DNA Distillery: A Legacy of Family and Tradition
Experience the rich history of generations with every sip.

Step into the captivating world of DNA Distillery, a story rooted in family tradition and the pursuit of excellence. Meet Monique and James, two cousins who embarked on a mission to share their family's legacy of making Rakija—a beloved drink that has been crafted by their ancestors for five generations.

Picture this: their Dedo's - grandfather's recipe so legendary that people would travel by foot just for a taste. When Monique and James' family moved to Australia, they brought this timeless tradition with them, continuing to share it with friends and loved ones in their new home.

Inspired by the rich tapestry of their family history, Monique and James launched DNA Distillery, introducing three distinct variants of Rakija. Each variant—the Classic Rakija, Gold Rakija, and Pear Rakija—represents a harmonious fusion of Australian-grown fruits and meticulous double distillation in small batches. The result?

A collection of exquisite beverages meticulously crafted to be savoured and enjoyed in the company of family and friends.

But DNA Distillery is more than a business venture; it's a testament to the enduring power of family and tradition passed down through generations. Monique and James stand as guardians of their family's heritage, honouring its captivating essence while sharing it with the world. Join us on an enchanting journey as they delve into the art of rakija-making, unveiling the intricacies of their family history and recounting the extraordinary odyssey of creating this exceptional brand.

"We want to share our family with yours and provide Australians with a chance to experience our heritage, enjoying those moments with the ones you love over a delicious glass of Rajika," say co-founders James and Monique.

What were the challenges of bringing your family's tradition to Australia and starting a distillery?

Our biggest challenge was not having any background in the alcohol industry and having to undergo a rapid education process. Additionally, as rakija can only be made once a year during harvest season, batch sizing is crucial. While our first batch sold out in just three months (which was amazing!), we then had to take pre-orders for the second batch, as there's no speeding up nature.

How did you decide on the three variants of rakija that you currently offer, and what makes each one unique?

Our classic rakija is the OG, distilled wine with nothing added, and is the most similar to Grappa. Our gold rakija is a family secret recipe that gives off a complex aroma and tastes similar to fine whiskey. Finally, our pear rakija is more fruity and feminine, known as Baba's drink. Each variant is part of the traditional core rakija range in Eastern Europe and is made using the best Australian produce.

How has Rakija brought your family together over the years?

Rakija is an integral part of our family's fabric, present at every occasion happy or sad, from Christenings to funerals. We sip on it while listening to our grandparents' stories and share it with our friends to explain our culture and traditions. It's what reinforces our family bond daily, and what we're proud to share with the world.

What inspired you to start a distillery, and what advice would you give to others looking to follow in your footsteps?

We've been around rakija our whole lives, saw the magic that happens around it, and knew we wanted to share it with as many people as possible. Our advice to others looking to follow in our footsteps would be to follow your heart, as it's a long and expensive process that requires genuine passion.

How do you ensure the quality of your ingredients in DNA Distillery Rakija, which is made from Australian-grown fruits?

We source only organic Australian-grown fruits that have not had any pesticides or herbicides sprayed on them. This ensures that our inputs, and thus our finished product, are of the best possible quality. All fruit is hand-picked and sorted to ensure that only the best is used, while our rakija is crafted from select parcels of Australian produce sourced from award-winning boutique suppliers across the country. We use sustainable and organic farming practices, with no additives, to ensure that our rakija is of the highest quality.

Experience the allure of DNA Distillery Rakija—an elixir that transcends mere drink status. Crafted from exquisite Australian-grown fruits and meticulously double-distilled in small batches, DNA Distillery presents Rakija—a one-of-a-kind spirit. Indulge in this tantalising award-winning elixir, available for purchase through their esteemed website: dnadistillery.com

Join us in August on our Staying Alive and Rich Podcast podcast, where Monique and James visit our studio to share their favourite cocktail recipes, offering tips on the best way to enjoy Rakija, while discussing the legacy of deep traditions that inspired their craft.

Cheers to that! - Na zdravje!

Maria Ugrinovski

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DNA Distillery: A Legacy of Family and Tradition