Whenever someone mentions the word Jagermeister, images of frat parties and wild nights at local bars usually come time mind. The Jager drink has become synonymous with good times, and while its popularity has waned a bit over the years, Jager alcohol is poised to make a big comeback!
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Unlike many spirits, Jagermeister is one with a flavor loved by only a select few. Then again, if we’re honest here, folks, most people don’t drink jager for the taste. However, this spirit, when mixed as a cocktail, can yield some surprising results, especially for those who wouldn’t like it otherwise.
Honesty Jagermaister has much more in comment with more refined spirits like Italian Amaro, than its reputation as a cheap party drink suggests.
The Jagermeister drink is the perfect case study of how a drink’s popularity with certain crowds can lead folks to undervalue its sophisticated complexity and potential.
But as you’ll soon find out, there’s much more to Jägermeister alcohol than meets the eye.
What is Jagermeister?
Now, the most common question about this drink is, “What is Jager?” It’s a fair question considering the unique flavor and texture of the drink. Jägermeister is a digestif liqueur from Germany comprised of 56 botanicals and herbs, including roots, fruits, and numerous spices such as licorice, citrus peel, and anise poppy seeds, ginger, saffron, ginseng, and juniper berries.
All of these ingredients are ground up, then steeped in alcohol and water for between 48 and 72 hours. Then the mixture’s filtered and stored in oak barrels for at least a year. After that, the liqueur is filtered again before being mixed with caramel, sugar, and alcohol.
And despite strange rumors often circulated around the internet, the drink does not contain either elk or deer blood. I mean, come on – seriously?
The Yeager drink was invented in 1934 and had 35 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), a relatively high alcohol level for any liqueur.
In 1934, Curt Mast, the son of Wilhelm Mast, a German vinegar manufacturer, invented the drink after taking control of his father’s company. Curt and his father were passionate huntsmen and first named the drink “Hunting Master,” a term linked to a German official who oversees gaming and hunting. In fact, the term Jägermeister had been an esteemed job title in Germany for several centuries before the drink’s invention. And since its creation, Jager’s recipe has never changed. Today, the flagship drink of Mast-Jägermeister SE is headquartered in Wolfenbüttel, a township in Lower Saxony, Germany.
So, how did this little-known German drink become a legendary college party beverage? The short answer has a lot to do with American marketing genius. You see, a man by the name of Sidney Frank managed a liquor importing company that happened to import whisky Jagermeister.
During the 1980s, Frank launched a campaign aimed at college students, marketing the liqueur as a trendy, new party drink, and soon the reputation spread from campus to campus. Without Frank, it’s safe to say that the Jäger drink would still be an obscure liqueur enjoyed mostly by middle-aged Germans.
What Does Jagermeister Taste Like?
Now, this question will usually get different answers depending on who you ask. After all, there are dozens of ingredients that make up Jager. However, the most common response is black licorice since the drink has robust anise and licorice notes on the finish. Many compare it to a bitter liqueur like Amaro Nonino.
The texture is thick and syrupy. Most folks who drink it as a shot prefer it chilled as Yager tends to go down a bit easier when cold.
Why do people like Jagermeister?
Jager is one of the staple college alcoholic beverages for two reasons. First, it’s pretty affordable. A 750-milliliter bottle has an average cost of about $18 to $20. And then, as mentioned above, there’s the alcohol by volume, which is 35 percent, making it highly potent. In other words, Jager delivers a bigger bang for your buck than most liqueurs.
What Cocktails Can You Make With Jagermeister?
If you asked most college kids about cocktails, you could make it with Jager. Most would probably answer “Jager-bombs.” This is a trendy cocktail in which a shot of Jager is dropped into a pint glass of red-bull. You also have drinks like “beer and deer,” which is Jager and beer.
However, beyond these basic drinks, there’s a whole universe of incredible Jager cocktails out there for you to enjoy,
And we are proud to introduce you to nine fantastic Jagermeister cocktails that will certainly help you see Jager in a brand new light.
Now, we should note that most of these recipes won’t specifically call for using Jagermeister, but you can substitute the same quantity of Jager for the base spirit listed in the recipe.
1. Jagermeister Spritz
Author Talia Baiocchi wrote in her recent book titled “Spritz,” that this iconic drink is much more than an early evening cocktail – “it’s a style of drinking.”
This recipe for Jägermeister spritz is based on a recipe by Brian Prugalidad, the lead barman at San Diego’s Campfire bar. He calls it “Spritzing Sie Deutsche.”
Prulgalidad said that he loves spritzes, and they are the only kind of cocktails his wife enjoys. So he wished to make her something unique that would blow her socks off. He also notes that his wife (and everyone else) always have a tough time believing that Jager is even in this cocktail!
The bartender says this drink is upfront and delivers a deep, herbaceousness within your first taste. The Jager balances perfectly with the sweetness of the quince and pears, the acidity of the lemon, and the spice from the ginger.
2. Jagermeister Mule
As we noted, Jagermeister often gets a bad rap by older drinkers who assume the only folks who get excited about the liqueur or unsophisticated college kids lining up to do “Jäger Bomb Shots.”
However, this recipe for Jägermeister Mule is just another example of how Jager can add new dimensions to virtually any cocktail.
This recipe represents one of the newer variations on the classic Moscow Mule, a drink invented in 1941 by Sophie Berezinski. You see, Berezinski was on a mission. She had immigrated to the US from Russia and was carrying around a pretty heavy burden – about 2,000 copper mugs!
