When in Hungary…


It was impossible to spend a week in Budapest without at least sampling some of the local alcoholic eccentricities, which is what led to a number of encounters with the unique spirit, Unicum. Although Unicum can be drank as an apéritif, on this occasion I drunk it as a digestif and would in fact recommend doing so to anyone new to the tipple. It is hard to see how this drink could set your palate up well for any meal (even in paprika obsessed Hungary).

There are probably good arguments for drinking it at room temperature and given the right occasion it could also be drunk as a shooter, however on this occasion it was drunk ice-cold from the freezer and sipped at a suitably leisurely pace. A secret concoction of over forty herbs with a history as rich as that of the country, Unicum is not for the timid and has echoes of the infamous Jägermeister. However, it is also a good deal better than its German challenger.

If this description is enough to put you off, then as a compromise perhaps try the Unicum Next, a weaker, fruitier and less bitter version of the original. Both are a great way into the wonderful world of bitter spirits and cocktails.