Jagermeister is a name that can’t help but elicit a response. It is, after all, a German word meaning master hunter. Everyone who has tasted the bitter, sweet, herbal, and black licorice-flavored Jagermeister has a feeling about it.
Jagermeister is not a mild beverage. Jagermeister is not a quiet beverage. Typically, you are on one side of the fence or the other (and not sitting on it). If you want to be on the side having fun, you better be sipping on or holding a bottle of Jagermeister.
Jagermeister has a unique look that separates it from many other types of alcohol. If you didn’t already know what it was, you would certainly start having questions.
The bottle itself simply looks different than all the other bottles on the shelf at your local liquor store.
The attractive rectangular bottle made of green glass brings to mind a bottle of olive oil or an old-timey medicine bottle, but Jagermeister is none of those things. It is something much more.
Jagermeister is a German digestif, or herb-flavored liqueur, made out of 56 different herbs and spices.
A Brief History of Jägermeister
Jägermeister was created in Wolfenbüttel, Germany in 1934 by Curt Mast, son of a German vinegar and wine producer. Curt grew up working for his father’s company and eventually started creating spirits and liqueurs.
After spending a lot of time experimenting with new concoctions he eventually came up with the recipe for what we now know as Jägermeister.
In addition to his love of spirits, Curt was also an avid hunter. Jägermeister was branded as a celebratory drink after a successful hunt. It also explains the iconography of the stag on the label. The ultimate drink for the master hunter.
How did this German hunter digestif drink become a party drink in the United States? It was all due to the ideas and actions of a man named Sidney Frank.
Sidney decided to market Jägermeister using a team of “shot girls” named the Jägerettes. They would throw parties, show up at bars to give out shots, and have a presence on college campuses.
The Jägerettes were a wild success. Sales of Jägermeister went through the roof and the concept of “shot girls” became a regular practice throughout the liquor industry.
Jägermeister is still produced in Germany and has had the same recipe and process since 1934. It all starts when they weigh and grind the 56 herbs, spices, and botanicals.
Then they macerate (steep in alcohol and water to extract the herbal compounds) the mixture before aging in oak barrels for a year. Finally, the oak-aged liquid is filtered and mixed with alcohol, caramel, sugar, and softened water before being added to the signature green bottles.
Even though Jägermeister is one of a kind it does fall under the category of a digestif, or herb-flavored liqueur. Traditionally a digestif is an alcoholic beverage that is consumed after eating. The bitter-sweet, herbal taste is meant to settle the stomach.
Some other categories of digestifs are fortified wines, bitter liqueurs, aged liqueurs, and sweet liqueurs.
To this day the most popular version of Jägermeister is the original 70 proof (35% alcohol by volume) German digestif. There are, however, some Jägermeister variations that have been created through the years.
If you take a sip of a Jägermeister Coolpack you might think it tastes similar to the original. That’s because it is the original. The difference here is that the Jägermeister Coolpack is a non-glass package modeled after a freezer pack.
With the Coolpack, Jägermeister is leaning hard into their “drink cold” campaign. This packaging makes it easy to throw in a cooler and keep it as cold as possible.
Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee
This new Jägermeister variation introduced in 2019 is just what it sounds like: Jägermeister’s original recipe with coffee and cacao added. You still get the Jägermeister profile you love but with an extra lean into a rich coffee flavor.
Even though this does contain a small amount of caffeine it is also 66 proof (33% alcohol by volume) so it is not recommended as a replacement for your morning cup of coffee.
Like the other Jägermeister variants, this one also starts out with the base formula. Then they turn it up to eleven with an intense hot ginger flavor. SCHARF means hot or spicy in German.
Jägermeister SCARF is 66 proof (33% alcohol by volume) and is best served as an ice-cold shot.
Jägermeister Manifest is a premium version of the Jägermeister you know and love. It also comes at a premium price point.
Manifest starts with the original 56 herbs and spices, but then they switched up the process to include additional macerations and extra time in the oak barrels. This all combines to create a smooth luxurious beverage that is meant to be sipped on neat in a rocks glass.
Manifest comes in at a slightly higher 76 proof (38% alcohol by volume).
Jägermeister Alternatives and Comparisons
There is nothing quite like Jägermeister but if you are looking for other herbal liqueurs or “party” beverages then you have options.
Underberg is a German herbal digestif that has become very popular. It is technically classified as a digestif bitter so it has a higher alcohol content at 88 proof (44% alcohol by volume). Underberg is known for its trademarked packaging that consists of a tiny bottle wrapped in a paper sleeve. Undergerg tends to be slightly less sweet than Jägermeister.
Amaro is an Italian herbal liqueur that is very similar to Jägermeister in its taste and the way in which it’s made although the blend of herbs will vary by brand. Some top-rated brands of Amaro are Fernet-Branca, Cynar, Ramazzotti Amaro, and Amaro Averna.
If you’re in the mood for a round of shots and they just ran out of Jägermeister thankfully there are plenty of adventurous alternatives: Goldschläger, Chartreuse, Rumple Minze, and Fireball.
Goldschläger is a cinnamon schnapps, Chartreuse is a green herbal liqueur, Rumple Minze is a German peppermint schnapps, and Fireball is a cinnamon whiskey. They will all put hair on your chest.
How to Drink Jägermeister
Despite its bold flavor Jägermeister is a versatile beverage. The most common way to drink Jägermeister is ice cold out of a shot glass. You could also drink your Jägermeister like a traditional digestif after a meal served neat.
If you’re in the mood to party and a shot just isn’t enough then it’s time to order a Jäger Bomb. This is simply dropping a shot of Jägermeister into a pint glass full of Red Bull and drinking it immediately.
If you fancy yourself a mixologist Jägermeister can also be used as a mixer in a wide range of cocktails.
FAQ – Jägermeister
What kind of alcohol is in Jägermeister?
Jägermeister is a German digestif – herb-flavored liqueur.
Can you drink Jägermeister straight?
Yes! Jägermeister can be enjoyed on its own or mixed to form many varieties of cocktails. When you drink Jägermeister straight it is recommended to drink it cold (-0.4 degrees F, -18 degrees C).
What do you mix Jägermeister with?
Jägermeister can be incorporated into many traditional cocktails as well as be made into drinks that highlight the herbal flavor.
Jägermeister Old Fashioned
1 ounce Jägermeister
1 ounce rye whiskey
1 tsp maple syrup
1 dash of bitters
Garnish with an orange twist
1 ounce coconut rum
1 ounce Jägermeister
1 ounce pineapple juice
MasterMix Cocktail – Jägermeister Martini
1 ½ ounces Jägermeister
1 ounce dry vermouth
1 dash aromatic bitters
Garnish with a cherry
1 ounce gin
2 ounces Jägermeister
4-6 ounces Red Bull
Does Jägermeister contain stag’s blood?
No. It isn’t clear where these rumors started, but the company has confirmed that Jägermeister is still made with its original formula from 1934 which contains no blood. The added bonus to the absence of blood is that vegans can also enjoy Jägermeister.
Is Jägermeister gluten free?
Yes, Jägermeister is gluten free.
Is Jägermeister whiskey?
No, Jägermeister is a German digestif – herb-flavored liqueur. Whiskey is another type of distilled alcoholic beverage. Whiskey is a spirit made from fermented grains and aged in wooden barrels.
Whiskey has a vastly different flavor profile and typically has a much higher alcohol percentage starting at 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume).