This past weekend, my boyfriend and I went out on an evening walk to pick up a few things at the corner grocery store. On our walk back home, we decided to pop into this festive German bar we'd seen so many times. At that moment a good German beer sounded like it could possibly turn the whole day around. As we shared a warm pretzel and a towering mug of beer, it began to snow. (This doesn't happen all that often in Seattle.) We settled in for another beer and a new delightful discovery: Underberg. Underberg comes in a sweet little bottle and is considered a digestif, meant to enjoy after a meal on a full stomach. If you like Fernet-Branca, you'll like Underberg. They're both heavy, herbal liquors that are wonderful for sipping neat or adding into a cocktail to round out the flavor profile. The folks at Underberg claim that the digestif is made from aromatic herbs from 43 countries, a top secret formula they hold dear. The herbs are distilled and then the extracts are aged in barrels made of Slovenian oak. They've been going strong since 1846 (with a brief ten-year break from 1939-1949) and I can see why. The liquor is refreshing and unique and the bottle is sweet and charming.
The bottle of Underberg reads, "not be be sipped, but taken all at once and quickly because of its aromatic strong taste." Quite the contrary: that aromatic, strong taste has become quite trendy these days. We see Fernet-Branca in most of our craft cocktail bars here in the city, and now I'll begin to look for Underberg. Have you tried Underberg?
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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