One of the most mysterious alcoholic beverages of all time, the green bottled Jägermeister. The name Jägermeister is a German word which translates to “Master Hunter.” What the heck is this crazy stuff? It is truly a mystery because the recipe which makes up the German Jägermeister is held a secret.
What is its odd taste? It’s a liquor, containing 35% alcohol by volume, which is flavored with a series of herbs. It’s said to be a blend of 56 different herbs, but since we’re talking about a secret recipe we can only guess what which herbs they are talking about. We know the company that creates the product, Mast-Jägermeister AG, has its main facility is located in Wolfenbüttel, Germany so perhaps we can eaves drop on their conversations? Maybe not.
It is suggested that the drink be kept in the freezer, typically -18 °C (0 °F), and “on tap” machines will cool it to between -11 °C to -15 °C (5 °F to 12 °F) (www.jaegermeister.de). I’ve noticed hardcore Jäger drinkers always chill their bottle…here I thought it was done to weaken its potency… nope, but it’s part of the instructions!
This herb liquor, or “Kräuterlikör” in German, is the most widely exported brand. As a matter of fact, very few herb liquors seem to be exported from the country so we’re blessed with the ever famous Jägermeister.
The bottle has a little poem on the side to bring a deeper theme to the Master Hunter and the logo of a stag below a glowing cross.
- This is the hunter’s badge of honour,
- that he protect and nourish his game,
- hunt sportingly, as is proper,
- and honour the Creator in the creature.
- Or, in German:
- Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild,
- daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild,
- weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört,
- den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.
Some folks think Jägermeister takes like a medicine, which makes a bit of sense considering it’s used as a herbal remedy in some German homes (or used to be). It was introduced to the public in 1935 and has been used to remedy a cough or assist with digestive problems.
So, what do people say it tastes like? One of the best responses (although a bit negative) has been:
“Imagine you took a black crayon and melted it with some rubber, then added sugar. Finally, mix in some mouthwash flavored like dark purple cough syrup. This is about what it tastes like… very unpleasant. I think you could find many better things to drink. Besides, you don’t actually “drink” Jägermeister. You guzzle it down your pipe as fast as possible so you don’t subject yourself to the nauseating taste any longer than necessary. A much better shot would be peppermint schnapps.” (yahoo.com)
On the positive side, we’ve heard it described as a “delicious, herbal, spicy” and “a wonderful after dinner drink” with “nice aroma, body, appearance, supposed herbal qualities.” Like a red wine, Jägermeister is an acquired taste…or perhaps you’re born with a Jäger gene and those with the gene are crazy about their Jägermeister.
Anyone that’s spent time talking about this beverage with a few drunk friends has no doubt heard the rumor that it contains deer blood. Although the recipe is not disclosed the concept of using deer blood has been disproved on snopes.com:
“Were blood one of the ingredients, Jägermeister would not be able to control the brewing results as accurately as it does. Blood would break down during processing, rendering one batch of formula after another unsuitable for use.”
Whoa, common sense… blood doesn’t brew well. The trick to keeping the rumor alive is the secret recipe that the company hides well but refuses to disprove blood being used (as it helps keep up hype of the product). Think about it this way, what makes you a real man? Drinking deers blood in a ritual sacrifice of course! That will sell a few more bottles of Jägermeister!
I highly suggest trying out a bit of the Jäger and tell us what you think. Do you have the gene?
Fun facts, in Germany, today, the person responsible for a regions hunting regulations is given the title “Jägermeister” which makes more sense than naming the liquor by the same title.