5 'Adult' Cocktails Featuring Jägermeister

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Just like Rodney Dangerfield, Jägermeister gets no respect. The German aperitif has been somewhat forgotten by most of the world for the last few decades. That is except for by college students and rowdy former frat-boys in their early to late twenties who have taken a once proud spirit and reduced it to a not-so-palatable shot with Red Bull.

“It’s more than just a frat boy shot,” says Ivy Mix, bartender at New York’s Leyenda.

Since the late 1980s, Jägermeister has held a stigma as the drink of bro culture. This hasn’t always been the case. Jägermeister was first introduced in 1935 as an herbal liqueur called Kräuterlikör in German. The name translates to “Hunting Master” which is the term for the highest ranking hunting related government official. The liqueur was given this name because its founder was an avid hunter and he knew that the German people would accept a name that they already knew well.

The 56 herbs, spice and roots that go into Jager’s recipe include ginger, juniper, ginseng, poppy seeds, saffron, anise and the very noticeable, licorice. Every ingredient is ground before being steeped in alcohol and water for three days. The mixture is then filtered before resting in oak casks for one year. Despite legends of Jägermeister containing deer blood, it has never actually been included in the recipe.

The lack of deer blood doesn’t stop college kids from drinking it. “I think (honestly) young people drink it because they think it’s the cool thing. It’s also easy to drink- a little sweet, herbal. Not as harsh as a full straight spirit,” says Mix.   

Recently, bartenders have begun to add this sometimes overlooked spirit into their repertoire. Jägermeister’s 56 unique ingredients make it perfect for recipes that require amaro. It’s also perfect for bartenders looking to give their drinks an added, spicy kick.

“Jäger has a great balance of herbal and sweet which brings a dynamic element to cocktails,” says Erin Sullivan, bartender at New York’s The Third Man. “I like using it in stirred cocktails. Mixing it in with classics is fun and brings an exciting element to older cocktails.”

As an amaro, it works perfectly with myriad flavors like citrus, maple and smoky whiskies. “It obviously goes well with other bitter flavors and cardamon but it also goes surprisingly well with fresh fruits like strawberry and grapefruit,” says Sullivan. Although you should never completely substitute it for a different amaro, Jäger can be used in cocktails with similar flavor profiles. “I wouldn’t do a straight substitute but create a cocktail around the Jäger instead.” 

Why are bartenders starting to use the frat boy’s drink of choice? “Because once you move past that stigma, you’ll find it’s actually delicious and adds a dynamic element to cocktails.”  

Here are five adult cocktails featuring Jäger that might potentially change your opinion of the spirit:
jager interior.jpg

Precision Timepiece 


Created by Sother Teague at Amor y Amargo

Ingredients
1.5 oz. Jagermeister
.75 oz. amaro montenegro
.75 oz. Aperol
2 dashes of DeGroff’s pimento bitters 

Directions: Stir over plenty of ice, strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Add an orange twist.


The Inside Scoop


Created by The Third Man (Erin Sullivan – Consulting Mixologist)

Ingredients
Spray of yellow chartreuse 
2 oz. Jägermeister
4 oz. Root Beer
Scoop of Vanilla Ice-cream
3 Dashes root beer bitters
Orange oil

Directions: Spray rocks glass with chartreuse. Add chilled Jägermeister and root beer. Add scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Dash ice cream with root beer bitters. Express and discard orange twist. 


Stag’s Leap


Created by Sother Teague at Amor y Amargo

Ingredients
1.5 oz. Jägermeister 
1.5 oz. sweet vermouth
3 Devils Larder root beer bitters
Seltzer 

Directions: Pour all ingredients into a Collins glass and fill with ice cubes. Top with seltzer.


Heads or Tails


By Logan Demmy at Mouton on High in Columbus

Ingredients
1.5 oz. Jagermeister
.75 oz. Barenjager
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
3 Drops Saline Solution
IPA of your choice

Directions: Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain in Fizz Glass. Float IPA on top of cocktail


Zimmerman Footnotes


By Logan Demmy at Mouton on High in Columbus

Ingredients
1 oz. Jagermeister
1 oz. Casamigos Repo Tequila
.75 oz. Pineapple Gum Syrup
.50 oz. Lime Juice
1 Dash Hellfire Shrub

Directions: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into an Old Fashioned Glass and add large ice cubes.