Palinka means the same in Hungary as whiskey in Scotland. It is considered to be one of the most famous and widely consumed alcoholic drinks among Hungarians.
It is even more popular in the countryside where many people produce home-made palinka in home distilleries. It is important to know that quality palinka is made of high-quality fruit but it is also essential to know how exactly one should drink this delicious nectar.
First and foremost, it is important to highlight that palinka is a versatile drink and consequently it can be consumed in several ways.
One can drink it pure or make cocktails with it to enhance its fruitiness and strength. Besides quality, the way of serving is also important. It is advisable to serve palinka in tulip glass. The word tulip refers to the flower because the shape of the glass is similar to it. The tulip glass is not only beautiful but it has a special role as well.
The lower part of the glass looks like a bubble and it becomes narrower upwards. Due to its special tape, palinka’s fragrance is directly led to the taster’s nose and consequently the aroma and taste become even more intense.
The intensity of the aromes can be further enhanced if the glass is served with a cover/glass lid, which is removed only before drinking so that all the delicious smells can stay inside. It is also advisable to tilt the tulip glass a little bit and move it back and forth so that fragrances become even more intense.
There is another question that is often asked when it comes to plainka:
When to consume?
There no strict rules for the time of palinka drinking but most people drink it before meals as a kind of aperitif but one can also drink it after meals as a digestive because – as its name suggests – it helps to digest food and makes the job of the stomach easier.
However, many people do not connect palinka to eating and one can drink it at any time of the day. It is also a kind of tradition in Hungary that when a guest arrives, usually the lord of the house offers palinka or when a baby is born, the father of the child and his friends clinks glasses for the health of the mother and the baby.
It is advisable to consume palinka slowly so that the drink reaches all the parts of the mouth because taste and fragrance become even more intense.
Another important technical term that is important to mention in connection with palinka is “dry trial” that is “szárazpróba” in Hungarian.
The process is the following: if one raises the glass to his or her nose approximately 5 minutes after swallowing palinka, pleasant fragrance can be smelled because the fragrance of the fruit becomes the most distinctive at that time. The word ‘trial’ in this sense means that this process is the palinka’s trial because this characteristic fragrance can only be smelled if the palinka is made of quality fruit.