Oktoberfest celebrations have already wrapped up, but it still seems as good a time as any to give the spotlight to Underberg
, a storied German digestif that is typically used to settle the stomach after a large meal and is also a popular hair of the dog across the pond after a long night at the pub.
The small glass bottle wrapped in brown paper—which is quietly infiltrating Tampa Bay’s hippest watering holes—has been around since 1846, when Hubert Underberg first started selling it in Rheinberg, Germany. The formula inside contains herbs from 43 different countries and has been tightly kept as an Underberg family secret since its inception over 175 years ago and contains only water, alcohol and herbal extracts. Before it hits the shelves, the bitter beverage is matured in casks made of Slovenian oak, a process that adds to the complexity of the final product.
Underberg’s taste is often compared to the flavors of Fernet Branca and Jagermeister, which is likely to evoke a strong feeling one way or the other for the person drinking it. Since it’s offered in such a small serving size (20 ml), it can and should be quickly downed for ultimate palatability and results. While the bottle is small, the ABV, which sits at 44%, is not.
Here’s a list of some small businesses in the Tampa Bay area that offer Underberg if you feel like giving it a shot. Oh, and don’t forget to keep the green caps, which can be redeemed for Underberg merchandise that ranges all the way from glassware and plates to clothing and accessories.