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What is Jagermeister? This German liqueur is not just for shots or college parties. Here’s more about it and the best cocktails to make!

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The word Jägermeister might conjure up the chaos of a college frat party, but here’s the thing: this German liqueur is working on its reputation. Jagermeister is a legit herbal digestif liqueur that’s ready for a comeback. Honestly, it’s got more in common with an Italian amaro than a crappy party drink. It’s great as a shot, but even more interesting mixed into cocktails like the Negroni or Old Fashioned. Here’s what you need to know!

What is Jagermeister?

Jägermeister is a German digestif liqueur made with 56 different herbs and botanicals, invented in 1934. It’s 35% ABV, which is relatively high alcohol for a liqueur. It was invented by the son of a vinegar manufacturer, Curt Mast, who was passionate about hunting. He aptly named his creation “Hunting Master,” the term for a German official in charge of hunting and gaming.

So how did it go from German liqueur to college party drink of choice? An American marketing genius. A man named Sidney Frank ran the liquor importing company that imported Jagermeister. In the 1980’s, he promoted the drink to students as a party drink and it caught on. So without Frank, Jager would still be a drink for middle-aged Germans.

Popularity of the drink in the US has slowed lately, probably due to its retro college partier status. But try it anew, and it has a complex, intriguing flavor that’s much more than its reputation would suggest.

How to pronounce Jagermeister? It’s German, so say it “YAY-gurr-mai-ster.” 

What does Jagermeister taste like?

Jagermeister tastes herbal and complex: it’s thick and syrupy, with strong anise or black licorice notes on the finish. It’s most similar to an Italian amaro (bitter liqueur) like Amaro Nonino.

How much alcohol is in Jagermeister? It is 35% ABV (alcohol by volume), so it has a high alcohol content for a liqueur.

Why we like it

Jager is for so much more than a Jagerbomb (aka Jagermeister and Red Bull). Treat it like a German version of an Italian amaro. It’s fun to sip on chilled after a meal, or add to drinks like a Spritzer, Negroni, Mule or Old Fashioned.

What is the price of Jagermeister?

Compared to other liquors, Jagermeister is mid-priced. A 750 ml bottle costs about $18 to 20.

Best Jagermeister cocktails

Jagermeister is traditionally consumed as a shot, but it works in cocktails too! It’s best known for mixing with Red Bull as the popular party drink, a Jagerbomb. But this liqueur is much more interesting than that! Here are a few great Jagermeister cocktails:

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Jagermeister Negroni (& More!)

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
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The Jagermeister Negroni is an intriguing spin on the classic featuring this German liqueur! It gives it a bittersweet anise flavor.


  • 1 ounce* gin
  • 1 ounce sweet or semi-sweet red vermouth
  • 1 ounce Jägermeister
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)
  • For the garnish: Lemon peel


  1. Combine the gin, sweet vermouth, and Jägermeister in a cocktail mixing glass (or any other type of glass). Fill the mixing glass with 1 handful ice and stir continuously for 30 seconds.
  2. Add ice to a lowball glass, and strain the drink into the glass.
  3. Use a knife to remove a 1″ wide strip of the lemon peel. Squeeze the lemon peel into the drink to release the oils. Gently run the peel around the edge of the glass, then place it in the glass and serve.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

More cocktail guides

Need more liquor guides? We’ve got them! Here’s all you need to know about home bartending:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Benstrong says:

    Educative content..iam helped

    1. Benstrongg says:


  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!