Hungary's unofficial national drink, a bitter aperitif flavored with herbs. Originally devised in 1790 by a Dr. Zwack, court physician to the Imperial Court of Austria-Hungary, the liquor got its name when Emperor Joseph II tasted it and exclaimed:

Das ist ein Unikum!
...which means "This is unique!". You will instantly appreciate the multiple meanings inherent in this phrase when trying the stuff, which is often politely described as "an acquired taste".

These days Zwack is Hungary's largest liquor producer and rows of beautiful black bottles of Unicum with the trademark white cross in a red circle can be spotted in any store frequented by tourists. Hungarians, for most part, prefer to shake their head and go back to drinking Hungary's excellent wines or tippling some less unique pálinka.

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