Lëng vishnje

Must and Fermented Beverages - Albania

Lëng vishnje, or as it is locally called, vishnjak, is a liqueur made with sour cherries. It is an alcoholic beverage normally used as a digestive. To prepare the drink, mature, dark red cherries are harvested, washed and placed whole into a glass container. The fruits are covered with raki (a strong alcohol), covered with a towel and left in the sun for six weeks. After this time, the vishnjak is ready to be filtered and consumed. The remaining sour cherries are then often eaten as a dessert.

Vishnjak is a traditional liqueur from northern Albania and is well known throughout the region. It is produced almost entirely for home consumption, but may also occasionally be found in some traditional restaurants. Under the Communist regime, the production of vishnjak was forbidden, and so many families lost the traditional preparation method during those years.