For two hundred years, the Zwack family has been obsessed. Obsessed with a dark brown bittersweet liqueur distilled from herbs called Unicum. The first Zwack, Royal Physician to the Habsburg emperor can only have been obsessed to have invented such a complex recipe. If you take out one spicy ingredient from the over forty herbs it all collapses like a pack of cards. “Das ist ein Unikum!” was the emperor’s comment, thus giving the most popular drink of Hungary its name. This brandy-based, bitter herbal liqueur is macerated and distilled from over forty different herbs and roots and aged for six months in oak. It was first created in 1790 by József Zwack, court physician to the Habsburg emperor. On tasting the digestive elixir, His Majesty Joseph II commented: “Das ist ein Unikum!”, translating as a ‘unique thing’ and so giving the drink its name. A descendant, also named József Zwack, started commercial production in 1840 and the liqueur’s popularity quickly grew across the Austro-Hungarian Empire. By the turn of the century it had become the national drink of Hungary.
Clear, dark chestnut brown with burnished copper highlights. Smoky, herbal/vegetal bouquet with fennel, jasmine, orris, anise, sarsparilla and tobacco aromas. The bold, bitter-sweet somewhat medicinal herbal palate is incredibly complex with flavours of sarsparilla, espresso coffee, bitter cacao, sweet liquorice, anise, citrus and chilli-heat spice. Hardened palates will admire the challenging herbal complexity but more youthful, tender palates may find it too bitter and medicinal. Bitter, hot spicy (black pepper and chilli heat) finish.