Jägermeister gained popularity as a medicine before its success as a shot. A fact you should always remember next time put it down the hatch.
Shots are a great way to consume Jägermeister, I have it from the most official source – the liqueur’s brand ambassador – Nils Boese, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The medicinal aspect of the liqueur is its digestive abilities or digestif, with 56 ingredients – a closely guarded secret. It was never designed to be had at a slow pace, it needs to be quick and intense for it work successfully as a digestif, says Boese.
So, shots are great! My problem is with Jäger Bombs – a shot Jägermeister drowned in a glass of energy drink. I have never been able to appreciate energy drinks and find it a complete waste of the liqueur, you don’t taste Jägermeister at all.
Boese agrees to me when he says that quality of the liqueur never gets discussed with drink like these. “Taste of Jägermeister is never one dimensional,” he says, one of the reasons why it makes for great cocktail ingredient (But not a Jäger Bomb). With 56 ingredients, complexity is a given. For each cocktail Jägermeister adds a new dimension to it.
If you think about it, Jägermeister has a lot common with gin, primarily the herbs and botanicals as well as the infusion process. The biggest difference is that Jägermeister is stronger bittering agents. As Boese very aptly put it, Jägermeister works as a liqueur, bitters and sweetening agent in cocktail.
It is also stored in oak barrels, not because they have an impact on the liqueur but because the breathing room the barrels provide. Barrels in question are really big and old – 80 year old 20000 litre barrels.
One thing that I always was curious about is the secrecy about the ingredients. Boese says that it is to ensure that the more exotic and hard to find components can be sourced in the future and do not run out due to high demand.
So no more Jäger Bombs, it’s all about Jägertini and Jägermeister with tonic water.