Palo is an exquisite liqueur which originated in the 16th and 17th Centuries, when there was a lot of swampland in Majorca and the mosquitoes spread the terrible disease of malaria.
To combat it, they used two plants, quina calisaia (cinchona) and genciana (gentian) which they conserved by putting them in alcohol to stop them from fermenting. They also added sugar to take away the bitter taste.
The largest production is concentrated in Majorca, although it is also produced in Eivissa.
Over the years, the production of palo has undergone modifications, and today it is made with burnt sugar, the secret of this liqueur. According to the connoisseurs, all palos are made with the same basic ingredients, but no two taste the same.
Unlike herbes, Palo is drunk as an aperitif before meals. It can be drunk neat, with ice, or with soda, the most popular way on the islands.
There are several factories on Majorca and Eivissa dedicated to the production of these liqueurs, made according to the local tradition handed down from their ancestors.