Jäger, Beyond the Shot

Five grown-up drinks built on the unofficial bro-shot, from a Jäger-spiked Old-Fashioned to a frozen Jägerita.

Jägermeister is the liqueur everyone loves to hate. Blame the Jägerbomb—or college, in general. But the German amaro’s fortunes have improved. Over the last several years, “Jäger,” as it’s better known, has graduated to find its place in a host of grown-up cocktails. While some iterations elevate the liqueur, finessing it into established formulas like the Old-Fashioned or Negroni, others fully embrace its down-market appeal.

Consider the Jägerita. As Jäger is often served ice-cold in shot form, incorporating it into a frozen drink seems only natural. David Cordoba of 28 Hongkong Street did just that, subbing tequila with the herbal liqueur for a more biting take on the frozen Margarita. At New York’s Amor y Amargo, Sother Teague draws parallels between Jäger’s strong-bitter-sweet profile and the core components of an Old-Fashioned. His Black Apple Old Fashioned builds off the liqueur as a base, simply upping the spirit and bitters quotient by adding apple brandy and apple bitters to the mix. Similarly, Gaz Regan’s Negroni calls for Jäger in place of the regular Campari, which still supplies the drink’s signature bitter flair, but with darker, more intense herbal notes.

In an unexpected pairing, bittersweet Jäger teams up with funky aged cachaça in the Rio Grande Sour, where the two ingredients face-off within the context of a traditional sour. Perhaps even more unconventional, in Brother Cleve’s Loser—named for the song by Seattle grunge band, Tad—Jäger is backed up by Pepsi Cola, beef broth, espresso liqueur and spicy habanero bitters. It’s a bold lineup, made only more so by the finishing touch, which comes in the form of a Slim Jim. It’s meant to drink like a distant relative of the Jack and Coke, and it’s just the kind of recipe that manages to pay homage to both Jäger’s past and present.

Jäger's All Grown Up

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