Illegal pálinka makers nearly produce as much of this Hungarian drink as a legal producer or factory in the country. The black market of pálinka is so strong that it puts legal factories at risk.

Forbes reported that the authorities cannot do anything about the growing power of illegal pálinka producers.

Local authorities found seven thousand litres of illegal pálinka in Békés County. This amount equals the quantity produced by a legal factory in one year. In September, six thousand litres were found in Baranya County.

It so happened that authorities became suspicious of online advertisements. In one case, an individual was selling memory cards but offered a bottle of pálinka as well for the purchase. According to the database from 2018, there are 20,000 stills in the official database in the hands of private pálinka makers. Last year, nearly 115,000 litres of alcohol were made with these machines.

The amount of illegal pálinka is so much that it equals 150 private makers making pálinka for one year.

According to the law, a legal pálinka producer can be a person above 18 years old, owning their own fruit and equipment to make the Hungarian drink. These people are allowed to produce 82 litres of pálinka/year.

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Making good pálinka is not as hard as you think

Most Hungarians think about homemade “pálinka” in the same way to a certain extent. During a family meal or a visit by relatives, a big plastic bottle of 1.5 litres, filled with pálinka, is always there somehow. 



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