Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Unicum

After Tokaji I decieded to post my photo about this another hungarian beverage. This bitter liquer was originally made as a herbal remedy. The drink was first made in 1790 by a certain court doctor called Zwack, who used forty different herbs and roots. It was made for Joseph II, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, who suffered with stomach complaints. According to legend when the monarch tasted the drink he exclaimed: 'Das ist ein Unicum!' ('This is unique!') Thus it received its name. The first 'Unicum factory' started production in 1840 in Pest, and together with the secret recipe it is still the property of the Zwack family. (Though the continuity was broken for 40 years after World War II when the factory was nationalised.) You can read more information about it here. If you travel to Hungary, don't forget to visit the Zwack Unicum Heritage Visitors' Centre!

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