Embark on a captivating journey into the heart of Hungarian heritage with a visit to the Unicum House, nestled in Budapest. This unique experience, available from February 12 to February 16, 2024, is not merely a tour; it’s an immersion into the storied past of Unicum and the Zwack family, whose saga is deeply entwined with the nation’s history.
Situated at 1095 Budapest, IX. district, Dandár Street 1, the Unicum House stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Hungary’s most cherished herbal liqueur.
Zwack Unicum: A Taste of Hungarian Heritage
Unicum, Hungary’s celebrated bitter liqueur, is crafted from a blend of over forty herbs and spices. It originated in 1790 when Doctor Zwack concocted it as a medicinal remedy for Emperor Joseph II, who famously declared, “Das ist ein Unicum!” giving birth to its name and legacy. This herbal tonic is aged in oak barrels for six months, a process that has been a closely guarded family secret for generations.
In 2012, Zwack introduced Unicum Plum, the world’s first bitter liqueur matured on a plum bed in oak barrels, adding a unique twist to the traditional recipe while preserving its strong essence.
Founded by Joseph Zwack in 1840 and moving to its current location on the Danube in 1892, the Zwack factory has largely remained a family-run enterprise. After a brief nationalization during the communist era, Peter Zwack reclaimed the family business in 1988. Today, his descendants, Sandor Zwack and Izabella Zwack, continue the family legacy, overseeing the company’s operations.
Unicum is now a global brand, exported to Italy, Germany, and recently China, among other countries. Zwack Unicum Plc. stands as Hungary’s leading producer and distributor of spirits and liqueurs, with a portfolio that includes Fütyülős, Vilmos pear, St. Hubertus, and Kalinka vodka, celebrating the rich tradition and innovative spirit of the Zwack family.
The Legacy of the Zwack Family
Founded by Jozsef Zwack in 1840, the Zwack Company has been a significant part of Hungary’s heritage, particularly known for its production of the iconic Unicum bitter liqueur. The distillery, established on the Danube’s banks in Budapest in 1892, has remained predominantly in the hands of the Zwack family, except for a brief period under the Communist regime.
Peter Zwack, representing the fifth generation, played a crucial role in reclaiming the family’s distillery in 1988, in collaboration with the Underberg family. Before his passing in 2012, Peter passed on the leadership baton to his youngest son, Sandor Zwack, who became the Chairman of the Board of Directors, with his daughter, Izabella, also serving on the Board.
The legacy continues with Sandor and Izabella Zwack, who have taken active roles within the company. Both have been instrumental in expanding the global presence of Unicum, Unicum Plum, and Zwack Liqueur (known as Unicum Next in the United States). As global brand ambassadors, they dedicate themselves to fostering new and existing partnerships, ensuring the Zwack family’s legacy endures through generations.
An Array of Tours for Every Enthusiast
Standard Tour Highlights:
- Engage with the narrative of the Zwack family and Unicum through an informative short film.
- Explore the old distillery and cellar, where the magic of Unicum comes to life, during guided tours scheduled throughout the day.
- Delve into the exhibition space, rich with artifacts and stories, accompanied by a complimentary audio guide.
- Experience the unique flavors of Unicum and Unicum Plum through exclusive tastings.
Premium Tour Offerings:
- Embrace all facets of the Standard Tour with an added layer of exclusivity.
- Enjoy an intimate guided tour in the late afternoon.
- Elevate your tasting experience with four distinct Unicum variants, including the luxurious Unicum Riserva and the innovative Unicum Barista.
Tour Times and Accessibility:
- Standard tours are available multiple times daily, with special schedules for weekends.
- Premium tours offer a deeper dive into the Unicum universe with afternoon sessions.
- Please note that on-site registration and attendance at specific tour times are essential for the complete experience.
Unicum House Visitor Information
- Unicum House: Monday to Saturday, 10:00-17:00.
- Shop: Monday to Friday, 09:00-18:00; Saturday, 10:00-18:00.
