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  • You're in Budapest.

  • And you feel like having a drink.

  • There's vodka, gin, rum, lemonade,

  • but this would all be a mistake.

  • Because in this city, you have to indulge in a glassful of Hungarian history.

  • Well, actually, three to be exact.

  • Meetlinka, Unicum and soda water.

  • Without further ado, let's bring in our experts.

  • First up, Zoltan

  • who heads up the House of Hungarianlinka in Budapest.

  • linka is a strong spirit.

  • It is 100 percent fruit distilled.

  • linka is deeply woven into the fabric of Hungarian society.

  • Everybody knows what it is.

  • And the history oflinka began in 1300s

  • when the Queen and the King of Hungary were all suffering from gout.

  • They stumbled upon this earlier version oflinka,

  • which they used to cure themselves.

  • It is made from a huge variety of fruits,

  • apricots to plums to cherries to pears to apples.

  • Now we've heard it's quite strong.

  • The usual alcohol content is typically between 40 and 50 percent,

  • some of them 60 percent.

  • Some of them even higher.

  • Can your Unicum beat that, Sándor?

  • We can't beat it, but we can match it

  • because we also have 40 percent.

  • Really, Unicum is a bitter herbal liquor;

  • there's roughly 10 million Hungarians,

  • and we sell yearly 4 million bottles.

  • It was invented in 1790 by my ancestor.

  • I am the sixth generation.

  • See this Dr. Zwack was the physician to the Emperor of Austria-Hungary.

  • And when the Emperor had a bad stomach.

  • My ancestor made him Unicum,

  • which is made of 40 different kinds of herbs and spices.

  • The recipe's a secret, so I can tell you that,

  • for example, we use vanilla or ginger.

  • OK, I told you two.

  • That's enough.

  • And for you non-drinkers, there's soda water.

  • A staple on Hungarian tables.

  • This isszló and his father.

  • Thank you, gentlemen.

  • My name isszló Kiss, and I am a soda water maker.

  • The fact is we don't use many ingredients, only carbon dioxide and water,

  • but the different ways of mixing, how much water with how much carbon dioxide,

  • and also how much pressure you fill these bottles with is crucial,

  • so you have to pay attention.

  • No wonderszló knows his stuff.

  • It was in Hungary where the large scale production of soda water started.

  • Ányos Jedlik invented it in the 1820s, and the consumption of soda water has boomed since then.

  • I think anyone who feels Hungarian inside starts to smile when they see a soda water bottle.

  • Shall we taste them?

  • Bottom's up, gents.

  • - That was strong. - That's a good drink. - That was great.

You're in Budapest.

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The History of Budapest In Three Cups

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/03/26
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