Jägermeister (//, YAY-gər-my-stər, German: [ˈjɛːɡɐˌmaɪstɐ], stylized Jägermeiſter) is a digestif made with 56 herbs and spices at a strength of 35% alcohol by volume (61 degrees proof, or US 70 proof). It is the flagship product of Mast-Jägermeister SE, headquartered in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.
|Country of origin||Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony, Germany|
|Alcohol by volume||35%|
|Proof (US)||61 (UK) 70 (US)|
Wilhelm Mast was a vinegar manufacturer and wine-trader in the city of Wolfenbüttel, Germany. His son, Curt Mast (1897-1970), 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 came up with the recipe for a herbal liqueur which he called "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".
Jägermeister came to greater international attention particularly through the work of Sidney Frank (1919-2006), 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.
Jägermeister is a type of liqueur called Kräuterlikör (herbal liqueur). It is akin to other European liqueurs, such as Gammel Dansk from Denmark, Fat-Frumos balsam and Nucul de Aur from Moldova, Beerenburg from the Netherlands, Unicum from Hungary, Becherovka from the Czech Republic, Gorzka Żołądkowa from Poland, Demänovka from Slovakia, Pelinkovac from Croatia, Riga Black Balsam from Latvia, Gorki List from Serbia, Fernet-Branca from Italy and Chartreuse and Bénédictine from France. In contrast to those beverages, Jägermeister has a sweeter taste. In Germany itself, there are quite a few competitors, such as Killepitsch, Kuemmerling, Schierker Feuerstein, Schwartzhog, Wurzelpeter, and Underberg, some of which are as sweet as Jägermeister.
Jägermeister's ingredients include 56 herbs, fruits, roots, and spices, including 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. Afterwards, this mixture is filtered and stored in oak barrels for about a year. When a year has passed, the liqueur is filtered again, then mixed with sugar, caramel, and alcohol.
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).
The label on Jägermeister bottles features a glowing Christian cross seen between the antlers of a stag. This image is a reference to the two Christian patron saints of hunters, Saint Hubertus and Saint Eustace, both of whom converted to Christianity after experiencing a vision in which they saw a Christian cross between the antlers of a stag.
In the product name on the label is one of the few surviving examples of the use of the long s in print.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild,
dass er beschützt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmännisch jagt, wie sich's gehört,
den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.
It is the hunter's honour that he
Protects and preserves his game,
Hunts sportsmanlike, honours the
Creator in His creatures.
This is the hunter's badge of glory,
That he protect and tend his quarry,
Hunt with honour, as is due,
And through the beast to God is true.
- 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.
- A Tart's Delight is made with equal parts of Jägermeister, Fernet Branca, and gin, garnished with several SweeTarts (green preferred).
- A Bob Dylan is a shot of Jägermeister with Surge.
- The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a shot made with equal parts Jägermeister, Rumple Minze, Goldschläger, and Bacardi 151.
- Starry Night shot consists of 2⁄3 shot of Jägermeister and 1⁄3 shot of Goldschläger.
From the 1970s, the Jägermeister brand has developed an association with motor racing, as they have sponsored various European racing teams, primarily those who fielded BMWs and Porsches. These teams have competed in various major racing series including Formula One (March and EuroBrun), DRM (Max Moritz, Kremer, Zakspeed), DTM and Group C (Brun Motorsport), who took the team title in the 1986 World Sportscar Championship.
Jägermeister's orange livery is one of the more commonly recognised in motorsport. The Spanish Fly slot car brand has recently brought out model cars with the distinctive design. More recently, they introduced the Naylor Racing NHRA Pro Stock car, minus its signature orange livery. The livery's notability was proven when an article in the January 31, 2008, edition of Autosport listed it as one of the twenty most iconic commercial colour schemes.
Jägermeister is associated with German football, especially the Bundesliga. In 1973, Eintracht Braunschweig became the first Bundesliga team to place a sponsor's logo on its jersey, although the team rejected a related proposal to rename itself Eintracht Jägermeister. The sponsorship, very controversial at the time, paid the team 100,000 DM (€51,130) and introduced a new way of doing business in football. Other teams quickly followed suit. Jägermeister now displays its advertisements at several football stadiums in Germany.
As of 2018 Jägermeister has sponsored the National Hockey League (NHL) as the Official shot of the NHL.
In the United States, Jägermeister became popular through promotion by Sidney Frank and through its association with heavy metal and rock music bands such as Murphy's Law, Halestorm, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Pantera, Slayer, HIM, Crossfaith, Epica, The Bloodhound Gang, Psychostick, and Turbonegro. Jägermeister is the tour sponsor of numerous bands of this genre.
Jägermeister has been a sponsor of the second stage at the Rockstar Mayhem Festival since 2008. Mayhem Fest is a large Hard Rock and Modern Metal festival that tours the United States and Canada. In 2008 the stage featured the bands Machine Head, Airbourne, Five Finger Death Punch and Walls of Jericho. The 2009 Mayhem Fest Jäger Stage featured Trivium, All That Remains and God Forbid. The 2010 stage featured the bands Hatebreed, Chimaira, Shadows Fall and Winds of Plague. The 2011 stage featured Unearth, Kingdom of Sorrow, and Red Fang. The 2012 stage featured Anthrax, Asking Alexandria, and more.
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The Jägermeister logo, a stag with a cross between its horns, is the symbol of St. Hubert, the patron saint of dogs and hunters. According to the legend, while hunting in the forest Hubert encountered a stag with a glowing crucifix hovering between...
- Difford, Simon (September 2007). Cocktails: Over 2250 Cocktails. diffordsguide. p. 388. ISBN 9780955627606. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
The logo has a deer with a cross between its antlers, recalling a vision in the life of St Hubert, the patron saint of hunters.
- British Archaeological Association (1878). The Archaeological journal. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longman. p. 281. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
Hubert and Eustace are very similar, though the period of their conversions was nearly 600 years apart. Both saints were of noble birth and passionately devoted to the chase, and both were converted by an encounter with a milk white stag, bearing a crucifix between its horns.
- College Weekend. BJ Klein. October 2010. p. 66. ISBN 9780557711697. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
The Jägermeister logo, which shows the head of a stag with a glowing cross between its antlers, is a reference to the stories of Saint Hubertus and Saint Eustace.
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- BMW am Jägermeister Look Archived 2007-08-13 at the Wayback Machine Photo series, auto racing
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- Flying Colours by Henry Hope-Frost, Autosport, 31 January 2008
- Der Hirsch des Anstoßes (in German) Süddeutsche Zeitung, published: 30 July 2003, accessed: 21 August 2011
- Eintracht Jägermeister (in German) Der Tagesspiegel, published: 28 February 2003, accessed: 9 December 2012
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