The 2015 Badger and Blade Awards – Digestif

2015 Winner – Digestif  

Underberg $1.38 per bottle

2015 Badger & Blade Awards - Digestif

Their slogan rings true “It can’t be explained – it must be experienced!”

I stumbled upon Underberg a number of years ago in a liquor store chain named Bevmo. Their interesting packaging – and the depiction of three little paper wrapped glass bottles inside their tidy package looked so interesting and inviting. I read the seemingly “snake oil” claims on the box about feeling bright and alert after a big meal, it being guaranteed and that it must be experienced to be explained… they hooked me. For $6 for three little bottles, what did I have to lose? It was worth a try. That day I experienced Underberg, and a lovely relationship blossomed; my house has never been without Underberg since.

2015 Badger & Blade Awards - Digestif

Have a large, heavy or greasy meal and follow it with one 20ml straw paper wrapped bottle of Underberg and within minutes the blend of herbs from 43 countries will have you feeling as if instead of a smorgasbord, you had merely eaten a salad. It defies logic and reason, but it’s guaranteed for a reason. Much to a first time users surprise, it actually works.  As a skeptic by nature, I initially attributed my experience to a placebo affect, but as I started giving bottles to friends and family after meals, they had the identical experience. I’m not sure I’ve experienced a product with affects that have been as universally consistent as Underberg, it’s really quite impressive and a lovely conversation piece.

So what is this mysterious concoction? Underberg is a digestive that is 44% alcohol by volume, which is designed to be taken all at once, not sipped. With no added sugar, it is not a liqueur, and has a sharp herbaceous flavor on top of strong alcohol notes, lightly dulled by the maturation process of resting for months in Slovenian oak casks. While I don’t mind the flavor, it is best described as medicinal. The magic is in the experience, from the little bottles, to the incredible affect and long after the flavor has been forgotten, the pleasant feeling and jovial little bottles remain top of mind.

2015 Badger & Blade Awards - Digestif

Since the subject of these little bottles continues to rear its head, let me explain. Underberg only comes in small 20ml uniquely shaped, brown glass bottles. The bottom  half of the bottle is shaped like a cylinder, and the top half an octagonal pattern that comes together to form a 12mm circular stem, which proudly wears a exclusive soft green plastic cap, with the companies logo in red text. All of this of course, hidden brown straw paper, both to protect it from ambient light, and to ensure its contents have not been tampered with. The octagonal top half of the bottle allows it to empty its content without balking when held at a 45-degree angle. It’s really a lovely presentation, and the fact that every aspect of the presentation is completely functional, adds to the unique, and pleasant experience.

This unique elixir has an interesting history, beginning back in 1846 when the company was founded. Save for a lapse in production during the first and second world wars when sufficient herbs from certain countries could not be sourced, Underberg has remained in production unchanged for 160 years! Few products on earth can match this incredible feat, which stands as testament to the quality and efficacy of their products. Their motto since the beginning has been “semper idem” which means always the same, the exact same product, flavor, quality and affect each and every time… and they guarantee it. Some products are still made like they used to be.

2015 Badger & Blade Awards - Digestif

At $2 or less per bottle, I invite all of you to acquire a few for the upcoming holiday festivities, sure to include some large meals and overindulgence, which will provide the perfect platform to put this magical elixir to the test.

A lovely, classic product sure to bring you and others you share this time tested secret with, many years of delight!


  1. It actually works. Eat like a pig. Feel great. It defies science and nature.
  2. It’s a great experience. From the lovely packaging, to the ritualesque process of tearing the paper and pouring the little bottle, to the lovely after affects, its first class through and through.
  3. It’s inexpensive and worth every penny.


  1. Medicinal flavor

You can purchase 12 bottles for $16 here or 3 for $6 here.

You can follow Joel on instagram here.


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