The national spirit of Hungary is called PÁLINKA, which is a brandy distilled from any kind of fruit grown in Hungary or pomace and has at least 40% alcohol by volume. Its special version is ÁGYAS (“bedded”) PÁLINKA, when it is aged together with fruits. The most common types are made of plum, cherry or pear.
Another famous herbal liqueur is called UNICUM.
The climate of Hungary is ideal for wine production. Hungary’s most famous wine is Tokaji, which is a very sweet dessert wine.
But there are other excellent wine regions in the country and we aimed to visit three of them along the route of our Epic adventure: the Southern Balaton wine region, the Badacsony wine region and the Balatonfüred-Csopak wine region. The wines of these regions are premium quality and have won numerous prizes in Hungary and around the world. You’ll have the chance to taste them directly from the wine makers’ cellar.
There are also breweries in Hungary and Hungarian brands like Soproni, Borsodi or Dreher but you can find also the German (Spaten, Löwenbräu, Holsten), Austrian (Gösser), Dutch (Heineken) or Czech (Kozel, Staropramen) beers as well. Many of them are brewed locally under license. Beers with fruit taste and low ABV are getting more and more popular.
As far as the non-alcoholic beverages are concerned, the major brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi are available everywhere, there is a wide variety of fruit juices, and squashes (SZÖRP) produced in Hungary.
Tap water is potable in Hungary. You can drink from any tap inside the buildings or outside unless it is sometimes marked as non-potable (NEM IVÓVÍZ). Bottled mineral water is available everywhere. Not only in grocery stores but in every kiosk and in many other kind of shops. These are mostly Hungarian artesian waters but in bigger shops you can find the worldwide known brands as well. In Hungary fizzy water is very popular. So when you ask for water they will probably ask back if you want sparkling or non-sparkling. When buying Hungarian waters it is easy to make difference by having a look at the bottle’s cap: sparkling water has a blue cap, non-sparkling has a pink cap, and mildly spakling has a green cap.