Top Budapest Festivals

Fun Facts about Palinka

Fun facts about Palinka

  • Palinka, this traditional Hungarian spirits is often drunk from a tulip shaped little glass to help the smell be more intensive during consumption.
  • There is a sub-genre of palinkas called the ‘whistling palinka’ or in Hungarian the ‘Futyulos Palinka’, which promises to make you feel so good that you start to whistle. Or at least whizz you in a good mood. :) Stronger palinkas, typically countryside Hungarian brandies, are called ‘fence ripper’ (Keritesszaggato) – no need for explanation, right?
  • The first records of making palinka in Hungary are from the 14th century – referred to as the water of life and used as a medicine. By the 17th century, palinka distillation was a privilege of the landlords, so home distilleries mushroomed.

    Palinka, Hungarian spirits

    Palinka, Hungarian spirits (photo by tutuka)

  • Palinka is often drunk in one shot by an average Hungarian in a pub, rather than tasted, smelled or sipped. But of course you are at a gourmet palinka festival where no average palinka is on offer, and likewise palinkas are more slowly and meticulously enjoyed.
  • Pear palinka is the most popular of all the hot spirits in Hungary and there is a special version of it, when a tiny pear is put inside the bottle and soaked in it for months to let it grow bigger. It really looks cool.
  • The usual cheers before drinking palinka is ‘God’ – ‘God’ (Isten – Isten, say ish-ten)
  • Palinka or Palinkas is a frequent surname in Hungary
  • And there is a special way to drink Palinka when you make new friends. See? Cross your arms and drink your palinka.
How to Drink Palinka when You Make Friends

How to Drink Palinka when You Make Friends (photo by neonzu1)

 
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