When one is wandering aimlessly through the blogosphere, as one is apt to do, one learns so much by often finding the unexpected. Which is very much the case when I discovered Pálinka, well, actually the Hungarians have known about it for a long time.
Like most countries Hungary has a national spirit. Brazil has Cachaça, Peru & Chile have Pisco (still haven’t decided who invented the stuff) and the Scots have Whisky; Hungary has pálinka, well, so do four Austrian states, the brew is made there too. While Palincă is Rumanian brandy.
Pálinka has a festival in Budapest
So, what is pálinka?
Pálinka or Palincă are double distilled fruit brandies made exclusively from fruits, herbs or pomace indigenous to the Carpathian Basin region, and free of additional ingredients or additives. The brandy can be strong, up to 86% ABV, but can be as low as 37.5%. In Hungary the main fruit is plum, while in Austria it is apricot. Although not exclusively, the Hungarians also use apricots, pears, peach and fruit like sour cherries, mulberries and quince; different varieties have different names, but remain Pálinka.
Fruit in the bottle
Pálinka can be clear, golden or various shades of red, depending on the fruit.
Various Pálinka often have the whole fruit or slices in the bottle.
Pálinka fruit types
Having discovered the drink, I have never tasted it, but I suspect that it has a close kinship with many of the other spirits produced around the world.
Traditionally drunk at room temperature 18 – 20 °C to experience the full flavour of the drink.
Just another one to try before you can claim to be a man of the world.
The sophistication of Pálinka