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. That's 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 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 surprisingly delicious.
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The California surfer 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 great 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, ginger and orgeat syrups, a touch of lemon, then a healthy dose of Peychaud's Bitters. The depth of flavors is quite impressive and enjoyable to the very last sip.
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This drink is like a root beer float with Jäger! The inside scoop is tons of fun and the entire drink begins by spraying the glass with Yellow Chartreuse to enhance the herbal complexity. It seems a little off the wall, but the result is amazing and worth a taste when you're up for an adventure.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Jäger can definitely hold its own in martini-like cocktails. A perfect example is the Jäger café cocktail in which it's mixed with vodka, coffee liqueur, and grenadine. It's a delightful drink and a great surprise for friends. Don't let them see the Jäger bottle and they'll never guess your secret ingredient.
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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 idea when you want to give the classic cocktail a modern twist.
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The bed of roses recipe has a lovely balance of sweet and sour and it's one that almost any drinker will enjoy. The cocktail mimics a classic sour in that it accents the base liquor (Jäger) with a good amount of tart citrus and a hint of sweetness from grenadine. It's charming, to say the least.
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If you are in the mood for an energy drink but don't want to drop the Jäger bomb, the Colt 45 is an excellent alternative. It's more like a vodka Red Bull but with a gin and Jäger twist. The high-octane drink is easy to mix up and has many dedicated fans, so you know there's something to it.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Like many herbal liqueurs, Jäger really 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 the party, you'll warm the brew with mulling spices to give it a comforting taste that will please all your guests.
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Beyond the Jäger bomb, the liqueur makes an appearance in a number of party shots. The oatmeal cookie is a staple in the world of shots and one of the best tasting, too. It's a mix of butterscotch and Irish cream with a hint of cinnamon and Jäger that does a good job of replicating the taste of a spiced cookie.
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Some people in the cocktail scene scoff at the fuzzy Jäger cranberry, 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; many, including this one, have since been renamed. 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 stone-cold stinger. 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.
What Is Jägermeister?
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 unmistakable green square 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.”