Still best known for shots, Jägermeister is being promoted for cocktails too through the brand’s latest bartender competition. Ellie Raeside of Tonic in Edinburgh won the UK final with two drinks that mixed the German liqueur with ingredients such as tequila, vermouth, cherry shrub, lemon sorbet, pink peppercorn and chilli.
She was one of five bartenders from across the UK to reach the final of Jägermeister’s annual Meister Hunter competition – part of its ongoing on-trade activity to promote the brand for mixing. It was run as a two-day challenge with London bar Liquorette, bartending lab Crucible and gelato specialist 3Bis Gelateria.
They started on the first day at Crucible with an induction on its equipment which they then used that evening to create the first of their three drinks. They were each given £5 and five Jägermeister miniatures to use to source ingredients at Borough Market for the drink.
The following day, they had a masterclass at 3Bis in Portobello Road on how to make ice cream and sorbet. They chose one flavour of ice cream, sorbet or frozen yoghurt from the many available at the shop for using in their second drink. The cocktail had to be either a frozen cocktail, a cocktail/ice cream food pairing, or a float.
They also had access to a range of core spirits and various “out-of-the-box” ingredients including juices, fruits and herbs, representing current trend-leading flavours that would complement and amplify the 56 different herbs, blossoms, roots and fruits used to create Jägermeister.
That evening, bartenders were taken to Liquorette in Fitzrovia for the final where they had to create their frozen cocktail along with their winning cocktail from the regional heats. Finalists were judged on creativity, agility, skill and depth of flavour as well as industry and product knowledge.
Ellie’s winning cocktails included Dr Meister, which mixed the extra-spicy Jägermeister Manifest with Cinzano Rosso Vermouth and her own cherry shrub, garnished with a maraschino cherry and sage leaf.
Her ice-cool cocktail was When Life Gives You Lemons, combining Jägermeister with tequila, lemon sorbet, pink peppercorn syrup, jalapeño chilli jam and chipotle sauce, served in a Margarita glass with a lemon slice and edible glitter.
Ellie won £3,000 and becomes a member of Jägermeister’s exclusive global group of bartenders called the Hubertus Circle. She will also receive a bespoke PR programme to raise her profile.
Second place went to Andy Mil (pictured right) of London bar The Cocktail Trading Co, who won £1,000, and third place went to Benji Davies (left) of Little Mercies in London, who received £500. The other UK finalists were Hamish Smith of Jake’s Bar in Leeds and Jonny Arthur of Bramble in Edinburgh.
The competition is part of wider activity to encourage bartenders to use Jägermeister in cocktails. Its UK brand ambassador, Florian Beuren, said: “This year we have been blown away by the competitors. This competition was designed to celebrate the versatility of Jägermeister and UK cocktail culture. We wanted to really challenge bartenders by getting them thinking outside of the bar and really honing-in on their craft based on what they learned.
“Each one of them performed at such a high standard it was hard to choose a winner. We look forward to welcoming Ellie into the Hubertus Circle and continuing our relationship as there are more exciting times for the brand ahead.”
Ellie commented: “This has been an amazing experience and I can’t believe I won – I’m thrilled. I really wanted to create cocktails that I would enjoy drinking and others would like to drink too. This is only my third competition and it has been incredible. The calibre of my competitors was immense so it really means a lot to have come in first place.
“I’m looking forward to joining the Hubertus Circle as they have already been so welcoming. I am excited about working with Jägermeister and the wider team. Seeing the passion and dedication behind the brand is inspiring and I feel aligned with the company’s values and attitude so I can’t wait to get more involved.”
Dr Meister by Ellie Raeside (pictured above)
37.5ml Jägermeister Manifest
12.5ml Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
50ml Cherry shrub*
Garnish: Maraschino cherry with sage leaf as stem
No method available.
250ml Vanilla syrup
50ml Red wine
When Life Gives You Lemons by Ellie Raeside
1 scoop Lemon sorbet
12.5ml Pink peppercorn syrup
2 bar spoons Jalepeño chilli jam
1 dash Chipotle sauce
Salt rim the glass
Garnish: Lemon slice with edible glitter
No method available.