The German beverage multinational was founded in 1846 by Hubert Underberg I (1817-1891) and his wife on their wedding day in Rheinberg (North Rhine-Westphalia) and is still owned by the family today. It is managed in the fourth and fifth generation by Emil Underberg, Christiane Underberg and Hubertine Underberg-Ruder. The best-known product is the bittersweet of the same name, which was entered in the German trademark register in 1896. This world-famous herbal liqueur became a synonym for bitters and is still produced to this day according to a secret recipe with various herbs from 43 countries with 44% vol alcohol content. To this day, the company continues to advertise with the motto "SEMPER IDEM" created by the founder (always consistent quality and effect). Only three of Underberg's twelve children learned the valuable secret. Allegedly there were no written records, but the recipe was only passed on orally. After the death of the founder, widow and daughter kept the secret, only two other people (clergymen) knew about the recipe.
The bitters were soon exported all over the world and were even allowed to be sold as a medicine in the USA during the Prohibition
(1920-1933). In 1892, Underberg became the royal purveyor to the court of His Majesty Wilhelm II. and in 1912 he also became k.u.k. Court supplier (Austria-Hungary). After the Second World War, Underberg introduced the 20-milliliter portion bottles to the market. Today it is an international spirits, wine and sparkling wine house with numerous participations in various countries. These include the companies/brands Asbach
(brandy, Rüdesheim/Rheingau), Schlumberger
(sparkling wine, Bad Vöslau/NÖ) and Anton Riemerschmid Weinbrennerei und Likörfabrik (Erding/Bavaria). In 2009, a joint venture was entered into with the French beverage multinational Rémy Cointreau
, creating the third largest distributor of wines and spirits in Germany. This year, Underberg achieved annual sales of more than 500 million euros with around 1,000 employees.