Among the many liqueurs that have been embraced by bartenders and cocktail connoisseurs, Jägermeister is not typically cited high on the list, if it’s found at all. Yet, there’s a lot to like from a drink-making perspective. For one, it’s made with 56 assorted botanicals using the same recipe since its inception in 1934. Also, it’s aged in German oak casks, and is bottled at a robust 35% ABV. Still, the closest many of us have come to sampling Jägermeister cocktails is the Jäger Bomb, the ubiquitous collegiate shooter combining the liqueur with Red Bull. Surely, we can do better than that.
“Jägermeister brings a unique flavor profile that pairs beautifully with a vast selection of produce and spirits,” says Gregory Rodriguez of Oak & Ivy in Las Vegas. “I love the challenge of convincing people to try Jägermeister cocktails, and I know I can use Jäger in many variations that will surprise even the staunchest of guests.”
By capitalizing on the ingredient’s intrinsic and complex herbal qualities, you’ll find there’s a wider range of applications than you may have envisioned. Here are a few Jägermeister cocktails to consider for your next adult beverage, Red Bull not required.
Jägermeister Old Fashioned
-1 oz. Jägermeister
-1 oz. rye whiskey
– 1 bar spoon maple syrup
– Pimento bitters
Directions: Shake all ingredients, or stir well to fully dissolve maple syrup. Strain and pour over ice. Garnish with expressed orange peel.
Rye and Jägermeister prove to be fast friends here, in a riff on a classic whiskey cocktail. The split base of this Old Fashioned provides a more complex flavor profile than you’d typically find in the drink, while the maple balances the Jäger’s bitter, and the orange peel brings it all to life. Pimento bitters are tailor-made for Jägermeister cocktails, though Angostura will do in a pinch.
Jägermeister Old Fashioned / Photo Credit: Jägermeister
Directions: Muddle all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with orange and mint.
*Ginger syrup can be store bought, or you can boil fresh sliced ginger with simple syrup then strain and let cool.
Rodriguez deploys Jäger with Pimm’s in a refreshing libation that’s at once unexpected, yet makes perfect sense when you consider the flavors involved. “I love using Jägermeister as a split base spirit in conjunction with Pimm’s, it boosts the flavor of all the ingredients by adding its richness,” he says. “The complexity of Jägermeister brings a nice pop to this lovely cocktail, and I particularly enjoy the cola and cherry flavors it introduces.”
-2 oz. Jägermeister
-3-4 oz. ginger beer
-2 fresh squeezed limes
Directions: Stir lime juice and Jägermeister with ice in a Collins glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge.
For devotees to the mule family of drinks and ginger beer itself, the Berlin Mule is as quick and simple to put together as there is. Wave goodbye to the Jäger Bomb and never look back again.
Berlin Mule / Photo Credit: Jägermeister
Jägermeister Upside-Down Manhattan
Directions: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain. Serve up, garnished with a pineapple leaf and a cherry.
*For at-home ease, make a rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar to water), and boil with fresh pineapple slices. Strain and let cool.
In this reverse Manhattan (more vermouth than whiskey) riff, Matt Graham of Cleaver Butchered Meats & Seafood and Herbs & Rye in Las Vegas switches out the vermouth for Jäger. “I’m really into playing with Jägermeister and rye whiskey together,” he says, citing Jäger’s exotic spices and velvety texture.
He suggests subbing it for sweet vermouth in other classics, and also using it alongside tropical flavors in tiki drinks. “Jägermeister, with its orange peel, anise and saffron highlights, gives your drink pop,” Graham says.
A Day at the (Crawfish) Races
-2 oz. mint tea-infused Jägermeister*
-.25 oz fresh lemon juice
-Teaspoon of blackberry jam
Directions: Shake all ingredients with ice. Double strain into rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with mint or fresh fruits.
*Infusion can be made using one tea bag per 250ml of Jägermeister, steeping together in a sealed container for four to six hours.
While Jägermeister is often used as a modifier, in this drink from Evan Wolf of The Company Burger in New Orleans, the ingredient becomes the star of the show. “I’ve had success pairing Jägermeister with a variety of ingredients, but the two that come to mind first are herbal teas and jams or fruit preserves,” he says. “The cocktail I created incorporates both, featuring a mint tea infusion and a spoonful of blackberry jam, with bright and fresh results. I think nearly any herbal tea or fruit preserve would sub in easily to this drink.”
He notes that depending on the ingredients you put alongside it, different qualities will shine through in Jägermeister cocktails.”Some drinks will pull out pleasantly bitter tones otherwise muted and balanced, others will highlight mint and other herbal qualities,” Wolf says.
Ready to whip up some Jägermeister Cocktails?
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