What Is The Purpose of American Palinka Club?
Although Pálinka is unique to Hungary, we want to introduce this amazing drink to the U.S. market so that people in America can get the same enjoyment of the unique taste and various fruit flavors of authentic Hungarian pálinka.
Pálinka-making was developed almost 700 years ago and is having a rebirth today due to the 2004 pálinka law being enacted in Hungary and the European Union. True pálinka-making was almost completely destroyed during communist rule in Hungary. In the early 1950’s, the communist regime had set up large state-owned distilleries that started to produce cheap “fake” liquor, by adding artificial aromas and other ingredients to the alcohol. In that same time period, private distilleries – who were producing real fruit spirits – had to turn over 50% of their product to the state. This meant that they could not compete with the large state-owned distilleries producing the fake spirit, who still labeled it “pálinka”. These distilleries, at the time, took over the market completely. Only a handful of the private distilleries could survive. But to do so, they also significantly had to lower the quality of their products.
After the fall of communism – and with the advent of the new Pálinka Law in 2004 – any "fake liquor" could no longer be labelled as pálinka.
This has helped to bring back the high-quality pálinka that people in Hungary know and love.
However, even in Hungary, from all of the fruit spirits produced in 2010, only 6,1% real quality pálinka (and only 0,6% Premium Pálinka) was sold. The rest was either “fake” (51%) or produced at home (42%). Although real pálinka is making a comeback, and today true pálinka represents 32% of all spirits sold in Hungary, there are still many options of pálinka in the Hungarian market that are not produced by the real masters according to the regulations and laws regarding this highly specialized drink.
We have made every attempt to capture “the essence of the fruit” through answering common questions on our site about how pálinka came about, how it’s made today and the rich culture of Hungary itself. We realize it’s difficult for someone in the US to know which is the “real deal” in pálinka and which isn’t.