I have two confessions with which to preface this article. The first is that I often find apple cider cocktails disappointing, because they tend to mostly just taste like apple cider. The second is that I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for Jägermeister long before they got in touch with me and told me they were interested in more upscale cocktail recipes using the liqueur.
Back when I lived on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, I spent plenty of time hanging out at a local sports bar, watching NBA basketball and drinking … well, mostly vodka sodas (this was before my adventuring in cocktails began). Occasionally, though, the bar staff would insist I do a shot with them, and their shot of choice was chilled Jäger. Pretty bro-y, I know, but I’ll admit to having developed a taste for it.
So, when I heard that Jägermeister was trying to get a little classier, I figured I’d see if I could work it into something more closely resembling a classic cocktail. The result is the Jaswell, named for a local apple orchard. It’s a cider drink that doesn’t just taste like cider, which makes me happy. It’s also smooth and elegant, using the Jägermeister to add some herbal and licorice notes without overpowering the rest of the ingredients.
This is a split-base cocktail, and you may recognize its similarities to the venerable (and spectacular) Vieux Carré. This is by design; I thought the Jägermeister would make a good substitute for Benedictine, and the combination of rye and brandy lends both spiciness and subtle dried fruit notes that complement the cider well. Overall, I’m very pleased with this one, and recommend you give it a shot (no pun intended).
- 1.5 oz. Rye Whiskey (Russell’s Reserve)
- 1 oz. Brandy (E&J XO)
- .5 oz. Apple Cider
- .25 oz. Sweet Vermouth (La Quintinye)
- .25 oz. Jägermeister
- Dash Aromatic Bitters (The Bitter Truth)
- Dash Peychaud’s Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a pint glass over ice and stir thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.
Items in parentheses are what I used when making this drink, and are included as recommendations.