The Brand Ambassador has become a familiar fixture on the spirits circuit and Willy Shine is well known for his pivotal role for many brands.
Currently, with a bit of tongue-in-cheek verve, he has been dubbed Brand Meister for Jägermeister. Once only known as a party drink, Jäger now seeks the recognition it deserves as an elegant digestif/bitter liqueur. Shine makes it clear that he is on a mission when he says, “My goal is to help change perception of the brand amongst my peers and colleagues out there on the front lines. Jägermeister is more than just a shot brand; it is versatile and can be incorporated into multiple styles of cocktails as well.”
Shine’s role includes a focus on brand education. Several trips to Germany with time spent at the company headquarters have schooled him in Jägermeister’s heritage, process, and character. He has also been tasked with the more business-oriented job of working with the PR team and coordinating brand-building educational promotions across the country. Bottom line: The word is out. Jäger is a vital ingredient in today’s cocktail culture.
Willy’s 411 on the brand:
“We source 56 of the best herbs, blossoms, roots and fruits from around the world. We macerate these ingredients in four different macerates for 30-40 days in water and alcohol. We then combine the macerates and let it rest in German oak wood barrels for one year. Germany creates amazing quality products like beautiful wines, beer and eau de vies. Jägermeister is a product of that German quality with over 383 quality checks throughout the process of making it.”
Willy’s Words to the Community:
“Jägermeister is a family owned Herbal liqueur from Germany that still produces the same recipe since its inception in 1934. Jägermeister could have easily done some things to cut corners and speed up the process over the years yet they have stuck to their heritage and still source the best quality ingredients from around the world and are in charge of its process from start to finish.”
“Jägermeister is highly mixable, very versatile and mixes very well with others. Bartenders are surprised to learn its true flavor profile when tasting it at room temperature. All those beautiful baking spices, coffee notes, ginger, and anise really open up when tasting room temp. Craft bartenders will always taste their spirits at room temperature in order to truly get to know the brand so he or she can create the best cocktail possible to showcase the brand and not hide it but integrate it. The more you learn to taste and work on flavor profiles and how they work together the better, more unique cocktails you will make once you have learned your classic foundational building block cocktails.”
Willy’s Favorite Ways to Use Jägermeister:
Instead of using the usual Campari in this Italian classic, Shine puts Jägermeister front and center, suing its herbal profile as the foil for the gin and vermouth.
- 1 1/2 parts Jägermeister
- 1 1/2 parts London Dry Gin
- 1 1/2 parts Italian Sweet Vermouth
Garnish: Lemon oil and peel
Preparation: Combine in mixing glass, add ice and stir to proper temperature, strain into frozen coupe garnish and serve.
Jägermeister Old Fashioned
The traditional Old Fashioned calls for whiskey of some kind. While Jägermeister isn’t a whiskey of course, it offers up its own concert of flavors that shine when combined with a brown spirit. Add a bit of maple syrup and chocolate bitters and you have a savory-sweet sipper.
- 1 part Jägermeister
- 1 part Bourbon
- 1/4 part maple syrup
- 1 dash Chocolate bitters
Garnish: Orange oil and peel
Preparation: Combine in mixing glass, add ice and stir to proper temperature, strain into frozen rocks glass garnish and serve.
In a twist similar to the OId Fashioned, Jägermeister marries with in equal parts with whiskey in a Manhattan, adding its herbal-spicy notes to this classic up drink.
- 1 part Jägermeister
- 1 part Rye or Bourbon Whiskey
- 1 part Italian Sweet Vermouth
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
- 1 dash Orange Bitters
Garnish: Orange oil and peel and Brandied Cherry (Filthy or Luxardo)
Preparation: Combine in mixing glass, add ice and stir to proper temperature, strain into frozen coupe, garnish and serve.