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What are some traditional Hungarian drinks to try alongside street food?

Traditional Hungarian drinks to try

Hungarian cuisine is well known for its hearty and flavorful dishes. However, what many people do not know is that the country also has a rich tradition of beverages, including wines, spirits, and non-alcoholic drinks. When it comes to pairing drinks with Hungarian street food, there are several options to choose from.

One of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Hungary is pálinka, a type of fruit brandy that is made from locally grown fruits such as apricots, plums, and cherries. Pálinka is typically served as a shot and is best paired with spicy sausages or other meat dishes. Another popular drink is tokaji, a sweet white wine that is made from grapes grown in the Tokaj region of Hungary. Tokaji is a great choice for those who enjoy sweet wines and is often paired with desserts.

For those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, there are also plenty of options available. One of the most popular is the Hungarian version of lemonade, which is made with sparkling water and fruit syrups. Another popular non-alcoholic drink is kvass, a fermented drink that is made from rye bread and is similar in taste to beer.

Pairing drinks with street food

When it comes to pairing drinks with Hungarian street food, there are several factors to consider. Spicy and rich dishes typically pair well with strong alcoholic beverages such as pálinka, while lighter dishes are best paired with lighter wines or non-alcoholic drinks.

For example, lángos, a popular Hungarian street food that consists of fried dough topped with cheese and other toppings, is best paired with a light white wine such as tokaji. On the other hand, goulash, a hearty stew made with beef and vegetables, is best paired with a strong red wine or a shot of pálinka.

When it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, most types of street food can be paired with either lemonade or kvass. Both of these drinks are refreshing and can help to cut through the richness of the food.

Discover Hungarian beverage culture

Aside from the drinks mentioned above, there are many other traditional Hungarian beverages to try. For example, fröccs is a popular drink that is made by mixing wine with soda water. The ratio of wine to soda water can vary depending on personal preference, and there are many different types of fröccs to try.

Another popular drink is unicum, a bitter herbal liqueur that is often served as a digestif after a meal. Unicum is made from a secret blend of more than 40 herbs and spices and is said to have medicinal properties.

Overall, Hungarian beverage culture is a fascinating and diverse topic that is well worth exploring. Whether you are a fan of wine, spirits, or non-alcoholic drinks, there are plenty of options to choose from. So next time you are enjoying some Hungarian street food, be sure to pair it with a traditional Hungarian beverage for the full experience.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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