With a name like Jägermeister, you know that this alcohol means serious business.
It all started when a man named Wilhelm Mast founded a wine vinegar business in Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony, Germany in 1878. However, his son Curt took the business in a different direction in 1943. Instead of focusing on vinegar, he shifted to manufacturing spirits, creating the German liqueur that took the world by storm.
Eventually the company outgrew the vinegar factory. There are now 3 bottling plants in total, still coming out of Wolfenbüttel. Thanks to its popularity, this small town of about 50,000 people became a tourist attraction where you can tour the factory and headquarters. It even features a Jägermeister hotel.
Due to its complicated production thanks to all its ingredients, Jägermeister takes over a year to make. All the ingredients are filtered and stored in oak barrels for 365 days. Then, there’s a series of 383 quality checks, including another round of filtering with more ingredients. Talk about a lengthy process! But for those who know and love the drink, it’s worth the wait.
We know how popular it is, but what does Jägermeister actually taste like?
The short answer is that it tastes herbal and complex. With Jager, though, the short answer doesn’t do it justice – so let’s dive in and get to grips with what this German digestif is made from and how it tastes.
What is Jägermeister Made From?
Remember when we said the drink was complicated to make? Well, we weren’t joking!
Jägermeister is made from the same 56 natural herbs, fruit, roots, and spices as when it was first invented.
Some of the ingredients include ginger, cardamom, star anise, citrus peel, licorice, anise, poppy seeds, saffron, juniper berries, and ginseng. The exact ingredients, however, are a company secret, so we couldn’t make the drink even if we had the time to!
These ingredients are ground, then steeped in water and alcohol for 2-3 days.
After those ingredients soak for a year, they then go through that series of 383 quality checks, followed by another round of filtering. Then, ingredients including sugar, caramel, alcohol, and water are added.
What Does Jägermeister Taste Like?
It’s safe to say that with all of those ingredients, the taste of Jägermeister is very complex, with some herbal notes.
The texture is thick and syrupy, with strong anise or black licorice notes at the tail end of the sip.
This drink isn’t for the faint of heart, as the drink contains 35% ABV (alcohol by volume). Although the alcohol content isn’t as high as rum or whisky, it’s still on the strong end.
What Does Jägermeister Smell Like?
Just like how it tastes, Jägermeister has its own unique smell.
You could probably guess that the smell is strong. However, the smell is also a harmonious blend of spice and sweetness, that actually makes it a compelling and attractive scent; a scent that will entice you to drink it.
What Tastes Similar to Jägermeister?
If you had to compare it, Jägermeister would taste most similar to an Italian amaro (or bitter liqueur), such as Ramazzotti.
This digestif is made from neutral spirits infused with over 33 different herbs, barks, and oils, balancing sweet and bitter tastes. It’s great for replacing Jägermeister when taking a shot.
Underberg is another herbal digestif that could resemble Jägermeister. It’s strong, almost medicinal flavor is similar to that of Jägermeister’s. This one, however, serves as a thicker and slightly less sweet version.
Another herbal liqueur is Root Liqueur. It’s robust and aromatic, infused with birch bark, smoked black tea, orange and lemon oils, sassafras essence, and baking spices. It is a little sweeter but still has that licorice flavor, just with a root beer-like twist.
How Should You Drink Jägermeister?
As with many other alcoholic drinks, there are lots of ways to drink Jägermeister. It’s all about finding your preference.
If you prefer really tasting alcohol, you’ll appreciate drinking it neat.
When it’s drunk neat (also known as straight) it can become very pungent, so this is really about your preference. You can either enjoy it at room temperature or chill it by sticking it in the freezer for a few hours first.
On the Rocks
Also known as over ice, this will help dilute the drink ever so slightly, yet still preserve its strong taste.
This method, like drinking it neat, tastes best when sipping it slowly, enjoying the distinct flavors.
Jägermeister shots are the best way to enjoy the drink without a mixer if you can’t force yourself to sip it slowly.
Pour yourself about an ounce or so worth of the alcohol into a nice cold shot glass. This will help the alcohol smoothly go down and you can still enjoy the taste.
This is also a shot but includes an energy drink mixer.
This is a great way to play up the Jägermeister and give you more of a boost than a regular shot of alcohol. First, you’ll fill a shot glass with Jägermeister.
Next, pour half a can of an energy drink (such as Red Bull) into a pint glass. Drop the shot into the pint glass and proceed to chug or drink as fast as you can. Talk about a heart pounder!
Very similar to one of the oldest types of mixed drinks, the sour, this variation is a very refreshing drink for summer.
