During our recent trip through Syunik, we spotted smoke rising from the former Micro-Engine Factory in Goris. But it wasn’t smoke from the factory’s assembly line.
An elderly couple, Roma and Larisa Ishkhanyan, were busy distilling mulberry vodka.
They’ve been distilling the “white lightning” spirit for the past 20 years. The fruit comes from the 15 trees they tend to on the banks of the Vorotan River.
Roma used to work as a welder and Larisa, an accountant. They’ve long since retired.
Larisa fondly remembers her native village of Jrakous in Artsakh’s Hadrout region. That’s where she learnt the secret of distilling mulberry vodka. Larisa says her product is free of any additives and is done the traditional way.
“From the day I was born, I grew up watching our people distilling vodka. We had large mulberry orchards back in Karabakh,” Larissa recounts.
In the video, Larisa explains how she transforms the mulberries into the white spirit known as tti oghi.