Underberg: The German Digestif We Can't Live Without

We recommend that you not venture into a big dinner party without it ever again.

We have to apologize to you guys: we forgot to tell you about Underberg before Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years -- the holidays where you stuff yourself to the brink and need something to make you feel right again. That thing is Underberg, and we can't believe we let you get through the holidays without it. Never again, because now you're going to know all about this German bitter digestif and you'll never suffer from the pains of over-eating again.

Underberg, first introduced in Germany by Hubert Underberg in 1846, is filled with mysterious herbs to aid digestion and refresh your spirit after a heavy meal. The exact number and identity of those herbs are still heavily guarded by the Underberg family 165 years after its creation. This amazing concoction tends to pop up in American towns wherever there is a strong German presence, like the Barbecue Belt of Texas (where our friends who introduced us to Underberg hail from).

So what does it do? Well, it sets off a bomb in your stomach that frees you from the agony of over-indulging in bratwurst and späetzle (among other things). We want to be honest and fair with you: your first Underberg is an eye-opening experience. The flavor can be described as intensely herbaceous, a bit licoricey with the fire of an alcohol fit to be called a digestive aid. It is fire water. But lovely fire water that we happen to seek out whenever we can.

Some tips from Underberg on how best to enjoy:


Okay, let us rephrase -- fire water with "a faint suggestion of Christmas." That is exactly right.

One of our favorite things about Underberg, like so many other regional foods we adore, is how riled up fans of the drink get. Among the myriad variety packs of Underberg that are available, you can also procure yourself a wall rack, a story book or a quick-fire Underberg belt.

We've seen Underberg in specialty food stores, liquor stores and had a few lucky run-ins after a big meal in German restaurants. If all else fails, there's Underberg on Amazon! We recommend that you not venture into a big dinner party without it ever again.

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