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Drinks

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8,189 posts
42 reviews
58 helpful votes
Drinks

As I was wandering around budapest last week, I ran into some people quizzing the bartender over what to drink...looking for Hungarian specialties.

Of course, being in Eastern Europe, Hungarians drink Vodka, though I don't find the standard vodka of hungary to be very good...in fact I don't think they really sell any Eastern European brands. If you go to Romania, Poland or Russia, you're set in this department...but it's not necessary to seek it out in Hungary.

Look for Unicum....it's a bitter appertif/digestif that tastes like Jager going down but finishes with a much more bitter aftertaste. It is best served warm but poured into a frozen shot glass. The history of this drink dates far back when one of the kings tasted this blend of 23 or 26 herbs. After tasting it he said "Das Es Unicum" meaning this is unique. For a much more mild flavor, try Unicum Next...the bitterness is covered by a cherry flavor. Unicum can be found in the states. If you know how to get a hold of Unicum Next, please let me know. If you want to mix this drink, try coke or energy drink (the energy drink of choice in Budapest is Bomba)

Palinka is the other traditional drink of hungary. Pear and Plum flavors are most popular. This is a brandy drink or a schnapps and is quite potent. To get the true flavor of this beverage find a little village where you can buy the homemade version...it's like fire down your throat. Zwack makes a popular version of these drinks...the Pear palinka is called Vilmos. you can mix them with apple juice.

Lighthouse Point...
Level Contributor
56 posts
12 reviews
31 helpful votes
1. Re: Drinks

Have you ever heard of a Vodka brand named "Moon Shine"?? I had this at someone's house near Miskolc several months ago and am interested in trying to find it here in the States. It was delicious!

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8,189 posts
42 reviews
58 helpful votes
2. Re: Drinks

Not familiar with Moonshine vodka...I am aware that moonshine is/can be vodka and many people make homemade liquor...did you see the label of the bottle or were you just told it was moonshine vodka?

Lighthouse Point...
Level Contributor
56 posts
12 reviews
31 helpful votes
3. Re: Drinks

I briefly looked at the label...and even saw a bottle of it in either Plus or Interspar....I can kick myself for not buying it at the time.

Page, Arizona
Level Contributor
279 posts
61 reviews
112 helpful votes
4. Re: Drinks

Hate Jaeger, but tried Unicum in Budapest last month.

Prefer it over the former!

It should at least be tried in it's home country.

Beanpods

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8,189 posts
42 reviews
58 helpful votes
5. Re: Drinks

Unicum can be found in the US...it's kind of hard to find....but if you write to the address on the website they can direct you to a distributor, who oftentimes can refer yout o a store.

Budapest, Hungary
Destination Expert
for Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
20,472 posts
71 reviews
46 helpful votes
6. Re: Drinks

"Unicum can be found in the US"

yes, but only if you are unlucky !

Slave Lake, Canada
Level Contributor
85 posts
40 reviews
29 helpful votes
7. Re: Drinks

Have to agree with Roman Citizen regarding Unicum. We bought a small bottle of it and to sample in our room, and did not bother to take it to our next hotel. Palinka, at least the tourist variety that we encountered, kind of grows on a person though....

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8,189 posts
42 reviews
58 helpful votes
8. Re: Drinks

I never gained an appreciation for Unicum until served it properly in a bar...as I said, it must be served warm in a frozen shot glass. Don't buy a bottle...I've only met one person who actually liked the stuff. Unicum Next, on the other hand, has gained a great following in my set of friends.

I refuse to drink Palinka...it's not the real stuff unless it's homemade in the villages, and you'd feel/smell like an alcoholic if you went out in public after having a shot.

Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
1,568 posts
33 reviews
16 helpful votes
9. Re: Drinks

I agree and would advise that if you or your travelling companions don't appreciate brandy or liquor, don't go out of your way to try the stuff they usually serve in restaurants. However, if you do see hazipalinka, (homemade palinka) and you sense that the restaurant is reputable, do give it a try. I don't appreciate palinka, but I do recognize a big difference in quality between the two.

As far as Unicum goes, it really isn't hugely distinctive from any other of the well-known bitters like Jagermeister, Underberg, Fernet or Gammel Dansk. If you've tried any of those, and didn't favor them, I wouldn't bother with Unicum.

10. Re: Drinks

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