Fungarian: Bubbly Water, Another Hungarian Invention

  • 4 Aug 2016 9:00 AM
Fungarian: Bubbly Water, Another Hungarian Invention
When you have FRÖCCS (Wine Spritzer) next time, make sure it’s made with SZÓDAVÍZ (carbonated water) and not plastic bottled SZÉNSAVAS ÁSVÁNYVÍZ (carbonated mineral water). While SZÓDAVÍZ, chilled and fresh, brings out the best in wine and makes it a light summer drink, the minerals in the latter spoil the inherent properties of wine.

The invention of large-scale production of SZÓDAVÍZ is ascribed to 19th century physicist Benedictine monk, Ányos Jedlik, who is also respected for the invention of the dynamo. He introduced his soda water machine first to his friends including poet Mihály Vörösmarty at a grape harvest in Fót in October 1844.

Vörösmarty, our great national poet, disliked the German word Spritzer and invented the word FRÖCCS to name the mix of soda and wine. In his enthusiasm he wrote a poem about FRÖCCS, the first line of which is FÖLFELÉ MEGY BORBAN A GYÖNGY (The bubbles in the wine will rise), using the metaphor GYÖNGY i.e. pearl for ’bubble’.

Soda water production became an important business in Hungary, households were supplied by soda water by the SZÓDÁS, who delivered finely shaped glass soda water bottles with a horse-driven cart in the 19th century and lorries in the motorized age.

The issue of the SZÓDAVÍZ, as a staple beverage for the Hungarian population, was so important that even the Stalinist-Communist regime of Rákosi fixed the price at one forint and ten fillérs, and this price was valid until 1978.

SZÓDAVÍZ, contrary to scientifically unfounded myths, is good for you. In Jedlik’s time it was even recommended by doctors to prevent catching cholera during the epidemic in the 19th century. Its use these days is versatile. You can have it just plain to soothe thirst, mix it with fruit syrup but it is still the main component of FRÖCCS which has more than ten varieties depending on the mixing ratio.

The two most popular ones, however, are KISFRÖCCS (one deciliter of wine and the same amount of soda) and NAGYFRÖCCS (two deciliters of wine and one deciliter of soda).


Republished with permission

  • How does this content make you feel?