Jägermeister bottle

The Bomb has moved on. Fifty-six herbs and spices have just gone highbrow. The Master of the Hunt is now high-end.

The liqueur with the tricky-to-say-name-after-a-few-shots-and-slammers, traditionally drunk by older, blue collar and more discerning Germans as an after dinner digestive and mixed with Red Bull by the young, is dignifying and premium-tizing itself. Hunting folk are being rebooted.

Once called Goring-schnaps and rumoured to contain deer blood, Jägermeister, the multi-herbal German liqueur first made in 1934 by vinegar makers Wilhelm and Curt Mast and still made in Wolfenbuttel in Lower Saxony, has unveiled a limited edition expression matured for more than 20 years in an oak barrel.

Jägermeister’s £489 (€579) “9556 Nights of Exploration” comes in a clear rather than green glass bottle with a cap featuring an NFT code.

Its contents are the fruit of experiments by Dr Günther Findel (1920-2002), the late son-in-law of Jägermeister creator Curt Mast. Findel wanted to test how the base material of the cure-all elixir would develop over a longer period of maturation.

9556 is not as herbaceous or perhaps as medicinal as the original, with more sherry and wine notes. But, at 40% ABV, is stronger. Classic Jägermeister is only matured for a year. 9556 refers to the number of nights it took to reach perfection. Each 700ml bottle comes in a shock-resistant wooden box.

The brand is working with Berlin-based artist Mago Dovjenko, who designed the NFT artwork and is part of a global online campaign.

Now the eighth largest premium spirits brand in the global retail market, Jägermeister was largely popularized among students (first in Louisiana with Jello-shooters) as a quickly-off-your-face party drink by Connecticut billionaire and philanthropist, Sidney Frank (1919-2006) who was an expert in alcohol injection.

He worked in India, tasked with finding ways to improve engine performance and enable aircraft to operate at high altitudes.

Jägermeister Cocktail

His first wife was the daughter of the founder of Schenley Industries, one of the largest American distillers and spirit importers. He became President before founding his own firm based in New Rochelle, New York. He secured the rights to Jägermeister in 1973. In 1997 he developed Grey Goose Vodka which was made in France.

Sidney Frank Importing Company (SFIC) changed its name to Mast-Jägermeister US after its takeover by the German herbal liqueur producer in 2015.

“Krauterlikor” (herbal liqueur) is the sweeter German version of Italian Fernet-Branca, Portugal Licor Beirao and France’s famous Chartreuse and Benedictine liqueurs.

The famous Jägermeister label references two saints and “holy helpers” converted to Christianity after seeing a Christian cross between the antlers of a stag. The first bishop of Liege and “Apostle of the Ardennes”, St Hubert is the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians and metalworkers. St Eustace is the patron saint of hunters and firefighters and anyone facing adversity.

The label also contains verse from the poem Weidmannsheil, by the forester poet, Oskarvon Riesenthal which can be very roughly translated:

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.

Jägerbomb can be used to make many cocktails.

Such as “A Surfer on Acid” (equal parts Jägermeister, Malibu and pineapple juice), “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (with Rumple Minze, a peppermint liqueur with a double-headed eagle on its label), “Liquid Cocaine” (with Swiss cinnamon Goldschlager liqueur and Bacardi 151 rum), a “Ginger Bitch” or “Redhead” made with cranberry juice and peach-flavoured schnapps, “Fright Night” (reposado tequila and grapefruit juice) and an “Apple Strudel” (with apple juice and crushed ice).

For more information and find out more about Jägermeister please visit: www.jagermeister.com or to purchase their 9556 Nights of Exploration, visit their online store: www.jagershop.co.uk.

Author Bio:

Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appear worldwide, and he has been published in over 800 titles.

Photographs courtesy of Jägermeister

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