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The Meistering of Jägermeister

Posted by on in October 2017 Editions
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Wolfenbüttel, Germany, once called Wulferisbuttle, claims home to one of the world's most famous spirits, Jägermeister. While most everyone in America has known its name since the 1970's, hardly anyone in the world knows its secret 56-ingredient recipe. Now, traveling the country in a mobile stage turned "Magic School Bus"/bar, David Summers (Manager of National Events) and the team at Jägermeister are giving new life to old favorites.

The History of the Master Hunter

From the moment you pass through the trailer doors, decorated with burlap sacks donning names of ingredients, the renovated interior takes you back in time to an old Jägermeister inspired, dimly lit pub. 

Artwork on the wall pays homage to the rich history of the digestif. In 1935, Curt Mast who created the recipe for Jägermeister, dedicated it to the Patron Saint of Hunters, St. Hubertus, a "Master Hunter" or "Jägermeister." The legend says St. Hubertus took a vow of poverty and returned to the church after confronting a white stag. St. Hubertus interpreted the sighting as a sign from God since the stag appeared with an illuminated cross between its antlers. The imagery on the bottle and the poem inscribed on the label pay homage to Mast's appreciation for the story. 

A Background in Bitters

The traveling time machine crew, led by Summers, take you on a tour through the history of spirits and flavors, and on to find new ideas for how to use Jägermeister in cocktails and appreciate all its intricate flavors. 

Following a quick history came an in-depth look at some of the herbs, spices, fruits and flavors that help make up the brand once known primarily for "shots" and "bombs." Arming people with knowledge about the complexity of the recipe helps shift that story, bringing Jägermeister to the forefront of the premium craft cocktail game.

After examining some of the spice ingredients, tasting begins on vermouths and bitters helping to breakdown some of the flavors in Jägermeister that are often overlooked. Spices like mace, clove, cinnamon and ginger all make up part of the complex recipe. 

Given the distinct nature of Jägermeister, the classification for the spirit is as a kräuterlikör. As the German alternative to Italian amari, this group fits perfectly with the comeback of bitter liqueurs and digestifs; especially in cocktails.

The Jägermeister team, traveling in their Wulferis & Buttle trailer, explain how to make sure you don't miss a bit of what the spirit offers. The educators for the Jägermeister Herbal Academy include elite bartenders and restaurateurs such as instructor Justin Noel, owner of Sweetwater Social in New York City and Meister of the Baltimore visit.

With 383 quality checkpoints along the way, Jägermeister offers a high-end addition to the cocktail world. No one is abandoning the history of perfectly chilled shots. It's time to realize the versatility and distinct flavor of Jägermeister and it's difficult to find a better way than the Jägermeister Herbal Academy and the Wulferis & Buttle trailer.

Click Here to check out the entire article as it appeared in The Journal. 

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Doug is a graduate of Albright College with a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology as well as Sociology.  He is also a talented bartender/server and enjoys writing about the licensed beverage industry.