Autumn may be the season of wine, but pálinka’s season is, well, all 12 months of the year.
In the countryside, hundreds of people who happen to have fruit trees collect and take the fallen plums, berries, or apricots to a local brewery, where a team of pálinka makers help them create a fruit brandy aka the Hungarian spirit. Those who rather play the lone hand purchase their own distilling kit and educate themselves on how to become producers instead.
Either way, everyone with their own alcoholic beverage is proud as a peacock, willing to show their pride and joy fruit distillate to anyone who cross their doorstep. Especially on special events like Easter, birthdays, weddings, or on the occasion of unplanned visits from friends, relatives. Warning! Guests shouldn’t shy away from and refuse the host’s offer, because the poor man would take offence at them. They are so passionate about pálinka as if it was their love child; they want everyone to know how proud they are of it.
How to drink pálinka
Beware! While in the countryside they say you should take it fast like a shot, the recent pálinka revolution’s representatives beg to differ. They suggest you take your time, indulge in its fruity smell first (they don’t pour it into a tulip shaped glass for nothing), and then enjoy each and every sip, slow and easy. Thanks to its pretty high alcohol content (minimum 37.5%), you’ll soon feel it kick in unless you are careful enough. The choice is yours, make it an experience!
Pálinka is under the European Union’s geographic designation protection, meaning that only products that were produced, fermented, distilled, aged and bottled in Hungarian territory can be sold as “pálinka”. Considering the flavours, the drink also known as “fence-ripper” can be made from a list of ripe fruits: plum, apricot, apple, sour cherry, pear, apple, and so on. We differentiate eight pálinka regions, all of which are famous for one specific fruit; for instance, Kecskemét’s area is the land of quality apricot pálinka, but Békés’s pálinka makers specialize in plum distillate.
Photo: Egy jó kép rólad