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Do You know Unicum? I am always looking for places related to interesting, local flavours. The last trip to Budapest was also associated with this topic. I managed to visit a place that has been associated with Budapest for a long time, and the product it produces is one of the most known local flavours – Unicum.
The place I managed to visit is the Unicum Distillery, specifically the Zwack Museum. It is located close to the river on the Pest side. Coming from the centre we get off the 3rd stop after the biggest bazaar. Full address is Budapest, IX. kerület Dandár u. 1.
Zwack Brand itself was founded in 1790 and is a family company to this day. Is known for the production of the Unicum liqueur (exported to 40 countries), liqueurs and wines. After World War II, the factory passed into the hands of the state but attempts to reproduce the original recipe failed. In 1989 that the Zwack family bought the factory and resumed production according to its proprietary recipe.
Liqueur in the basic version consists of about 40 ingredients. While visiting the factory in one of the rooms there are various spices and herbs, which, as they say, can be used in production, but the full recipe has been guarded by the family for years.
Versions of Unicum
The basic version of Unicum in taste resembles a very intense alcohol like Beherovka or Jagermeister. There are also two new versions – Szilva and Next. The first plum and softer than the classic, and the second is combined with citrus fruits (the mildest). If you do not like or have never tried herbal alcohols of this type, this could be difficult. For me, the classic version is too intense, but Szilva is ok.
During the trip, we visit the exhibition concerning the factory, the Zwack family and the largest collection of small bottles in the world (about 17,000 exhibits). Visiting is possible from Monday to Saturday between 10 and 17, and the ticket costs 2,000 forints (about PLN 30), but there are discounts for students and groups. There is also degustation included.
Opening hours and tickets
House of Unicum is open from Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00. Unicum Shop is open one hour longer. The Standard tour includes film, tour to the old distillary and cellar with guide, tasting of Unicum and Unicum Plum. There is a possibility of English tour (monday-friday at 11.30 and 15.00/saturday at 10.45).
Adult ticket price is 3000 HUF. Tickets for seniors are 2600 HUF and reduced tickets for kids (without tasting( 1500 HUF.