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Tasty Brandy: Slovak Pálenka

January 18, 2008

Over the holiday break, Igor was kind enough to bring back this 15(?) year old Pálenka his grandfather made in Slovakia. Apparently its common there for people to ferment their own fruit mashes, then bring them to community distillers for finishing. How cool is that? This particular pálenka was made with apples, plums, and “some other stuff”.

Although I have a fairly extensive home bar, I’m no spirits expert. I have however made my own beer and wine for longer than most things hold my interest– and its with unfortunate consistency that other’s homebrew is usually crap, in my not so humble opinion. So I was excited when I popped the swing top to wiff a tasty aroma of green apples, raisins and spice. Finally tried it last night and am impressed! Cut with some water (and no ice of course), the flavor reflects the smell: gobs of spice, ripe fruit, and apples. It smells a lot like a Dewazakura sake actually. It would make a great liquor for mixers with its neutral flavor profile.

Seriously considering spending a few months in Slovakia to apprentice under Grandfather Minar for the spirits and Grandfather Macsadi for the smoked sausages. *drool*


From → Brewing

  1. Hi Rama,
    Are you based in Prague?
    I did see 2 offices of Sun there while driving.
    Don’t drink too much of that, it must be pretty strong.
    Cheers from Canada

  2. Serge, no I’m based in California but have 2 Slovaks on my team. Small world.

  3. I’m glad you like it. My grandpa will be thrilled when I tell him 😉

  4. Tom permalink

    Wiked buck on the bottle!

  5. A couple more demo ideas for the agenda? 😉

  6. level permalink

    Hi, I am from Czech republic,from Morava region which is cradle of palenka. It is actually called slivovice and I must say we do the best ones(no apples, just plums, 40-51 % of alcohol). If I may just suggest you, do not mix it with water, drink pure one and store it in a fridge.

  7. slivovica != palenka, they are prepared similarly but from different ingredients (as you mentioned)

  8. level permalink

    I see, thanks for correcting me

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