Palinka is a strong alcoholic beverage and it is known as the ’national spirit of Hungary’. In addition to famous Hungarian wines, palinka has also managed to achieve great popularity inside and outside the borders of Hungary.

According to the decision of the European Union, officially, the name ‘pálinka’ can only be used by Hungary. Over the past few years, palinka has become fashionable among the alcoholic drinks and has managed to firmly establish its place on the market around the world.

Palinka is an extremely versatile spirit and it comes in a wide range of flavours and strength. Strength refers to the alcohol degree of the palinka. Palinka is a strong drink with distinctive aromas but its fruitiness and freshness is incredible. This makes it a great base for a delicious cocktail!

Its versatility is what makes palinka a great basic spirit for cocktails. One might not think that this strong and distinctive spirit is suitable for cocktail making but it definitely is and has become more and more fashionable among the younger generation of bartenders.

Palinka cocktails nowadays are becoming more and more popular and the number of cocktail recipes is increasing. But in order to get a general overview of the mysterious world of palinka cocktails, it is important to know some basic and important facts about cocktails and cocktail making as such.

Many people think that proper measurement is the key to a good, aesthetic and tasty cocktail but the formula is not as simple as that. Finding the perfect balance of the ingredients is even more important than measuring everything out carefully.

Cocktail making requires a huge amount of creativity and as the Hungarian cocktail lovers and bartenders have become more and more creative, they tried to use all kinds of spirits to make delicious cocktails and palinka was one of them.

One of the most basic and general recipe for palinka cocktails includes palinka, juice mix, lemonade and ice. The most important fact of cocktail making with palinka is the following: the flavour of the juice mix should always match the flavour of the palinka.

This means that one can use any kinds of palinka to make cocktails, only the proper juice is needed to be found. For instance, raspberry palinka, raspberry juice, lemonade and ice make a simple but delicious combination. Juice enhances, ‘brings out’ the flavour of palinka even more.

It is essential to know that ‘juice’ in this sense refers to a concentrated, puree-like liquid that is not water-based. Another important thing is that it is highly advisable to use freshly squeezed lemon juice to prepare lemonade for the cocktail. The taste of fresh lemon juice cannot be compared to the taste of the ‘ready-made’ lemon juice on the shelves of the supermarket.

Palinka cocktails are usually served in a so called ‘old fashioned’ glass, sour glass or in a flute but the type of serving depends on the main characteristics of the cocktail. The preparation instructions can also vary from simple stirring, shaking, double straining to emulsifying. There are an endless number of combinations; the only limit is our imagination.

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