„With soda it’s better than whiskey, with tea better than rum.” The story of Kecskemét Apricot Pálinka
The words “barack” (meaning apricot) and “pálinka” (the famous brandy of Hungary) are on the TOP 10 list of Hungarian words that tourists arriving at Kecskemét usually learn during their stay. This happened with Edward Prince of Wales on his private visit to Budapest in 1935, too. According to the chronicles the first Hungarian word He uttered was “báráck”. At the reception of the Crown Prince two famous Hungarian products were offered to Him; Tokaj wine and apricot pálinka of Kecskemét from 1926. This latter was so much to His Majesty’s liking that at his leaving he mentioned it with special attention among those things that he found most enjoyable during his stay. He also shared his thoughts about it as quoted in the headline: „With soda it’s better than whiskey, with tea better than rum.” The international success story of Kecskemét apricot pálinka started. Newspapers were reporting on the popularity of the pálinka and the significantly increased orders. They said that “Kecskemét Apricot Pálinka had been brought into fashion by the Prince of Wales.” Soon it became available not only in most European countries, but also in the USA and Far East as well.
This story could actually be a very inspiring marketing case study as it was the very talented director of Kecskemét Distillery Izidor Führer, who having heard of the possible visit of Prince of Wales to Hungary realised the optimum time for action and arranged that the premium quality spirit would be tasted by the Prince.
The world conquering success was ceased by World War II and Soviet rule. Although Kecskemét apricot is still among the finest in Europe, the re-discovery of quality pálinka distilling has begun in the recent years.
Origins of palinka distilling
In the 16th century besides vineyards orchards also appeared in the territory of Kecskemét to stop the sand from shifting and make it a somehow fertile ground. This proved to be a successful solution as fruit grows sweetest under such a sunny climate that Kecskemét enjoys. There are written evidences from the 17th century that the town sent fruit and wine to Buda (the capital) to the Turkish prefects to maintain peace in town. The pálinka distilling originates in wine-making. At the end of the 16th century it was called “burnt wine” that was tasted even by pasha Suleiman as a gift from Kecskemét. Pálinka trading was a town privilege already at the end of the 17th century.
2019. február 26.