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 and one that you will be able to find in almost 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, especially the infamous Jäger bomb. Jägermeister's reputation is one of those love-hate perceptions... that come with many of the stronger distilled spirits which are often abused (just look at tequila's reputation).
However, Jägermeister does have a place in many "fancy" cocktails, and it will add a complex, herbal profile to your 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.
How Is Jägermeister Made?
Jägermeister is made from a secret recipe of 56 ingredients which include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, orange peel and star anise. That is about as much as the distillers will tell the public.
We do know that whatever the mixture is, it is macerated for five months in alcohol and water. This concentrate is blended and filtered, then stored in oak for a year. After that time, it is blended with sugar, caramel and more water and alcohol before bottling.
It is likely that the mysterious parts of the process have led to some of the intrigue surrounding the spirit.
The Jägermeister Story
Jägermeister was first produced in 1935 and inspired by a 500-year-old recipe. It is still in the same distinct square, green bottle as it was then. The label is inspired by the name because Jägermeister translates from German to mean "Master Hunter." St. Hubertus, whose symbol is the antlered stag, is the patron saint of hunters.
Along with the stag on the label, you will 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." Roughly translated: "It is the hunter’s honor that he protects and preserves his game, hunts sportsmanlike, honors the Creator in His creatures."
In 2013, Jagermeister released a second liqueur to the brand's portfolio. Jagermeister Spice is a little lighter in both flavor and alcohol and focuses on cinnamon and vanilla. It is typically available during the fall and winter seasons.
Despite the rumors, Jägermeister does not include deer blood, opium, or any other "nasty" ingredient.
- Produced and bottled by Mast-Jägermeister AG in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.
- 35 percent alcohol by volume (70 proof)
01 of 10
The surfer on acid has been a popular drink for some time, and it is one of the best ways to enjoy Jägermeister. The taste is surprising, and the recipe is extremely easy to follow.
This is a drink that anyone can mix up and everyone will enjoy. It requires just three ingredients: Jägermeister, coconut rum, and pineapple juice. The mix creates a tropical, invigorating drink that's perfect for happy hour.
02 of 10
Similarly, the fright night in the grove is another Jäger mixed drink with a slightly tropical flare. Grapefruit juice becomes the star fruit of this recipe, and it is interesting.
Jäger dominates this cocktail, and a reposado tequila takes a backseat, which is an unusual twist. When we sweeten it with simple syrup, then finish it off with grapefruit, it comes together quite nicely.
03 of 10
We certainly are proving the point that Jägermeister can work in tropical drinks. In the German vacation, we have another beach-inspired mix of flavors that you're going to enjoy.
For this recipe, Jäger stands beside a nice gold rum. Add to that both 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.
04 of 10
Seriously, it's like a root beer float with Jäger. The inside scoop is great fun and, though it seems a little off the wall, you simply have to try it.
Not only do we bring Jäger into the mix, but the entire drink begins by spraying the glass with Yellow Chartreuse. That enhances the herbal complexity, and when root beer and ice cream are added, it becomes a most intriguing indulgence.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
If you didn't think Jäger could hold its own in fancy martini-like cocktails, we have a few recipes that prove otherwise. The herbal blend of the liqueur is a great base for high-end drinks; you just have to get past its party animal stigma.
Case in point, the widow maker. This mix of vodka, coffee liqueur, and grenadine is quite the delight, and it's easy to mix up. Surprise your friends, but don't let them see the Jäger bottle. They'll never guess your secret ingredient.
06 of 10
On the drier side, why not use Jägermeister as the base for a "true" martini? Yes, the mastermix recipe skips the gin and vodka, opting for our favorite herbal liqueur instead.
It is not that big of a stretch if you think about it. After all, gin is a blend of botanicals, just like Jäger, the two simply approach it a different way. Pairing the liqueur with dry vermouth and bitters brings that classic cocktail into the modern age. Try it and see what you think.
07 of 10
The bed of roses recipe has a lovely balance of sweet and sour and it's one that almost any drinker will enjoy. Jäger is the only liqueur, too. That means this one's just a little tamer than most cocktails that use it.
This recipe mimics a classic sour in that it accents the base liquor with a good amount of tart citrus (lemon juice) and a hint of sweetness (grenadine), but it's not done. There's also a little lime juice to kick up the taste. It's certainly interesting.
08 of 10
Beyond the Jäger Bomb, the liqueur makes an appearance in a number of other party shots. When it's time for a shooter that may or may not drop the bomb on your night, we have a few recipes for you to try.
The oatmeal cookie could be considered a staple in the world of shots. It's an old favorite and extremely tasty, which is why it's been popular for so long. This one is a mix of Jäger and Irish cream with a hint of butterscotch and cinnamon.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Some people in the cocktail scene scoff at the red-headed slut, but countless others still enjoy it. It's another shot that popped up at the end of the 20th century when the names were anything but PC. It remains quite popular today.
For all the debate about this shot, there's something enjoyable about downing a drink with Jäger, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice. It will not go unnoticed and will give you a sweet shock. It's rather close to an adult version of Kool-Aid.
10 of 10
While those two shots were relatively tame, this one is not. If you're looking for a shooter that has all the kick of a Jäger bomb, but without the energy drink, you might try the liquid cocaine.
This shooter will almost certainly knock you back on the bar stool. To make it, you will need Jager, Goldschlager and Rumple Minze. It's an interesting trio, and we're not saying it's the best. Yet, drinkers keep coming back for more.