We, Hungarians, love our drinks, and we proudly drink them frequently - and also, we love to offer those drinks to foreigners too. So, if you plan to go on a pub crawl in Budapest, make sure you try at least one of them! Here, we collected our favorite ones, which are like a national treasure in the country.
Everyone heard of pálinka, right? It is as traditional in Hungary as the Goulash soup or the lángos - only this is much stronger and heavier for the stomach! Pálinka is a brandy-like drink that is fermented from various fruits (including plum, cherry, apricot or pear). Pálinka usually has a very high alcoholic percentage, so be careful with it! They might be tasty, but for the not-so-advanced drinkers, one shot is more than enough.
You can try pálinka at basically all the pubs and bars in Budapest, but the real deal is the home-made one. In Hungary, nearly everyone can make their on pálinka at home, which usually ends up undrinkable, but it's the part of the authentic Hungary-feeling: if someone offers you their homemade pálinka, never reject it!
What is the Jagermeister to the Germans, that's the Unicum to Hungarians: a local drink made from herbs. People usually drink it as an aperitif as it has a strong, bitter taste. Some say, Unicum is great for digestive problems or even sickness, and who are we to judge? Maybe next time when you have a raging hangover after a pub crawl, try and ease the pain with some Unicum!
We must tell you, however, that this drink might not be for everyone, as it has a more bitter taste than Jagermeister: first, we recommend you to try the one with the plum flavor, and if you like it - congratulations! It's time to taste the real deal too.
Hungarian people usually brag about their worldwide-famous wines, which are mostly worldwide-famous in our heads. Sure, some of our wines are great, but the cheaper ones are the best when drunk as fröccs. Fröccs is a mixed drink: we mix 1 dl of our local wine with soda (sparkling mineral water). This way, we get a refreshing summer vibey drink and the cheap wine becomes bearable too.
If you are only getting familiar with Hungarian drinks, the fröccs is a nice starting drink. You can easily have 4-5 of them without getting too drunk and it feels like drinking a soft drink with bubbles. Yummy!
In the last 5 days, it seems like all of the youngsters of Budapest make their own craft beer in the basement. And they are surprisingly good! Though not as cheap as the mass-produced Hungarian lager beers, the craft beers are much more enjoyable on a night out. They have a strong, bitter taste, but if you are looking for something sweeter, you can choose from hundreds of fruity craft beers of Hungary. Definitely worth a try!
There are a lot of underground places in the city that are specialized in craft beer, so before - (or after?) a pub crawl in Budapest, make sure you check those out too!