Origin of Pálinka (Brandy)
Pálinka is made of fermented fruit which is a distilled spirit drink. According to the European Union Law the word brandy can only be used in Hungary and 4 other Austrian provinces.
Ingredients are mainly from plum, pear, apple, apricot, cherry, grape marc, strawberry but of course Brandy can be made of any fruits.
Based on a Hungarian Food Book and on the Law only those productions can be named Brandy which made from fruits and grape marc, produced in Hungary and they contain 100% fruit and has an at least 37,5 % alcohol and aroma.
First written work mentions 1332 where Brandy appeared in the public mind.
In 1656 the so called Opera Medica book has been published by Joannes Proavetius. In this book at the beginning he mentioned the ”the water of the Hungarian queen”. This water was wine spirit flavoured with aroma and queen Elizabeth used it for her gouts. Practically she used it as a medicine and not as a drink. King Charles Robert had goutes also and started to use this spirited water to heal his gouts. This disease is not easy to fade but after 1332 time King Charles Robert was never mentioned together with his gouts.
Drink was called ”Aqua vitae reginae Hungariae” – ”The water of life of the Hungarian queen”.
Through Italian merchants the drink reached the royal cities and also the royal court. They called it as ”burnt wine” and still use it in some places.
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