Dish

Skilled hunter

There's that familiar visage

Jägermeister more complex than frat brothers might think

Jägermeister is a type of Kräuterlikör (German herbal liqueur) commonly served as a digestif or "bitter"—an alcoholic beverage traditionally served after a meal to aid with digestion. Jägermeister traces its origins back to Germany in 1935, where it was invented by Curt Mast. Mast was an enthusiastic hunter who named his liqueur after a legal hunting term that was introduced the previous year; translated literally, Jägermeister means "hunt master," though it was introduced to designate senior-level gamekeepers and foresters. The logo, featuring an elk's head with a cross between its antlers, is also a hunting reference—the image symbolizes St Hubertus, patron saint of hunters.

Like other herbal liqueurs, Jägermeister is comprised of a mixture of dozens of herbs, fruits, roots and spices, including citrus peel, licorice, poppy seeds, saffron, ginger and juniper berries. An urban legend holds that Jägermeister also contains elk's blood, but I can assure you that this is not really part of the ingredients. Jäger is also much sweeter than most bitters—they're called bitters for a reason—due to the addition of sugar and caramel prior to bottling. This shot of sweetness makes it rather unique: most bitters are pungent in both aroma and flavour, with only a bit of sweetness to balance the bitterness. Jägermeister's aromatics are subdued by all this caramel and sugar, making it easier to chug—a quality directly responsible for making it a popular bar drink, where it is often drunk straight as a shot or dropped into a glass of Red Bull as the infamous "Jägerbomb." (Or "Jägerbull" in Germany—incidentally, the Germans also refer to Jägermeister as Leberkleister, or "liver glue." How … poignant.)

Jägermeister has become one of the best-known liqueurs in the world—the 2007 viral video "My New Haircut" made Jägerbombs a staple of the bar scene. However, the Jägermeister brand was also made famous through its sponsorship of motor racing since the 1970s, particularly in Europe. North America was largely introduced to the drink through the efforts of Sidney Frank, an American businessman who made billions from the promotion of both Grey Goose vodka and Jägermeister. The American music industry was a key factor in helping to promote the brand – several heavy metal bands (including Metallica, Pantera and Slayer) have been patrons of the drink, and Jägermeister has been a tour sponsor of many other rock bands. Jägermeister even has its own music tour, held twice a year in the US. V

Recipe

Starry Night

1 oz Goldschlager
1 oz Jägermeister

Pour the Goldschlager into a chilled glass, then add the Jägermeister. Garnish with starfruit or star anise and admire the way the gold flakes in the Goldschlager twinkle in the darkness of the Jägermeister, like stars winking in the night sky.


Jägermonster

1 oz Jägermeister
Dash of grenadine
Orange juice
Orange zest

Pour the Jägermeister into a tall glass filled with ice. Add a dash of grenadine, then fill with orange juice. Garnish with a twist of orange zest. V
 

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