Interesting History. Nothing about them being Jewish though.
Unicum was created by Dr. József Zwack, the Royal Physician to the Habsburg Court, for Emperor Joseph II in 1790. It was not until 1840 that his 20-year-old son, Jozsef Zwack founded J. Zwack & Co., the first Hungarian liqueur manufacturer. By the early 1900s, the Zwack company had become one of the leading distilleries in central Europe, producing over 200 liqueurs and spirits, exported all over the world.
In 1915, Jozsef’s son, Lajos, took over the factory and left it to his two sons, Bela and Janos, upon his death. During World War II, Budapest and the Zwack factory were completely destroyed. After the war, with the Communist regime, the factory was nationalized in 1948. The Zwack family fled the country. Janos Zwack with his son Peter, great grandson of József, was able to escape with the original Zwack recipe in his pocket. Bela Zwack remained behind to give the communist government a “fake” Zwack recipe and went on to become a regular factory worker.
Meanwhile, Janos and Peter migrated to the United States and after several months in Ellis Island’s refugee camp were granted US entry purely because they possessed the Zwack recipe. They later settled in the Bronx in 1949 when Peter was 22 years old. It was in the US that Peter learned all the ins and outs of the spirits industry.
In 1988, just one year before the fall of Communism, Peter Zwack returned to Hungary and resumed production with the original Zwack formula. He repurchased his family business from the State in the summer of 1989, and by the spring of 1990, the original Zwack product was reintroduced to the Hungarian market. That same year, Peter was named Hungarian Ambassador to the United States.
The Zwack Company has since resumed its position as the leading distillery in eastern Europe. In 2008, Peter Zwack handed over the company’s leadership to the family’s 6th generation, his own children, Sandor and Izabella Zwack, to continue the family tradition. One of their first initiatives was to launch Zwack in the US, a landmark in the history of the company and for any internationally revered brand.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwack_liqueur
Here is how you will find the label in Europe.
For no real reason it seems that Zwack and Becherovka are Christmas things around our house.