Hungarian name for a fruit spirit; derived from the Slovakian verb páliť (to cook, boil = distil). The name pálinka first appeared in the 16th century. From around this time, spirits were consumed as a beverage. Today it is a protected designation of origin for a fruit spirit, which must be distilled from 100% Hungarian fruit, bottled in Hungary and have an alcohol content of more than 37.5%.
Since 2004, only Hungary and the four Austrian Länder Burgenland, Lower Austria, Styria and Vienna the right to call the products in question pálinka. However, unlike in Hungary, in Austria the name Barackpálinka may only be used for apricot brandy.
In Hungary there are different names depending on the type of fruit used, such as Almapálinka (made from apples), Barackpálinka (apricots), Cseresznyepálinka (cherries), Körtepálinka (pears), Szilvapálinka (plums or damsons), Törkölypálinka(marc) and Vegyespálinka (various types of fruit). See also a complete list of high-proof alcoholic beverages under the heading spirits.