Pálinka – the Hungarian ’eau de vie’
Why do we think of ’pálinka’, the Hungarian national spirit in the heat of the summer? Because wherever we look, ripening fruits smile back to us, the only ingredient of ’pálinka’. It’s the busiest season for distilleries, cherries have already been done, apricot is distilled, and the first grapes will soon arrive. Have you ever tasted pálinka? You should!
Pálinka – strict rules
The name pálinka can be used only if the spirit is made of 100% Hungarian grown fruit or marc. Thus banana spirit cannot be called pálinka, and neither the spirit made of wine lees. Pálinka has to be distilled in Hungary.
Each winery has its own
If you visit a Hungarian winery, you are quite likely to be poured one or more pálinkas at the end of the wine tasting. They use either grape or marc, but one thing is sure: pálinka is cherished as much as their wines.
- Vylyan Winery has their Cabernet Franc marc pálinka distilled in Agárdi Pálinkafőzde (see below).
- Thummerer Winery has a wide range of their own pálinkas: Királyleányka indigenous grape, Tramini grape, Ottonel muscat grape, Merlot marc, Pinot Noir marc, Syrah marc, even a single vineyard Merlot marc and some more: if you visit them, you need a day for the wines, and another one for the pálinkas.
Agárdi – a place to visit
Agárdi Distillery is situated in Agárd, only a short drive from Budapest, near Velencei lake, a popular holiday resort. The distillery is celebrating its 15 year anniversary soon, in September, and they have a lot to celebrate: Agárdi is the most successful pálinka distillery with countless gold medals not only from Hungary, but also from prestigious international spirit contests like the Austrian Destillata.
The distillery attracts thousands of visitors every year, with its state of art machinery and the tasting of the superb Agárdi pálinkas. Their raspberry pálinka and their Irsai Olivér pálinka will surely enchant anyone. Their cuisine is subtle with delicious dishes that match their pálinkas or are made with pálinka.
Advanced booking is necessary for both the distillery and the restaurant