An insight into the secrets of the schnapps production
Visiting Zoltán Horváth and the Bedi distillery in Števanovci
Not everyone knows how to produce good, homemade schnapps. Three men who understand how to do it are Zoltán Horváth, Tibor’s uncle, and the Bedi brothers, the owners of a distillery. They introduce us to their craft.
Števanovci, late summer 2007
Visibly honoured Zoltán Horváth
shows us the certificate he was awarded with by a committee of Slovene judges
in Otovci (
After Zoltán Horváth has demonstrated how he picks the fruit for his award-winning schnapps, and how the process of fermentation proceeds, we were also interested in finding out where and above all how the fermented plum mash is then being processed. József Bedi, the owner of a distillery in Števanovci, a regular customer of which is also Zoltán Horváth, kindly agreed on giving us an insight into distillation. Bedi József’s brother depicts us how high proof schnapps can be extracted from the fruit mash that has been fermented for months. First of all the mash is heated in a kind of heater to a temperature, in which alcohol starts vaporising. This steam evaporates from the mash and moves upward through a tube to the first container, where it precipitates. From this first container, the freshly precipitated alcohol is transferred to a smaller kettle, where it is once again heated. Afterwards the steam flows through another tube into a second container, where it is cooled down. In this second distillation process the schnapps is being refined. In another step, the chilled alcohol flows out of the distiller into a pot. At first the schnapps (ethanol) drips into the container; until distillation is fully complete the schnapps has been reduced from originally 80 percent by volume to well-tolerated 40 percent by volume and is then ready to be filled into bottles. The mash remainders are brought by a wooden pushcart to a self-made refuse pit behind the house, where they are temporally stored before being disposed in an official dumpsite. We do not miss the opportunity to taste one, two (very generously filled…) glasses of this 100% homemade schnapps. Cheers and a happy new year, or as you say in Raba Region Slovene: „Na zdravje pa srečno nauvo leto“!
Pictures Tibor Horváth / Joël Gerber
We thank Mr Zoltán Horváth and the Bedi brothers very much for their interesting introduction to the world of distillation.