MOST POPULAR HUNGARIAN BEVERAGES
What alcoholic drinks should you try in Budapest?
Szamorodni is a variety of Tokaji wine produced in the Tokaj wine region (Tokaj-Hegyalja) predominately from Furmint, and some amount of Hárslevelü, Kabar, Kövérszölö, Zéta, and Sárgamuskotály (Muscat Blanc) grape varieties.
The wines are produced from grape clusters containing ripe, overripe, and moldy grapes, and it can be made as a sweet (édes) style—which has a higher amount of residual sugar—or as the dry (száraz) style. Depending on the age, the final taste profile of this prized wine can vary from fruity to nutty, while their character is often compared to some dry sherry styles.
Tokaji aszú (vyber) is a full-bodied dessert wine produced in the Tokaj wine region, which is shared by Hungary and Slovakia. It is produced from six grape varieties including Furmint as the predominant grape, but also Hárslevelü, Kabar, Kövérszölö, Zéta, and Sárgamuskotály (Muscat Blanc).
The wine is made from grapes that have been affected by noble rot and are then mixed into a fermenting must or a new wine. The noble rot concentrates the sugars and gives aszú its complex and fragrant aromas of honey, fruit, and spices, which are usually complemented by rich minerality.
Hungarian pálinka is a fruit brandy distilled from various fermented fruit such as plums, apricots, or cherries. The name pálinka has been protected under European Union law, and can only be produced in Hungary from fruit grown within the country’s borders.
Although all varieties must be rested for a minimum of three months, some can be barrel-aged, allowing the fruit flavors to become more prominent and the drink to become more mellow and rounded. Pálinka has to have a minimum of 37.5 ABV, and no flavorings, sweeteners, or colorings are allowed in its production.
Originally invented as a stomach remedy, Unicum was first produced in 1790 by Dr. József Zwack. The mass production of the liqueur started in 1840 when the doctor founded the first Zwack Company, followed by the central distillery in 1892. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the company was overtaken by state, while the Zwack family fled the country, taking with them the original recipe.