- Note: Opening hours are subject to change. Please check the website or contact the information line for updates.
For Individual Visitors:
- Standard Tour includes a film presentation, a guided tour of the old distillery and cellar, tastings of Unicum and Unicum Plum, a visit to the museum with an audio guide, and a shopping opportunity with a 5% discount on spirits.
- English guided tours from Monday to Friday at 11:30 and 15:00, and on Saturday at 10:45.
- Premium Tour offers an enhanced experience with additional tastings of Unicum Riserva and Unicum Barista, alongside the standard tour inclusions.
- English guided Premium tours from Monday to Friday at 13:00, and on Saturday at 13:45.
- Tickets can be purchased online at zwack.jegy.eu.
- Audio guides are available in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, and Russian.
- Tours in English and Hungarian, with potential for French, Italian, German, and Spanish upon request.
- Advanced booking is required at least 48 hours before the visit.
- Visitor Centre: +3614762383, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shop: +3614565247, email@example.com
- Address: Budapest, IX. District, Dandár Street 1
- Adult: 3300 HUF/person (includes film, museum visit, audio guide, guided distillery and cellar tour, 2 tastings).
- Child (under 18): 1650 HUF/person (includes film, museum visit, audio guide, guided cellar tour, no tastings).
- Senior: 2900 HUF/person (includes film, museum visit, audio guide, guided distillery and cellar tour, 2 tastings).
- Premium: 4700 HUF/person (includes film, museum visit, audio guide, guided distillery and cellar tour, 4 tastings).
Please ensure bookings are made in advance to guarantee your tour, especially for group visits. Enjoy your journey through the history and flavors of Unicum at the House of Unicum!
The Unicum Exhibition: A Glimpse into History
Visitors to the Unicum House are treated to a comprehensive exhibition that charts the journey of this iconic herbal liqueur. From its inception over 220 years ago to its role in contemporary culture, the exhibition showcases rare bottles, historical documents, and personal family memorabilia. The stories of resilience, innovation, and tradition are narrated against the backdrop of Hungary’s tumultuous history, offering insights into the cultural significance of Unicum.
Prepare for Your Visit
The Unicum House is easily accessible from various parts of Budapest, promising an insightful and enjoyable day out for locals and tourists alike.
Open from Monday to Saturday, the Unicum House invites guests to explore the rich history and vibrant present of Unicum from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Experience Unicum Like Never Before:
Whether you’re a long-time aficionado or new to the world of herbal liqueurs, the Unicum House offers a unique opportunity to explore the depths of Unicum’s legacy. From historical insights to sensory delights, your visit to the Unicum House will be an unforgettable journey through time.
Join them at the Unicum House for an enlightening exploration of Hungary’s beloved Unicum, where every sip tells a story.
FAQs for Unicum House in Budapest
What is Unicum House?
Unicum House is the official museum and visitor center in Budapest dedicated to the iconic Hungarian herbal liqueur, Unicum. It offers an immersive experience into the beverage’s rich history, production process, and cultural significance.
What can visitors expect at Unicum House?
Visitors can expect to dive into the tradition of Unicum through museum tours that explore its history, enjoy tastings of the herbal liqueur, and experience the heritage of one of Hungary’s most celebrated beverages.
What makes Unicum special?
Unicum is known for its unique blend of herbs and its secret recipe, which has been closely guarded for generations. It’s not only a popular digestif but also an integral part of Hungarian culture and tradition.
Is there a tasting session included in the museum tour?
While the specific details were not provided, Unicum House typically offers tasting sessions as part of the museum tour, allowing visitors to sample the legendary liqueur and possibly other variations.
How can I visit Unicum House in Budapest?
Visitors are encouraged to check the official website or contact Unicum House directly for the most up-to-date information on opening hours, tour schedules, and ticket prices.
For an authentic taste of Hungarian history and a memorable experience, Unicum House in Budapest invites both locals and tourists to explore the fascinating world of Unicum, from its storied past to its present-day acclaim.
Featured Image Source: https://unicumhaz.hu/