Prepare for pálinka!

The annual Budapest Pálinka festival will be held in the downtown. Here we give you some tips and background info you may need before you take a deep trip into Hungarian pálinka-culture.

What is pálinka?

Pálinka is a short drink distilled from fruit or grape-pomace grown in Hungary. It is a Hungaricum by the Hungarian laws, that means it is part of the country's heritage, and is one of the top products of the nation.

Real pálinka only consists of distilled fermented fruit or grape-pomace and clear water. Good pálinka is when there's nothing else in the savour, but fruit. Not a bit sour, no tinges.

There are also pálinkas matured on fruit bed, while others may add honey to make it sweeter. These are accepted modifications, but true pálinka is only made of fruit and water.

How to drink pálinka?

Remember! Pálinka is a strong alcoholic drink, it can easily trick you, if you drink too much of it. But pálinka is not about getting drunk, it's about the quintessence of the top Hungarian fruits. It's about getting together, having fun and enjoying superior traditional tastes.

Before you drink, eat. Every pálinka festival has food stands, where you can have Hungarian and international dishes. One pálinka is good for aperitif, but the second one is only healthy if you eat enough.

Never drink your pálinka in whole for once. First smell it. Drink a small sip, chew it, taste it, enjoy it. Let it talk to you about the fruit, and about the heritage. Take your time. Drink slowly.

Mixing different type of pálinkas is okay, but don't mix it with other alcoholic drinks. Accompany the shots with water.

Which pálinka?

You will see, there are hundreds of different types of pálinkas. We suggest for those who try it for the first time, to choose a top quality one, an awarded one. Try pálinkas made of the fruits you like anyway. Good pálinka is not a cheap thing. The quality has price, but worth it.

If you have the chance, ask anything about the products from the staff. If you are lucky, you may have a chat with the distiller-master in person, who can tell you a lot of interesting and heart-warming stories about his passion, the fruits, and the methods.

Rules of drinking in Hungary

According to the operative laws, the available blood-alcohol level to driving is 0.000%. After 10 p.m. no stores allowed to sell alcoholic drinks.

Where is the festival?

The Pálinka Festival this year takes place at Erzsébet Square, right in the centre of downtown (5th district). 16-19 May 2013. Have a nice time there!

What will be on the festival?

As on every pálinka event, there will be concetrs, traditional and international dishees and desserts, for example chocolates filled with pálinka. There will be more than 400 types of pálinkas, including the sour cherry pálinka of the year. The newest attraction this year is that visitors can design their own pálinkas. Find out more on the spot!

Official website of the Pálinka Festival 2013.