The sour cocktail combines one part sweet, one part sour, and two parts of a strong, distilled spirit. For this, Jägermeister acts as the sweet element and is combined with lemon juice, dry gin, and club soda.
Garnish with a lemon slice and mint sprig and enjoy.
Are There Health Benefits to Jägermeister?
It’s strange to think that alcohol, in general, could have potential health benefits, right? Well, as weird as it seems, it turns out that Jägermeister may actually do you some good.
Of course, it should go without saying that there are no health benefits to alcohol poisoning, so always drink in moderation!
This herbal liqueur was originally created as a digestif, meaning it was a post-dinner alcoholic drink to help settle the stomach and help with digestion.
The digestif could also reduce gas and stimulate your appetite. You can serve them after dinner and before dessert, or, if consumed after coffee, a digestif is often referred to as a pousse-café. This is not to be confused with an aperitif, which is a drink served before a meal. An aperitif is meant to stimulate the appetite, therefore it’s usually dry and low in alcohol (basically the opposite of what Jägermeister is known for).
Although the drink has merged to become more than a digestif, there are other reasons to drink it.
Let’s start with the basics.
In one 1.5-ounce serving, Jägermeister consists of 167 calories, less than 1 gram of protein, fat, and fiber, and 19 grams of carbohydrates and sugar. Jägermeister is a highly refined liquor, meaning it consists mostly of alcohol, water, sugar, and essential oils. Most of the plant material has been removed, leaving only the volatile compounds that add flavor and scent to the alcohol.
Due to this, the drink is a unique source of those flavor compounds but does not contain significant amounts of vitamins or minerals.
Not off to a great start, I know. But there are some reasons to drink it for more than just its taste (in moderation, of course).
For starters, Jägermeister could help reduce inflammation. Cloves and anise found in this drink include multiple compounds (such as Eugenol) that are linked to anti-inflammatory properties. With the benefit of reduced inflammation, that also leads to a lower risk of heart disease and arthritis.
Jägermeister can also help reduce blood sugar levels.
In moderation, alcohol generally helps to lower the risk of developing diabetes, and could potentially help people with diabetes control their blood sugar more effectively. This effect happens with low sugar-drinks.
So, if you want Jägermeister to help you in this way, it’s important to not mix it with other sugary liquids.
Spirits like Jägermeister can also be linked to lowering the risk of strokes and other cardiovascular diseases.
In moderate amounts, alcohol can help prevent the arteries in your brain from narrowing and putting you at higher risk for a stroke.
Will You Like Jägermeister? How to Tell
I always go with the motto, “you won’t know until you try it.” But I don’t want you buying a whole bottle of Jägermeister only to find out you hate the taste! Instead, let’s think about it.
For starters, if you aren’t a fan of black licorice, you most likely will not be a fan of Jägermeister.
Black licorice is not to be confused with red, because black is a very strong, bitter taste, unlike red licorice that’s sweet. If you’ve also ever had anisette, it’s a very similar taste to that.
If you prefer sweeter or creamier drinks, you probably will not like Jägermeister.
For example, if you like fruity drinks that involve a lot of light liquors, such as vodka, tequila, or white rum, you may not like the taste of this darker liquor. If you like dessert drinks like Baileys, it has the opposite taste of a digestif.
Lastly, and maybe the biggest tell-tale sign, if you do not like the taste of alcohol, meaning when you drink alcohol you need to not know you’re drinking alcohol, then Jägermeister is not for you.
Jägermeister is a very distinct and powerful drink, so if it’s not for you, then don’t force it to be.
Is Jägermeister Vegan?
If you’ve heard of Jägermeister, you might have heard of the “interesting” rumor that it contains deer’s blood. Well, contrary to urban legend, that is untrue and not one of the secret 56 ingredients.
A deer is located on the Jägermeister bottle. For the longest time, people took this to mean that the drink was made from deer blood. Thankfully, the company responded to that rumor and shut it down, declaring that the recipe does not have, and never has had, deer blood in it. Or any animal blood, for that matter.
The deer on the logo is actually a representation of the vision of Saint Hubertus, a master hunter who converted to Christianity.
With all that said, this popular alcoholic drink is vegan, so it can be enjoyed by anyone who’s willing to try it. In 2018, the Jägermeister company revealed that the recipe is entirely vegan.
Jägermeister also made a cold brew coffee that is vegan as well.
This new drink consists of a drop of Jägermeister’s 56 botanicals with an intense cold brew coffee.
Jägermeister cold brew coffee is made from strong roasted Arabica coffee and a hint of chocolate cacao. The taste has distinctive aromatic spicy notes that lead to a delicious, sweet, and rich finish.
This may be perfect for those looking for a vegan alcoholic beverage without the strong taste that a classic Jägermeister has.