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Customs of Pálinka consumptions


Drinking pálinka can be associated with everyday life, as well as holidays and special occasions. According to folk wisdom, pálinka gives strength. Taking a shot of pálinka in the morning could not be missed among peasant population.

Emphasizing the healthy nature of an early morning shot, an apple was eaten on an empty stomach followed by a shot of pálinka. After the work was done in the stable, they had a breakfast with relish –the morning pálinka having developed a healthy appetite. Pálinka might also appear before other meals as well. In the countryside, before starting the grape harvest or butchering a pig, or after a successful (or not) hunt – it was proper to drink a glass of pálinka according to the requirements of the rite. When doing such hard work as harvest, fishing, or well-sinking pálinka was the remedy of exhaustion – in one word: medicine.

Beside the „medicinal” morning shots, important events of human life (births, christenings, weddings, funerals and wakes, name-days and birthdays), as well as, the feasts of the year were all connected with pálinka consumption. Everyone swore to the superiority of somebody’s pálinka. There have always been competent experts everywhere, producing memorable pálinka from the local fruits.
Saint Michael, the patron saint of distillers, enjoys a high reputation to this day.

Tradition saved a variety of monikers for pálinka. There are funny, nicknames, like „kugyi,” „bugyi (bloomers),” „gugyi,” „lantern”, „eye-water”, „don’t-pull-me”, „grumbling-the-churchman” etc. Colorful terms came from the around the town, Szeged: „mother’s milk,” „fence-rending,” „spit of Laci the highwayman,” „monkey’s milk,” „neck-oil,” „spit of marketfly,” „geberdusz,” „i-hate-it” – just to name a few.

Pálinka of the highest, super premium quality are now available, to attest to the transformation of pálinka’s traditional image. These pálinka are worthy competitors of the most recognized whiskeys, both in quality and price. Moreover, a new, „prestige consumption culture” started to be evolving.
This new consumer is not satisfied with merely a high alcohol content, but seeks the unique taste experience offered by the smooth, pleasanr flavor of the rich aroma of fruit pálinka, drunk from a specially design glass that helps enhance the flavor.

„There is darkness, and it will immediately rain, the battle goes to shipbaptistery, on the tag will stand by some time: there was a rape pálinka, peach.”
Gábor Koncz