Most people know Jägermeister as the frat fuel for bad decisions in college, but it’s so much more than that. Jägermeister is a German digestif that is actually quite similar to other eastern European liqueurs and many Italian Amari. Technically it is referred to as a type of Kräuterlikör and is slightly thick and sweet, with a rich dark color. This herbal liqueur comes in an iconic green bottle with a stag and cross as the logo. The logo is a reference to the German patron saints of hunters. The name Jägermeister means “Master of the Hunt” in German, and the bottle has a poem about hunting printed on it in German. The Jägermeister brand is owned by Mast-Jägermeister SE and is its primary product. It is bottled at 35% ABV.
In This Guide
History and Production of Jägermeister
Jägermeister was created in Wolfenbuttel, Germany in 1934 by Curt Mast. Jägermeister became popular at the same time that notorious Nazi Hermann Goring was the third Reich’s official hunt master and so Jägermeister was often referred to as Goring-Schnaps. Rumors claim that Curt Mast named the product Jägermeister in Goring’s honor. During the war and into the post-war years, Jägermeister became a favorite of older, working-class, conservative germans. It was often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink served neat or over ice.
In the 1980s liquor importer Sidney Frank imported Jägermeister and marketed it towards young people and college students, portraying the drink as an exciting European party drink. The strategy worked, and the mysterious liqueur with a hard to say name became an icon of American college culture, to the degree that false rumors claiming the alcohol contained deer blood and other illegal ingredients which enhanced its intoxicating effects became widespread.
Jägermeister is still made following the original recipe. It starts by steeping a blend of fifty-six roots, herbs, fruits, and spices in a mixture of water and alcohol. Some of the confirmed ingredients in the blend are saffron, ginger, ginseng, citrus peels, juniper, anise, licorice, and poppy. The mixture is then strained and barrelled in oak for a year. It is then strained again and caramel, sugar, and more water and alcohol are added. Jägermeister is still produced in Wolfenbuttel and has become the area’s leading business and tourist attraction.
The original Jägermeister is now also sold in airplane sized bottles and in a 375ml “cool pack” bottle designed to keep it well chilled for longer periods of time. In addition to the original, Jägermeister now offers two additional flavored products.
- Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee
The classic Jägermeister recipe gets a caffeinated kick. Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee uses arabica coffee and cacao to add another layer of flavor to its classic product. Drop a shot of this in Redbull if you don’t feel like sleeping tonight.
- Jägermeister Manifest
A new Jägermeister recipe, dubbed Manifest, is now on the market. Bottled at 38% ABV, it boasts a more noticeable oak flavor, as well as notes of cocoa, vanilla, baking spices, mint, and fruit. Manifest starts with the classic recipe but then undergoes a second maceration and a second aging period in oak barrels.
Below are the latest Jagermeister prices.
|Jägermeister Herbal Liqueur||50ml||From $8.99|
|Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee||750ml||From $24.99|
|Jägermeister Spice Herbal Liqueur||750ml||From $19.50|
|Jägermeister COOLPACK||375ml||From $13.67|
|Jagermeister Scharf Hot Ginger||750ml||From $20.99|
Many European cultures share a tradition of bittersweet herbal digestive liqueurs whether it’s Amari, Kräuterlikör, or schnapps. As with many of these liqueurs, there is no true alternative for Jägermeister. The unique and complex blend of herbs, fruit, and spices makes it difficult to replace. However, if you enjoy Jägermeister then here are a few similar products you should try.
- Fernet Branca
The bartender’s handshake, Fernet Branca is bold, bitter, and beautiful. Fernet Branca features a blend of herbs and other botanicals such as chamomile, peppermint, aloe vera, and Chinese rhubarb. It is bottled at 39% ABV. The Argentinians drink it mixed with Coca Cola, but it’s great in cocktails as well.
Hailing from Sicily, Averna is a dark, bittersweet Amari that isn’t quite as aggressive as Fernet. It is bottled at 29% ABV and sweetened with caramel. It is flavored with herbs, spices, and citrus fruits
This Czech liqueur is bottled at 38% ABV and many describe it as peppery, with a strong taste of ginger, cinnamon, citrus peel, and cloves. Originally intended as medicine, the bitter liqueur is now found behind the bar.
Underberg is another dark herbal liqueur from Germany. It is most often found in small bottles that appear to be wrapped in a paper bag. Bottled at 44% ABV, it hits a little harder than it’s cousin, Jäger.
There’s nothing wrong with a jäger-bomb, but if you’re looking for other ways to enjoy, try these.
- 30 ml Jägermeister
- 30 ml London Dry Gin
- 30ml Sweet Vermouth
- Stir, strain over fresh ice, garnish with an orange or lemon twist.
The bittersweet jager works well as a substitute for Campari in the classic negroni. Make sure you use a gin with a powerful flavor profile as more delicate gins will be overwhelmed.
The Black Manhattan and Toronto are two wonderfully dark takes on the classic Manhattan, using Averna and Fernet respectively. You can do the same thing with Jägermeister.
- 60 ml Rye Whiskey
- 22.5 ml Jägermeister
- 2 dashes fee brothers black walnut bitters (Or bitters of your choosing)
Stir, strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry or a lemon twist. Don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of Jägermeister if you like yours more or less bitter.