Why I don’t drink Jägermeister

THE face Fifi pulled when I used a syringe to squirt liquid vitamin C down her throat was a mixture of shock and disgust. Our mini-Pinscher shot me a look of pure hatred, then ran off to wash her mouth out with copious amounts of water.

Now I’ve seen that look before, but only on humans who swallow a German liqueur called Jägermeister. It’s made with 56 different herbs and spices and tastes like really nasty cough mixture. Although some claim it has many health benefits, I discovered years ago that that it gives me horrible heartburn, so I avoid it like the plague.

Round about the time that I began giving Fifi vitamin C – recommended by our vet for a gum infection – I noticed a newspaper ad for cheap ‘Jagaboms’ at a local bar. Despite being pretty savvy when it comes to alcoholic drinks, I wondered what the hell they were.

Google had the answer. ‘A Jägerbomb [note correct spelling] is usually sold with a can of Red Bull or an equivalent energy drink, poured into a pint glass and separately accompanied by Jägermeister in a shot glass. The glass of Jägermeister is then dropped into the Red Bull.’

Red Bull has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system due to its high caffeine content. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant and the combination can be very dangerous. In 2014 UK teenager Jayde Dinsdale suffered three cardiac arrests and ended up in a coma after necking several Jägerbombs.

The combo is believed to have been invented in the US around 1997, and is called a Red Bull Blaster.

Coincidentally,  I then read a report from Switzerland, where the authorities decided that the Jägermeister label – a stag with a cross between its antlers – could be regarded as ‘offensive’ to Christians, and the company was ordered not to apply the image to other products and services with which it is associated.

Incensed by this stupid ruling by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, the company challenged the ban in court and won. Judges found that the label’s religious symbolism had long been lost in the mists of time.

Now here comes the truly weird aspect of the case: the origin of the image. it was inspired by an alleged encounter between a church-dodging Belgian geezer named Hubertus (or Hubert), born around 656. One Good Friday, instead of joining others in church, Hubert a wealthy duke, went a-hunting.

As he was pursuing a magnificent stag in a forest, the animal turned to face its pursuer. Hubert was astounded at seeing a cross between its antlers – and even more so when it gave him a telling-off. In admonishing the hunter, the stag said: ‘Hubert, unless thou turnest to the Lord, and leadest a holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into hell.’

Well, this so terrified Hubertus that he went full-on godly, became a priest and was later declared the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metalworkers.

As Jägermeister was only invented in 1937, and Red Bull in 1987, Hubertus had no excuse that his hallucination was brought on by too many Jägerbombs.

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Written by

Barry Duke


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