12 Tasty Recipes for Jagermeister Cocktails and Shots

Bottles of Jagermeister and a pineapple
Getty Images for SOBEWFF®/Getty Images

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 produced and bottled by Mast-Jägermeister AG in Wolfenbüttel, Germany. It is made from a secret recipe of 56 ingredients which include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, orange peel, and star anise (some accounts include poppy seeds, licorice, ginseng, and juniper in the ingredients as well). That is about as much as the distillers will 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 bottling 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 because 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’ honour shield, which he protects and looks after his game, Huntsman hunts, As it should be, the Creator in the creatures honour.”

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.

A bottling known as Manifest was added to the Jägermeister portfolio in 2017. This is marketed as a "super-premium" herbal liqueur and is based on the original recipe. There are a few changes, including a few additional flavoring ingredients, two different sets of oak barrels, and a slightly higher 38 percent ABV (76 proof) bottling strength. It is, however, only available in select markets, including in Europe and high-end establishments, playing up its exclusivity.

  • 01 of 12

    Surfer on Acid

    Surfer on Acid Mixed Drink With Jagermeister

    The Spruce

    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 and it's a perfect candidate for a tasty jello shot!

  • 02 of 12

    Fright Night in the Grove

    A fright night in the grove mixed drink
    Sidney Frank Importing Company

    The fright night in the grove is another Jäger mixed drink with a slightly tropical flair. Grapefruit juice becomes the star fruit of this recipe, and Jäger dominates this cocktail, while (in an unusual twist) reposado tequila takes a backseat. When it's sweetened with simple syrup, then finished off with grapefruit, it comes together quite nicely.

  • 03 of 12

    German Vacation

    A German vacation cocktail
    Jagermeister

    If you need more proof that Jägermeister can work in tropical drinks, try the German vacation. 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 12

    The Inside Scoop

    An inside scoop mixed drink
    Jagermeister

    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 does the recipe 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 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Widow Maker

    Three widowmaker cocktails
    Gazimal/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    If you can't imagine Jäger can hold its own in fancy martini-like cocktails, it's time to rethink its image. The herbal blend 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 12

    MasterMix

    A mastermix mixed drink
    Food Collection/Getty Images

    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 a shot of the 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 in 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 12

    Bed of Roses

    Jagermeister's Bed of Roses Cocktail
    Aleksandar Nakic / Getty Images

    The bed of roses recipe has a lovely balance of sweet and sour and it's one that almost any drinker will enjoy. The drink 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 fascinating, to say the least.

  • 08 of 12

    Colt 45

    Colt 45 Mixed Drink

    S&C Design Studios

    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 it's definitely worth trying.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Winter Warmer Mulled Sangria

    Christina Karl's Winter Warmer Mulled Sangria Cocktail

    Christina Karl

    As an herbal liqueur, 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.

  • 10 of 12

    Oatmeal Cookie

    Oatmeal Cookie Shooter

    The Spruce

    Beyond the Jäger Bomb, the liqueur makes an appearance in a number of other party shots. 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. Surprisingly, it really does taste like the cookie.

  • 11 of 12

    Red-Headed Slut

    Red headed slut cocktail

    The Spruce

     

    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 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.

  • 12 of 12

    Liquid Cocaine

    Liquid Cocaine Party Shot

    The Spruce 

    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. 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 bar stool. Yet, drinkers keep coming back for more.