Underberg / Hans Fischerkoesen

Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Underberg / Hans Fischerkoesen#1
Posted: 5/2/12 at 6:26pm
Maybe I should do this in two separate posts, but there's a correlation, so thought I'd combine.

I discovered Underberg following a recent evening-to-early morning bout of tummy trouble that had me eating crackers and drinking ginger ale to settle me down. Plus a couple doses of Alka-Seltzer plus (after realizing, duh, my head doesn't hurt, just my stomach) an old fashioned dose or two of baking soda stirred in water.

My husband had googled something like "why are saltine crackers good for a sick stomach?" (not the saltiness, apparently, but rather the baking soda in them, is the idea) I was up after he went to bed, and for a laugh, I changed his search to read "why is liquor good for a sick stomach?" This led to some (other) message boards that mentioned Underberg. It's an herbal digestive made in Germany, sold only in single dose 20ml bottles. 44% alcohol by volume.

I watched several YouTube videos, some with fans of the stuff praising it, some with people acting like the taste is the worst ever. (There's even an "Underberg challenge" where participants attempt to down 10 bottles in 10 minutes.)

Entrigued, I ordered some from an apothecary site. Thought it might be good to have on hand after the next "omg I ate too much" meal, or next time I have a widdle bellyache.

Package came today, and since I'd had lunch soon before, decided to go ahead and try some.

Strong stuff, taste-wise, but I like it. Don't think I could do more than one at a time. Licorishy... I've had absinthe (or at least something called "Absente" - "absinthe refined"); similar taste. I think Underberg has a stronger taste. Glad I followed my gut instinct on what I thought my reaction to it would be and ordered the 30-bottle case.

They have a rewards program where you save up and send in the bottle caps for prizes like a tall glass for serving Underberg, an Underberg truck that holds 12 bottles in the truck bed, nice-looking dishes, platters, etc. I'd like to save up for the glass maybe. Pour the stuff in the right thing, I figure. Think it's 94 caps for that. (Long way to go! lol)

From the videos I'd seen I already knew that the best way to drink it straight from the bottle is to just open up, throw your head back, and pour it in. Beats trying to sip it or drink it like you'd drink a bottle of cola or beer since the bottle opening is so small.

In looking at YouTube videos, I came across this one of a 50s German commercial for the product, by an animator named Hans Fischerkoesen:


THAT in turn led me to other videos of this fine animator's work.
Interesting guy, too:


"At the end of the war, the invading Russian troops arrested Fischerkoesen as a possible Nazi collaborator. Although he could prove that he was not only never a Nazi sympathizer but actually a member of an underground resistance group of artists during the war years, he was kept in Sachsenhausen concentration camp for three years before he was exonerated. During that time, he worked in the kitchen, and painted ironic, allegorical wall murals using vegetable caricatures, which are now preserved as a national historical monument."

Anyway, just curious if anybody else has had Underberg, reactions, etc. Also, if anyone's ever seen any of Fishcherkoesen's work? Here's links to two short animated films:

"Scherzo - Verwitterte Melodie" (Weather-Beaten Melody)

"Der Schneemann" (The Snowman)

Underberg site