Pálinka is a traditional part of Hungarian hospitality, so no visitor of Hungary should even dream of escaping a tot! Mind you, whoever has heard of the Hungarians’ “firewater,” or whose friends have already visited Hungary and spoken about it, will not be trying to avoid but rather to seek out the experience; to try out this most Hungarian of drinks, pálinka. The name pálinka can only be used for those products distilled from 100% fruit – that is, without added alcohol or artificial aromas – and with an alcohol content of at least 37.5%.
Different distilled drinks are consumed all over the world, and their constituents vary greatly according to region, country, climate and natural conditions. Until the 16th century spirits were used as medications, as is borne out by the European term aqua vitae (water of life) and its variants in different languages.
Pálinka should never be chilled, for its bouquet can only be fully appreciated at hand temperature. It’s worth carrying out the “dry test”: After downing the first glass, put it aside for five to ten minutes, and then inhale into the second. If you are drinking real pálinka you will only be able to detect the aroma of pure fruit.
Pálinka is one of our national treasures. It should be respected and never over-indulged. After all, the twice-two-centilitres which is the recommended adult daily dose works just as well as an appetiser as to stave of the cold in winter or the heat of summer…(Source)
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