Food & Drinks

Jägermeister courts cocktail lovers

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Jägermeister, Brand Ambassador Nils Böse for a Mixology Meister Class Training at Park Inn by Radisson Westlands, Waiyaki Way. PHOTO | POOL

Summary

  • Jägermeister has been known as the party drink. Served warm in tiny glasses, its success has grown on bars selling the brand shot by shot.
  • However, as consumption of cocktails drives sales of whisky brands globally, Jägermeister is seeking to reposition itself as a cocktail base and a drink that can be served very cold for a flavourful taste.

Jägermeister has been known as the party drink. Served warm in tiny glasses, its success has grown on bars selling the brand shot by shot.

However, as consumption of cocktails drives sales of whisky brands globally, Jägermeister is seeking to reposition itself as a cocktail base and a drink that can be served very cold for a flavourful taste.

The drinks trade is like the fashion industry – to prosper you must build buzz around your alcohol and teach people how to consume it.

Lewis Jones, the regional director Middle East Africa, was in Kenya with its brand ambassador Nils Böse to train mixologists and bartenders how to serve Jägermeister more than just a party shot.

Mr Böse is a reknowned bartender and has been mixing and creating drinks for almost 25 years. He owns a bar in Germany which is close to Wolfenbüttel, where Jägermeister is produced.

He made cocktails drinks like ‘Pretty Amber’ which he generously poured gin, lemon juice and a splash of Jägermeister. The final creation was a delicious infused cocktail that was low on alcohol.

“I served Pretty Amber to 2 Chainz, an American rapper and all he could ask was, 'What else can I do to Pretty Amber',” he told the room-full of bartenders and mixologists at Park Inn Radisson Blu in Nairobi.

According to Mr Böse, Jäger’s distinct licorice flavour works wonders in cocktails.

With notes of saffron, ginger and anise, Jäger can also serve as a partial substitute to simple syrups in rum and whiskey-based cocktails.

“There’s a myriad of herbs and spices in every bottle of the German liqueur just waiting to find a place in your next riff on a Dark and Stormy,” he adds.

Meera Karia, the business development manager at Viva Global Limited, says consumption of Jägermeister in Kenya is high mostly in bars/clubs and various lounges. Of late, the brand has seen significant growth in bottle sales as more buy it by bottle and it being served with various mixers.

“Currently, we are exploring different strategies including introducing Jägermeister in cocktails like the Berlin Mule. Our target is to train numerous bartenders/mixologists on how it can be used in cocktails,” she says.

Mr Böse says that Jägermeister is best served as an ice-cold shot, and best enjoyed at -18 degrees.

“Store the liqueur in the freezer and serve it ice cold. Chilling thickens the liqueur to a syrup-y consistency, so it lingers on the palate long enough for its 56 herbs, spices and aromatic compounds to introduce themselves,” he adds.

In Kenya, they will soon introduce a cooling device called the Tap machine, and which will serve Jäger at temperatures below freezing point.

Most of the consumers of Jägermeister are between 18 to 35 years, a mix of men and women drinkers, “people who love to go out and enjoy the party scene in Kenya.”

“It’s quite a sociable drink and is usually drunk as a shot in a group like tequila is,” he said.

“A cold shot of Jägermeister goes down very nicely and increases the likelihood that another round will be ordered. Warm, it's likely to make half of the group wretch. It's not a drink that one sips slowly and enjoys as one would a whisky,” he adds.

According to Mr Böse one can mix Jägermeister into other non-alcoholic drinks to give it an added flavour. Add it to drinks such as pineapple, apple juice, or lemonade.

“Like with soda, fill only about a quarter of the cup with Jäger. Various cocktails can be made using Jägermeister. ginger ale, ginger beer are all good mixers with Jägermeister,” he adds.

I tried an easy cocktail recipe featuring Jägermeister cold brew coffee that makes an amazing Jägermeister Espresso Martini. It is so yummy and will keep you going all night. Just add Arabica coffee and cacao to the drink.

Jägermeister, which means “Hunting Master,” in German was originally developed in 1935 by Curt Mast, who inherited his father’s vinegar factory in Wolfebnüttel, Germany and began concocting liqueurs instead. The German liqueur contains many ingredients including ginger root, cinnamon bark and coriander.

He added that “a glass of Jäger after dinner could aid digestion, reduce gas and stimulate your appetite.”

“Just as one might sip a small glass of Fernet Branca after a hefty meal and feel amazing, the same exact thing could be done with Jäger,” Mr Böse said.