Reading the title "Palinka - A Traditional Hungarian Fruit Spirit" on A Bad Witch's Blog, you could be wondering whether I'm referring to some Eastern European fairy of the orchards rather than an alcoholic drink. Unless, that is, you read my post back before Yule about a medieval fruit brandy called Palinka that was traditionally drunk in Hungary as a folk cure to ward off winter colds.
Well, the nice people who make Palinka, after reading my earlier blog post, offered to send me a bottle to try out. It arrived on yesterday afternoon, as snow was falling thickly around my house. Couldn't have been more perfectly timed!
Palinka comes in a variety of different styles and using different fruit. The entry about it on Wikipedia states: "Invented in the Middle Ages... Under the 2008 "Hungarian Pálinka Law", only fruit spirits distilled from a mash of ripe fruits produced in Hungary, mashed, distilled, matured and bottled locally can be called pálinka."
The bottle I received was apricot and the description on the Wine and Palinka company website says, in such a delightfully idiosyncratic style that you can hear the Hungarian accent as you read it: "The Hungarian apricot is very sensitive fruit. It is like if you grow apricots you never know wheter you have good or bad year. This is why it is so precious fruit and sometimes it is very expensive because of weak crop. As the jams are the best from it also it is said about the palinka as well."
The spirit is clear in colour and the flavour is subtle with a slightly brandy-like taste. I could definitely taste the apricots in my palinka. It was certainly the thing to warm me up on a cold winter's evening and, after a couple of glasses, I could imagine that those Eastern European fairies of the orchards might have put a little magic into the bottle. Whether it will ward off winter colds, I will have to wait and see.
You can find out more about Palinka and order bottles via this website: http://wineandpalinka.co.uk/
You can also book a Palinka tasting event for a group of friends. With this you sample a selection of six different wines and four different Palinkas. Read more about tasting events here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org / +447447944976 for more information.
Do bear in mind the usual health and safety warnings about drinking responsibly.
Links and previous related posts