Unicum is a very strong and popular bitter spirit made from a secret recipe of more than 40 different herbs. This firewater is the traditional Hungarian cure for any disease and especially the common cold. Unicum is a national institution in Hungary and has a long history that in some ways mirrors the history of modern Hungary itself.


The story of Unicum is the story of the Zwack family, which has owned the company since the end of the 18th century, with the exception of the 40-year period when it was nationalized by the Communists. Dr. Zwack, a physician for the Imperial Court of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy, is credited with creating the drink to alleviate the royal family’s digestion problems.

It wasn’t produced for the general public until 1840 when József Zwack founded the company, which also had a portfolio of more than 200 liqueurs and brandies. It was one of the first commercial distilleries to use all-natural ingredients, and it eventually became the sole liquor purveyor to the Imperial Court. Read More


Where do you go for this one? You go to the source. You go to a Museum. Yes, you read that right. The Museum of Unicum in Budapest is a very personal, intimate collection of photographs from the Zwack family but also a treasury of old posters and personal memorabilia dating back over two hundred years which tell the story not only of Unicum and the Zwack family but also the history of Hungary from the halcyon days of the Belle Époque, through two world wars, the fascist tyranny and the communist era to the present day.

Here you can see the bottles and the machines of the past and the old distillery, which is called the heart of Unicum. It is located in Budapest at the headquarters of the company where the production also happens. After you visit this amazing place and learn everything about this drink you will get to sample the real deal. More