When you think of Jägermeister, fine dining and craft cocktails usually aren’t the first things that come to mind. Most people in the U.S. associate the German liqueur with shots at the bar and nothing more. Celebrity chef Chris Santos, owner of The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex on New York’s Lower East Side is trying to change that.
Santos, who is also a judge on the reality cooking show Chopped, created a Jägermeister dinner on May 29 at Beauty & Essex. The event was part of an effort to help consumers “experience Jägermeister in a new and unique way,” according to Amanda Blanco, vice president of marketing for Jagermeister at Sidney Frank Importing Company.
The many courses served included Jägermeister-kissed chicken skewers with warm tortillas. “The chicken had Jägermeister in the brine and in the marinade to bring out the orange flavor,” Santos said. Baby back ribs were coated in a black cherry and Jägermeister sauce, while the grilled pork tenderloin was glazed with a Jägermeister caramel sauce.
The ultimate charred Jägermeister burger had three doses of the brown liqueur, Santos noted: in the burger mix, in the special sauce and in the carmelized onion and bacon jam served with it. This course was paired with an ice-cold shot of Jägermeister and a Brooklyn lager.
What’s with Santos’ obsession with Jager? He loves it, and wants to help spread the word that the 78-year-old spirit is about much more than shooters. Some consumers may be skeptical, but the 56 herbs, blossoms, roots and fruits that go into the secret recipe for Jägermeister work well with a number of dishes, not to mention in cocktails.
On that front, Sydney Frank’s mixologist Todd Richman has developed several Jägermeister drinks that were served at the dinner. These included The Beauty and the Stag (Jägermeister, lemon nectar, fresh lemon, sparkling raspberry lemonade) and the Beautiful Blue Buck (Jägermeister, blueberry preserves, fresh lime and ginger beer, served up in a Martini glass).
The evening’s final meat course was a bone-in ribeye steak accented with a Jägermeister-roasted garlic butter and Jägermeister balsamic glaze. This was paired with the SB Smash cocktail, made with Jägermeister, sour cherry, fresh lemon and mint.
It sounds like it could be a Jager overload, but it all worked. The creativity and restraint shown by Santos—and Richman–in developing these recipes will no doubt help give many people a new appreciation for the venerable herbal liqueur.