What Is Jägermeister, Anyway?

Sure, you’ve heard of it, but do you know what it is?

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Jäger bombs will never taste the same.

Have you ever heard someone cite Jäger as their favorite drink to casually sip on? Chances are you haven’t — and there are a few reasons why.

First of all, a lot of people don’t know what Jäger actually is. Sure, it’s the alcohol that you use to make Jäger bombs, but what does it actually contain, and what’s its origin story? Don’t feel silly if you don’t know, because there are 56 ingredients, and the history behind it is unique.

Jägermeister is a German herbal liquor that, according to the bottle, was originally dedicated to master hunters — or “Jägermeisters” — who “have strong bonds with one another, as authentic as the history and heritage of the brand itself.” Jägermeisters raised a glass to hunting in a civilized, refined, and functional way that brought them together before and after the hunt.

Now, here’s an overview of some of the many herbs that make up this unique liquor: green cardamom, Chinese star anise, Indian ginger root, and Ceylon cinnamon. Where’s the whole list, you ask? Sorry, we can’t give it to you — the company won’t reveal it to anyone, because they’ve had the same secret recipe for 79 years. If they haven’t spilled the beans by now, we have a feeling nothing’s going to change.

This isn’t a brand that’s usually sipped on at the bar. If you’re looking to spice up your night with Jägermeister, chances are you’re looking to feel a little tipsy by the end of the night. This liquor is primarily enjoyed as a “Jäger bomb” — a shot of Jäger that’s dropped into a cup of Red Bull. Once the Red Bull begins to overflow, you have to drink up to keep it from spilling! This is probably why most people don’t sip on it — who wants to make a mess? (Or more importantly, who wants to waste liquor?)

In a nutshell, Jägermeister translates to “master hunter” in German, and it’s meant to evoke the hunter’s spirit of camaraderie. It’s a good thing you’re doing your research, because this one-of-a-kind brand is the No. 1 selling imported liqueur in the United States and one of the top shot brands in the world. There’s only one thing we can say to that — cheers!

The accompanying slideshow is provided by Juliet Tierney.

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