Palinka is a hungaricum.
Hungaricum: is an item or phenomenom that is unique to Hungary and holds a special place in the hearts of many Hungarians. A few hungaricums I personally love include turo-rudi (chocolate filled with cottage cheese), paprika, dobostorta (chocolate sponge cake) and goulash soup.
Palinka is an alcoholic drink made from only fruits, Hungarians have a saying, if a fruit can be used to make jam, it can also be used to make Palinka, haha. Usually no extra ingredients are added except distilled water and most palinkas contain an alcohol content of 40%.
Our Visit to the PalinkaHaz
We visited the Bestillo Palinkhaz on the same day we visited the Regec and Boldogko castles in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County. The drive from Boldogko castle to the Palinkahaz took about 8 minutes.
We were warmly welcomed, had a small lesson in the history of Palinka, the Bestillo Palinkahaz and then we were taken to all the rooms and shown the different equipments used to make Palinka and all the different processes explained
After been shown around, it was time for the Palinka tasting. We were served some snacks and six different types of palinka,each served one after the other. We started from the lightest to the strongest.
The first taste we had was that of the Palinka made from apple – almapálinka, this is the lightest palinka. I finished the glass in one swoop feeling all macho, hahaha.
For the second round, we were served the Apricot palinka known in hungarian as barackpalinka. This is also the most famous type of palinka in Hungary. Still good.
The third was palinka made from pear – körte pálinka. This one is quite rare and contains more sugar and juice.
The fourth serving was Palinka made from plum – szilvapálinka. This one was much stronger and a bit spicy.
For the fifth round, we were served palinka made from grapes – Törkölypálinka. This was sweet and similar to wine.
The final round was also palinka made from grapes, but this was yellow palinka. We were told it gets its colour from its being stored in oak barrels. Apparently this palinka is also stored for much longer than the others and is more suitable for men. hmmm, don’t ask me, I don’t remember why it is so.
Apparently, palinka should be served in this type of glass, one which is wide at the bottom, narrow at the top, that way you also get to enjoy the sweet aroma of the palinka.
I liked the apple better, it was the first served, it was lighter. I liked the plum better than pear, and the palinka from grapes was quite similar to wine. We had to rinse our glasses after each serving to not mix the drinks up, but frankly I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them if I had a drink tomorrow. I also prefer my drinks served chill, except if its hot chocolate or tea, but apparently Palinka should be served at 18-20°C, if served colder, the taste and smell could be lost, not my thing. It was a nice visit, weirdly I liked the aroma of the palinka.
Thank you Hungary for the experience though. It was an eye opener to the world of spirits…mwahaahaa, but yeah one time is enough, I’d still love to donate my liver to someone when I die.
And special thanks to Interhelp desk, who organised this visit.
This is not allllllll the gist about palinka, but this post is all about palinka. Hope you enjoyed reading? care to share your thoughts?
You could read about the visit to the castles on the same day here