Unicum is a Hungarian herbal
bitters, drunk as a digestif and
apéritif. The liqueur is today produced by Zwack
according to a secret formula of more than forty herbs, and the drink is aged in
oak casks. During the Communist regime in Hungary, the Zwack family lived in
exile in New York and Chicago, and Unicum in Hungary was produced using a
Left: A frosty
bottle of Unicum.
After the fall of communism, Péter Zwack returned to Hungary and
resumed the production of the original Unicum.
Recently Zwack has also launched Unicum Next, a thinner-bodied drink with a more
prominent citrus flavour.
Unicum is regarded as one of the national drinks of
Hungary. The production facility offers tours which include a tasting session of
the three different varieties (Unicum, Unicum Next, and Millenicum). Though
Millenicum was a special edition, it can still be found at a few retailers. It
is a little stronger than the standard, with a slightly sweeter aftertaste.
Zwack Frissitők is a pineapple-based version of the drink. Unicum is available
through select spirits distributors throughout the United States, as is Unicum
Next, re-branded as "Zwack".