I have not had UNICUM, the famous Hungarian bitter liquer in quite some time and in recently trying to purchase some I noticed that the familiar round bottle is still on the shelves, but now just named ZWACK (the name of the manufacturer).
Does anyone know if this is the same product still sold as UNICUM in Europe?
The ZWACK site gives some of the convoluted history of the product prior to the brand's re-1quisition by the Zwack family with the fall of the Iron Curtain...but I can't ascertain from the info there if the product exported to the USA is actually the original UNICUM, or one of the new sweeter variants that the company has come up with to go after a younger market.
I believe that Zwack was formulated to go after the rapidly increasing Jagermeister market, and Diageo (the distributor) is marketing it as such.
Many bitter liqueurs do not seem bitter as they generally have enough sugar in them to counter that (like sour mix has enough sugar to counter the lemon/lime so it may not actually taste sour).
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I had heard that the original Unicum is soon to be discontinued for US distribution, which is too bad, as I like it, though it's pretty fierce as bitters go.
The Zwack (no Unicum on the label) product is marketed as Zwack Next in Hungary: it is indeed a Jager knockoff, and not very interesting. That's the one they'll continue to flog in the US, alas.