Jägermeister is a popular German herbal liqueur.
It is undoubtedly one of the most popular herbal liqueurs in pubs, nightclubs, restaurants and homes across the world.
Jägermeister is made with 56 herbs and spices and has an alcohol by volume of 35% (61 degrees proof, or US 70 proof).
It’s ingredients include citrus peel, licorice, anise, poppy seeds, saffron, ginger, juniper berries, and ginseng. These ingredients are ground, then steeped in water and alcohol for two to three days. This mixture is filtered and stored in oak barrels for about a year. Then the liqueur is filtered again, and mixed with sugar, caramel and alcohol.
Before it reaches the bottle, Jägermeister goes through quite a lengthy process. The ingredients are filtered and stored in oak barrels for 365 days.
The liqueur was originally brewed as a “digestif,” a post-dinner alcoholic drink to help settle the stomach and help with digestion.
Jägermeister was developed in 1934 by Wilhelm and Curt Mas.
Wilhelm Mast was a vinegar manufacturer and wine-trader in the city of Wolfenbüttel, Germany. His son, Curt Mast was passionate about the production of spirits and liqueurs, and always keen to help his father in the business even at an early age.
In 1934, at the age of 37, after he took over his father’s business, Curt devised the recipe for “Jägermeister”.
Curt was an enthusiastic hunter. The name Jägermeister in German literally means “Master Hunter”, “Hunt Master” or “master of the hunt”. It is a title for a high-ranking official in charge of matters related to hunting and gamekeeping. The term Jägermeister had existed as a job title for many centuries.
In 1934 the new Reichsjagdgesetz (Reich Hunting Law) re-defined the term, applying it to senior foresters, game wardens, and gamekeepers in the German civil service. Hermann Göring was appointed Reichsjägermeister (Reich Hunting Master) when the new hunting law was introduced. Thus, when Jägermeister was introduced in 1935, its name was already familiar to Germans, who sometimes called the product “Göring-Schnaps”.
The next thing Mast had to consider was the bottle. To figure out what bottle suited his new spirit best, he did what might qualify as one of the top ten coolest fact-finding processes in alcohol history: he bought a bunch of bottles and proceeded to drop them on his kitchen floor.
A label, too, would be necessary, as Mast wanted to sell the product and not just make a liqueur for himself and his family, and so he decided to pull from the name to create the iconic logo that we all immediately recognize today. The stag and the glowing cross refer to, most agree, Saint Hubertus, a
7th/8th Century Catholic saint who, (as legend has it) while on Good Friday, was in pursuit of a stag when it turned to face him. In between the stag’s horns was a glowing crucifix, which spoke to him and in no uncertain terms told him to seek out a specific bishop and turn his life around, otherwise he’d be on the train straight to hell. (While the label has stayed more or less the same, the company did roll out a new label, which you can see in the header image.)
Jägermeister’s production outgrew the old vinegar factory back in 1958. There are now three bottling plants in total, and just recently the company built a new ultra-modern head office.
Jägermeister came to greater international attention particularly through the work of Sidney Frank, who ran an American liquor importing company. From the 1980s he promoted the drink in the youth and student market, as a drink for parties – a quite different niche to its traditional conservative brand position in its native German market. New York magazine quoted a market research firm describing him as “a promotional genius” for making “a liqueur with an unpronounceable name…drunk by older, blue-collar Germans as an after-dinner digestive aid… synonymous with ‘party’. The Mast-Jägermeister company ultimately purchased Sidney Frank Importing in 2015.
The company recommends that Jägermeister be kept on ice and served cold, and suggests that it be kept in a freezer at −18 °C (0 °F) or on tap between −15 and −11 °C (5 and 12 °F).
A shot glass of Jägermeister dropped into a glass of Red Bull energy drink makes a cocktail called a Jägerbomb.
A Liquid Heroin is a shooter made with one part Rumple Minze, one part Jägermeister, and one part Bacardi 151 rum. Alternatively, A Liquid Cocaine is made with one part Goldschläger, one part Jägermeister, and one part Bacardi 151 rum.
A Surfer on Acid is made with equal parts of Jägermeister, Malibu, and pineapple juice.
Starry Night shot consists of 2⁄3 shot of Jägermeister and 1⁄3 shot of Goldschläger.
Contrary to a rumor that has circulated on the internet, Jägermeister does not contain deer blood or elk blood.
No matter in what country you purchase a bottle of Jägermeister, you will always find the following text, running around the label:
“Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild,
daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört,
den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.”
According to Mast-Jägermeister SE, the translation is:
“It is the hunter’s honour that he
Protects and preserves his game,
Hunts sportsmanlike, honours the
Creator in His creatures.”