For sure, “true” slivovitz—if one insists on referring to such a thing—comes off the still. The hooch, a brandy strictly speaking, is made through the fermentation and distillation of plums. If additional sugar and spices are added, the liquor becomes a liqueur.
Here, in Washington DC, we have no still to run. So, we took a tip from Cathy Barrow of the Washington Post.
The clear hooch turned luminous red in a couple of weeks, and after two months we moved the two mason jars to the fridge.
Were we to do it again, we’d lower the sugar used and up the lemon peel and maybe consider pitching another spice.
Slivovitz often is derided as an awful booze brought out at Jewish holidays, but its history is much broader than that. (See here.) Slivovitz recently has gotten some media attention, and there even are Slivovitz festivals in the United States.