Jägermeister is the Keanu Reeves of booze—an ageless mythical entity with a molecular makeup shrouded in mystery. Much like Keanu, Jäger's unique recipe adds instant class and flavor to any party it attends. So, naturally, we got inspired to make our own.
We browsed various forums and got our ingredients. Apparently, all you need is vodka, herbs, spices, patience, and whatever German hunter dark magic is keeping Mel Gibson in the public eye. You might not get a perfect match, but you'll get close.
Here's what you'll need:
- Simple syrup
- Maple syrup
- Anise seed
- Whole coriander
- Whole allspice
- Star anise
- Anise extract
- Licorice root
- Fennel seed
We started with a DIY recipe for Pastis, the anise-flavored apéritif from France that's the base of your homemade Jägermeister. Gather your spices together and take in the wonderful smell. That's the smell of success.
Mix ten star anise pods, one tablespoon of licorice root, one-half teaspoon of fennel seeds, a quarter teaspoon of whole coriander seeds, and one-half teaspoon of anise seeds together in a bowl. Mix it real good and put it into a clean coffee grinder
Grind your powder together, but don't grind it too finely, as you're going to need to strain it all out in a few days—but let's not get too ahead of ourselves here.
Mix your newly-ground powder in a bottle with one-and-a-half cups of vodka. Hide this bottle away under a desk—or in a warehouse à la Raiders of the Lost Ark and make sure to shake it up at least once a day to move the spices around.
After a few days, strain your mixture into a vessel of your choosing and admire all the sediment left behind.
Sweeten with simple syrup—we used around five ounces. You don't want to sweeten to Jäger level just yet though.
Add a generous dash of anise extract. DO IT.
Add a touch of maple syrup. Think wistfully of Vermont.
Add a little honey, Honey.
Toss a few sprigs of thyme and proceed to make "we're running out of thyme" puns.
Pour your sweetened, anise-enhanced sluice into another cup using cheesecloth as a filter. This will catch any of the leftover sediment from before. Pro tip: don't eat the cheesecloth, it's definitely not dairy-based.
With the same delicacy you'd use to pick up a baby hummingbird with a broken wing, pour your now-filtered homemade Jäger back into a bottle.
Now drink away, caballeros!
We've got to give Jägermeister credit for being a drink that's damn near impossible to replicate. While our mixture got pretty close, it was still a far cry from Jäger's 56-ingredient festival of flavors.