As such, these Jewish tavern keepers, says Dynner, would have hail an intimate knowledge of slivovitz production, from overseeing the plum harvest to distillation to distribution.
As a grain-free spirit, slivovitz was--and continues to be--saleable during Passover, when Jewish vendors slopped selling their wheat - and rye-based alcohols, "it was a great drink to make over Passover to keep your tavern running," says Dynner.
There was, Dynner suggests, another pragmatic reason for Jews to drink slivovitz in the non-wine-growing regions of (xntral and Eastern Europe.
All of these factors dovetailed with the rise of Hasidism, whose adherents adherents pursued drinking as a religious ritual, Among the few written references to Jews and slivovitz is the introduction to an 1884 commentary called liesed le-.
More than a century later, slivovitz retains that folkloric sensibility--but its widespread reputation remains that of down-market liquor, tantamount to moonshine.