Jägermeister is an herbal, bitter liqueur from Germany made of a secret blend of over 50 herbs, fruits, and spices. It is a popular spirit that is easy to spot in any bar and liquor store you walk into.
In the past, Jäger (as it's popularly known) gained a notorious reputation because it can get you very drunk, very fast. This is due mostly to its use in shooters like the infamous Jäger bomb. It's one of those love-hate reputations (similar to tequila) that often comes with many of the stronger distilled spirits.
However, Jägermeister does have a place in "fancy" cocktails, and it adds a complex, herbal profile to drinks. As more and more drinkers realize that it can be used to make truly impressive cocktails, the liquor is finding a new home in the bar. And, of course, it still used in shots, some of which are almost too delicious!
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The surfer on acid is a longtime favorite and one of the best ways to enjoy Jägermeister. The taste is tropical and invigorating, and the recipe is extremely easy, requiring just three ingredients: Jägermeister, coconut rum, and pineapple juice. It's perfect for happy hour and a perfect candidate for a tasty jello shot.
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If you need more proof that Jägermeister can work in tropical drinks, try the German vacation. The liqueur is mixed with a nice gold rum. Add to that ginger and orgeat syrups, a touch of lemon, then a healthy dose of Peychaud's Bitters. The depth of flavors is quite impressive, and you'll enjoy it to the very last sip.
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Surprisingly, Jägermeister makes a great base for a "true" martini. You'll simply skip the gin and pour a shot of the liqueur into the mastermix instead. This is not a big stretch when you consider that gin is a blend of botanicals, just like Jäger. The two simply approach it in a different way and it's a brilliant way to bring the classic cocktail into the modern age.
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Like many herbal liqueurs, Jäger comes to life when it's heated up. In the winter warmer mulled sangria, it forms a fantastic spiced background for pomegranate and cranberry, which are married for an entire week. When it's time for your party, you'll warm the brew with mulling spices to give it a comforting depth that will please all your guests.
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Some people in the cocktail scene scoff at the red-headed slut, but countless others still enjoy it. The shot popped up at the end of the 20th century when many drink names were anything but politically correct and there's something enjoyable about the combination of Jäger, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice. Rather like an adult version of Kool-Aid, it will give you a sweet shock.
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If you're looking for a shooter that has all the kick of a Jäger bomb, but without the energy drink, try the liquid cocaine. To make it, you will need Jäger, Goldschläger, and Rumple Minze. It's an interesting trio that will almost certainly knock you back on the barstool. Yet, drinkers keep coming back for more.
Jägermeister is produced and bottled by Mast-Jägermeister AG in Wolfenbüttel, Germany. It is made from a secret recipe of 56 ingredients, including cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, orange peel, and star anise. Some accounts include poppy seeds, licorice, ginseng, and juniper in the ingredients as well, but that's about as much as the distillers tell the public.
Whatever the mixture is, it's macerated for five months in alcohol and water. This concentrate is blended and filtered, then stored in oak barrels for a year. After that time, it is blended with sugar, caramel, and more water and alcohol before it's bottled at 35 percent alcohol by volume (70 proof)
It is likely that the mysterious parts of the process have led to some of the intrigue surrounding the spirit. Despite the rumors, Jägermeister does not include deer blood, opium, or any other "nasty" ingredient.
The Jägermeister Story
Jägermeister was created by Curt Mast who inherited the family's vinegar factory in Wolfenbüttel, which was established by his father Wilhelm in 1878 (a date the brand uses often). The liqueur was first produced in 1935 and touted as a cure-all medicinal elixir. It is still in the same distinct square, green bottle as it was then.
The label is inspired by the name; Jägermeister translates from German to mean "Master Hunter." St. Hubertus, whose symbol is the antlered stag, is the patron saint of hunters.
You will also find the German inscription "Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, Daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, Weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, Den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt." It is from a poem by Oskar von Riesenthal (1830-1898). Roughly translated, it means, “This is the hunters’ honor shield, which he protects and looks after his game, Huntsman hunts, As it should be, the Creator in the creatures honor.”