Palinka distillers in small communities made eligible for subsidies

Palinka distillers in communities with populations under 5,000 will be eligible for subsidies covering up to 60-65pc of the cost of investments up to HUF 35m, the state secretary said. Last year, Hungarian distillers turned out 1.26m litres of 50pc alcohol by volume (abv) palinka for commercial sale. Hungarians contracted distillers to make another 9m litres of 50pc abv palinka for their own private consumption. Since 2002, only spirits distilled from 100pc Hungarian fruit may be called palinka. Laszlo Piros, the grandmaster of the Palinka Order, said that about 3.2m litres of 50pc abv spirits are distilled in Hungary each year, and last year 40pc of this was palinka. The proportion has risen from just 5pc over the past ten years, he added. Between 5pc and 10pc of palinka is exported.

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