Berenzinski and her father owned a copper factory in Russia called the Moscow Copper Co., and she had designed the mug herself. Desperate to not allow her creations to end up at the scrapyard, she desperately searched for someone to buy the mugs, which is how she wandered into the Cock ‘n’ Bull Pub, where she teamed up with proprietor Jack Morgan to create the now-classic cocktail.
3. Jagermeister and Ginger Ale
Another great combo is Jagermeister and Ginger Ale. Now, these two drinks are a bit of an odd couple, since when most folks think about either, they picture age groups on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Ginger ale is considered a very old-fashioned drink, something people over a certain age enjoy as both a non-alcoholic beverage and a drink mixer.
And the history of ginger ale dates back almost two centuries-spanning two continents. While nailing down the exact date the drink was invented is impossible, many agree it likely began as a homemade brew in England and Ireland sometime around the 1840s.
The golden version we know today was invented by Pharmacist James Vernor in 1862. After returning in 1866 from his service in the Union Army during the Civil War, he’s said to have tasted a barrel-aged batch of ginger ale, and that’s how Golden Ginger Ale was born.
4. Jagermeister Old Fashioned
The classic cocktail known as the “Old Fashioned” has become about as ubiquitous at bars and clubs worldwide as blind dates. In fact, it’s one of the most Googled cocktail recipes in the world.
However, this wasn’t always the case. The history behind this iconic drink is quite lengthy and storied. You see, no one knows who created the mixture or where it was invented. Most believe it came about sometime during the late 19th century, during which time a recipe started circulating that’s pretty similar to the one used today.
The original recipe called for a sugar cube wetted generously with bitters. After adding a few ice cubes, the drink was then warmed with a few ounces of whiskey.
5. Jagermeister Highball
Another drink with debatable origins is the “Highball.” However, the term “highball” is associated with American railroads when they were rapidly developed between 1828 and 1783. However, this term could also have Irish or English roots since the word “ball” is commonly used to refer to a glass of whiskey in those regions.
And more specifically, the term was used in English golf clubs in the late 19th century, referring to whiskey that was served in a high glass.
British sitcoms during the 1960s frequently showcased whisky & soda, and this cocktail was also a prop used in many movies before the 1970s. Today, the highball has many variations, among the most popular being the Gin & Tonic.
6. Jagermeister Screwdriver
The Screwdriver is one of the first known cocktails to feature vodka. And unlike most other mixed drinks, this one wasn’t invented by a professional bartender.
American oil workers actually created this iconic drink in the Persian gulf around the 1940s. While working, they would secretly pour a bit of vodka into their morning orange juice.
And since there weren’t a lot of spoons on the oil rig, guess what they used to stir the mixture?
That’s right, a screwdriver!
And while there are nearly endless variations of the drink, vodka is still the spirit of choice for most drinkers. However, most would never dream of substituting vodka for Jagermeister, and trust us. They have no idea what they’re missing!
7. Jagermeister Negroni
The original Negroni is a cocktail invented in 1919 at Caffe Casoni located in Florence, Italy. According to legend, Count Camillo Negroni his good friend Forsco Scarselli, the establishment’s bartender, for a bit of a favor. You see, the count’s favorite drink was “The Americano,” and he wanted Scarselli to make his drink a touch stronger by using gin as a substitute for the Americano’s soda water.
The bartender topped the drink with an orange garnish instead of the traditional lemon you get with the Americano, and from there, the drink became a local hit, soon spreading across the world!
The Negroni family took advantage of the buzz created by their cocktail and, in 1919, founded the Negroni Distillery, where they made a premixed version of the drink.
8. Jagermeister Paper Plane
The Paper Plane is considered the official “unofficial” cocktail of Toronto. No matter what bar or restaurant you go to in the city, you’ll likely find that they offer this drink.
As for its origins, the drink was named after a song by MIA, a famous British rapper. A longtime bartender named Sam Ross, who worked at Milk & Honey (which was renamed Attaboy), invented the drink after hearing the song on the radio.
According to Ross, his drink became his “second most well-traveled drink” after his other famous drink, “the Penicillin.”
9. Fright Night in the Grove
The makers of Jagermeister have also been pretty busy making up their own cocktails. One example is a tasty little number called the “Fright Night in the Grove.”
The grapefruit juice adds a bit of tartness, while the simple syrup gives enough sweetness to round off the rough edges. This is arguably one of the most refreshing and impressive Jager combinations out there.
Ingredients include Reposado tequila, Jägermeister liqueur, simple syrup, and grapefruit juice. Add grapefruit, grapefruit slice, and a pinch of sea salt or kosher garnish for garnish.
We recommend fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice for this recipe. Trust us, it will taste worlds better than using canned. Also, if you have trouble finding simple syrup in stores, you can always make your own at home. The above page includes a recipe on how to make it.
10. Dogman’s Revenge
And finally, for a super-sweet and fruity Jaeger drink, this recipe for Dogman’s Revenge is just the ticket!
The finish barely offers even a hint of Jager, which some drinkers who are more sensitive to the liquor’s strong notes will greatly appreciate.
It has ingredients such as Jagermeister, raspberry puree, peach schnapps, club soda, and lemon juice.
Then for garnish, you can use raspberry and a wedge of peach. Serve in a highball glass.
And take a look at this video featuring six amazing Jagermeister cocktails.
Jammin’ Jägermeister Cocktails (+Jägermeister Mule)
- Ginger Beer
- Cucumber slice
- Lime wedge
- Pour Jägermeister into a glass with lots of ice, between ¼ to ½, depending on how strong you want to make your drink.
- Top it with ginger beer and gently stir the mixture.
- Finally, garnish with a lime wedge and a slice of cucumber.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.
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