With the holidays officially upon us I can’t imagine a better occasion to blog about my all time, most favorite Christmas drink in the world: Jagermeister. Most of us are familiar with the unique shape of the bottle and the equally interesting taste, but much about Jagermeister remains a mystery. Does Jagermeister really have deer blood in it? What does this crazy name mean? What’s up with the deer on the bottle? For those curious to became Jager-experts, I welcome you to read on.
1. Jagermesiter Does Not Contain Deer Blood – My apologies go out to all of those who thought they were imbibing the spirit of an animal. Contrary to what you might have heard, there is no deer blood in Jagermeister. (1)
2. What Does Jägermeister Mean in German? – Professional Hunter. Man’s relationship with nature and the wild has a long history in Germany as you’ll soon learn by reading on.
3. 1934 – The year Curt Mast, son of Wilhem Mast, the firm’s founding father, concocted the Jagermeister recipe. Mast Jr. was an avid hunter which prompted him to dedicate his newly created recipte to the sport.
4. Jagermeister Is A Kräuterlikör – Meaning herbal liquor. Back in the day many medicines in Germany consisted of herbs mixed with alcohol.
5. That Deer On The Bottle – Hubertus, a French hunter living in the 8th century goes out on Good Friday to hunt some game. He soon finds a deer, chases it around, and when it turns toward Hurbertus he is astonished to see a crucifix between its antlers. Caught like a deer in headlights (I couldn’t resist) Hubertus hears the voice of God commanding him to lead a pious life or end up in hell. And the rest is history. Hubertus (pictured above) would go on to become the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metal workers—all professions that are much easier a few shots of Jager. (2)
6. Wolfenbüttel – That’s the city in Lower Saxony, Germany where Jaegermeister is headquarted.
7. Those Strange Words On The Bottle – It’s a 19th century poem written by Oskar von Riesenthal:
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild,
daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört,
den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.
I’m not a professional German translator, nevertheless, I don’t feel my interpretation of the poem is too far off, especially when you consider the themes we’ve already explored.
This is the hunter’s badge of honor,
That he shall protect and nurture the game belonging to him,
Hunting like a true sportsman, is how it should be,
To honor the Creator in His creatures.
8. Jagdabzeichen – This is the German word for a hunting badge. Guess what? Any skilled hunter in Germany receives a badge with an image similar to the Jagermeister bottle.
9. Unique In America, Not In Germany – There are plenty of Kräuterlikör’s to choose from in Germany, but as far as I’ve seen we only get Jagermeister in America. When I lived there I had Wurzel Peter a few times, mostly because the bottle had a gnome on it. This English site discusses some of them: http://www.themanzine.com/2010/11/angst-am-morgen-field-guide-to-german.html
10. In German Culture – Jagermeister is an often seen sponsor in Formula 1 as well as German soccer. Additionally, a really cool tribute to the drink was put together by a German band called Die Toten Hosen / The Dead Pants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKXUNRrYQd0
Hope you enjoyed the blog post. Jbawm.com is smartphone-compatible so feel free to bring it up this article during your Christmas Jagertoast.