Since we’ve gone and bought that delicious Zwack Unicum for making Robert Capas we’d better find something else to do with it. Luckily a mere teaspoon or two of this mixer’s elixir has a transformative effect in jazzing up the simple Gin & It to something more akin to the legendary
Slap & Tickle Hanky Panky. This simple stirred drink makes a fine apéritif to serve before a fancy meal although Unicum itself is actually an excellent digestif. There’s not a ton more to say about this one just stir it well and make sure you use a nice fresh strip of lemon zest that you either cut directly over the drink (or at least twist over) to express enough lemon oil to cut into those darker flavours from the Unicum and Vermouth. Speaking of which, this is one occasion where I would avoid my usual Punt e Mes in favour of a less bitter Italian Vermouth as we already have enough bitterness from the dry gin and Unicum. If mixed with sufficient care it’s a drink that can provide a lot of complexity and yet is extremely simple in its proportions and ingredients. Always a bonus! But what shall we call this bewitching potion? If we’re talking of Hungarian black magic and jazzing things up then I find myself strangely drawn to the work of jazz guitar wizard Gabor Szabo. Let’s see; Gypsy Queen? Witchcraft? Ah, got it:
2oz/60ml gin of choice.
1oz/30ml Italian/sweet vermouth.
2 teaspoons/10ml Zwack Unicum
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a long twist of lemon cut (or twisted) over the glass.
Toast Gabor Szabo (1936 – 1982).