles
- ABV 4-5%. More like a sweet fruity drink
- Made from any berries and fruits. The production technology is similar to the preparation of liquor: alcohol, sugar, berries, then infusing for several months.
- Price per bottle 5-6 euros.
- I really like to drink another glass for dinner.
- Made from cherries, plums, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and even apricots.
Spirits in Montenegro: rakia, Pelinkovac, Gorki list
The queen of all spirits in the Balkans is Rakia. In simple terms, this is vodka from grapes. This drink is thousands of years old and is a symbol of every country on the Balkan Peninsula. Montenegro is not an exception here.
Rakia is made in almost every family. If in most countries moonshining is prohibited by law, then here it is the traditions of the ancestors, and they must be respected. Here are some facts about rakia:
- Regular rakia in Montenegro – abv 45%.
- This is not a cheap drink, a 0.5l bottle costs from 9 euros in stores, and this is the minimum price that you rarely see.
- Rakia in Montenegro is treated to dear guests.
- Rakia has varieties depending on what raw material it is made from:
- The classic brandy is made from grapes, it can also be called “Lozovača”.
- Slivovica – from plums
- Kruškovača or krushova – from pear
- Medovača or medena – from honey
- Travarica or bilkova – on herbs
- And so on, there are a lot of varieties of rakia, they even make it from peas as experiment.
Personally, I don’t like Balkan rakia. It is very strong and has a specific flavor and aftertaste. Some might say that it tastes like poor quality stinky rustic moonshine.
But strong Montenegro alcoholic drinks are not only rakia. There are also several types of local and national drinks here. I recommend to fans to try all. Everyone has different tastes, maybe you will find your perfect drink.
Two herbal liqueurs are popular in Montenegro. You can add it to tea, you can drink it as a medicine for preventive purposes, or you can drink it just for pleasure. Both are made from over 40 herbs. And the composition of the herbs is different and the taste is also different.
- Gorki list (literally translated as Bitter Leaf). ABV from 28 to 35%. Price for 1 liter about 16 euros. There is only one manufacturer, the bottle design can only be as in the photo below.
- Pelinkovac. ABV from 28 to 32%. Price for 1 liter from 12 euros. There are more than 10 manufacturers of this herbal liqueur. In the photo on the right, four bottles are all of Pelinkovac.
Beer is very popular here. This drink in Montenegro is cheap, available and sold everywhere. But at the same time, Montenegro cannot be called a country famous for its brewing traditions. Anyway, Montenegro is about wine and rakia, not beer.
Here’s what you need to know about Montenegrin beer:
- There is only one beer producer in the country – Niksicko.
- They brew a pale lager, you can still find a dark one. That’s all. You should not expect a beer variety from local producers.
- All other beer in the country is imported. There are all world producers: Carlsberg, Heineken and so on.
- In Montenegro, I advise you to taste the beer of the neighboring countries. It is presented here in a large assortment: Serbian beer, from Kosovo, Bosnian beer, Croatian and you can even find Albanian beer.
- Standard price for 0.5 can of beer (Montenegrin or Serbian) is 0.6 euros.
It’s important to know:Beer is always sold in volumes of 0.33 or 0.5 l. Selling beer with a volume of, for example, 0.45 or 0.4 liters is prohibited in Montenegro. Details about shopping in Montenegro and what a tourist needs to know.
How a tourist can buy bottled beer in Montenegro
The question is interesting, the answer to it is no way :).
When you come to the store, you will see a large selection of beer both in glass bottles and in cans. Moreover, bottled beer is cheaper by an average of 0.1-0.15 euros. Good savings for those who drink 5 bottles of beer a day on vacation.
But if you take such a bottle and come with it to the cashier to pay, they will take it away from you and not sell it. There’s no such thing as a deposit price for a bottle.
Useful:The only way to buy bottled beer in Montenegro is to come to the store with your empty bottles and put them in the box when paying. No one knows where to get this very first bottle, apparently to win in a fair fight on the street (i’m joking).
By the way, empty bottles quickly disappear on the street. Where the locals get them, even the locals themselves do not know. But everyone says that they have had bottles for a long time, from the time when bottled beer was still freely sold. And now they exchange a box of empty bottles in the store for a box of full ones every time.
You can of course take a bottle from the bar. After you drink a beer for 2 euros, carefully take a bottle with you :). But one is not enough, you need at least 5. And I don’t want to go to the store with them, they are heavy and clink in a backpack. Therefore, tourists do not bother and buy beer only in cans, even if it is a bit more expensive.
Read about other pros and cons of Montenegro at the link.
In conclusion: Montenegro alcoholic drinks – for every taste. They are inexpensive and authentic. Remember that the locals know the measure, you know too. Montenegrin wines, Montenegrin beer and rakia are on the table at all holidays, celebrations and just at dinner.
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Montenegro
- Flights at the best prices with discounts
- Car rental in Montenegro (cheaper – only by bus):
- Hotels and apartments all over the country: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual card in Montenegro
- Taxi and transfers from Montenegro airports: Intui.Travel