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Wine alternatives

This appreciation of wine means it is only natural that in Hungary Tokaji Aszú, for example, must appear on the festive table. However, it does not mean that bottles and glasses will only be brought out on special occasions. Wine also appears in a social context, at community events and during friendly conversations or festivals, and a number of alternative options abound for wine consumption.

The spritzer (or fröccs in Hungarian) is a casual accompaniment to intimate social gatherings. A bubbly refresher, made from a certain combination of sparkling water and wine, is essentially considered a national drink in Hungary. At festivals, concerts and entertainment venues, one of the most popular drinks these days is the rosé spritzer, and many flavoured versions of this drink now also exist. However, the basis of the spritzer is traditionally dry white wine. The classic spritzer consists of a mixture of 20 cl of wine and 10 cl of club soda, which is called a large spritzer (nagyfröccs), but spritzers are served in many other proportions, all of which have their own names, and the number of combinations are limited basically only by your imagination. Examples are the ‘long step’ (hosszúlépés) consisting of 10 cl of wine and 20 cl of soda, or the so-called ‘vice-housekeeper’ (viceházmester) with a mixture of 20 cl of wine and 30 cl of soda.

You can order a spritzer at virtually any catering facility in the country: it really does exist everywhere. Some wine bars also offer specialties, such as a rosé spritzer with lavender syrup or a white wine spritzer with elderflower syrup. Wine bars, however, are not popular primarily for these drinks, but for the impressive selection of high-quality wines on offer. In Budapest, wine-bar culture developed in proportion to the growing interest in quality wines. Visitors can embark on a real tasting journey in these select places as, typically, little-known wines from the smallest wine regions of the country are available, also accompanied by delicious snacks.


Just as a cold, refreshing spritzer feels really good on a hot summer’s day, in the winter snowfall, walking around the wooden cottages of Advent fairs, there is nothing more heart-warming than a cup of mulled wine. with its spicy aroma. Mulled wine can be made from red, white or even rosé wine, flavoured with cinnamon, cloves and honey, and is an essential part of the winter season. With the onset of cool weather, in addition to Christmas fairs, almost every bar or cafe offers mulled wine on the drinks menu.


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