Friday Liquor Spotlight #2: Zwack!

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Happy Friday everyone!

In a very And-Now-For-Something-Completely-Different move, we are shifting gears rather dramatically from the desert into the dense Hungarian woods (are there dense woods in Hungary? We think so…) to shine a light on a little known but incredibly powerful liqueur known as Zwack.

We use this stuff a lot in our cocktails (and may just be using it in some original drinks next week…), so come inside and learn a bit about the National Shot of Hungary!

Although most bartenders in the U.S. tend to refer to this liqueur as “Zwack,” that actually designates the brand itself rather than the liqueur which is called Unicum. (As a side note, bartenders also tend to do this when it comes to Grand Marnier. Guess what everyone? Grand Marnier is NOT its own special liqueur, it is JUST Curacao. That company has been taking us all for a ride for years…) 

That said, Zwack is the only brand of Unicum you will ever come across (unlike curacao, but WHATEVER…), so we won’t get our knickers in a twist if you call it by that name.

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Zwack, unlike many other liqueurs you might use as an accent in a cocktail, is rather strong — 80 proof, to be exact. And aside from its alcohol content, the flavor itself is also incredibly powerful; the liqueur is created using a secret blend of over 40 herbs and spices and then aged for 6 months in oak casks to achieve its unique taste.

It has a very strong herbal flavor, and in large quantities can be rather bitter. We tend to throw extremely small amounts into our drinks to add depth and balance off anything too sweet. You will see this show up a lot in our bourbon-based recipes as it can really pop up  the intensity in a whiskey drink.

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Luckily, a bottle will only run you about $20 at BevMo or other large liquor stores, and it will take you a very long while to finish. Economical AND delicious? Well my goodness, it’s a miracle!

So go out and grab yourself some this weekend! You will definitely want it come Monday…

Have a great weekend, be safe, and drink responsibly everyone!

We will see you all next week.


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