I don’t like Jägermeister. I hate the taste of anise, the thick dark color of the stuff, the way a Redbull chaser has zero effect on the whole terrible thing. So when I got an email a few weeks ago asking if I wanted to be the media judge for a Jäger cocktail competition, I almost immediately said, “No, thank you.” But then I thought that my distaste for the beverage may make me the perfect judge — if drinks didn’t taste horrible, then they’d totally win, right? Come competition time I had a problem I didn’t expect: I liked all of the cocktails made with Jäger. Read on to see where you can get some of these bevs, and how you can whip some up at home.

The competition, held by Star of the Bar, a National Restaurant Association group, features a different spirit every year. Last year’s, for example, was Casamigos Tequila, so competitors were required to make cocktails with that spirit. Every year regional winners head to Chicago to compete for the ultimate title of Star of the Bar, with this year’s competition in May.

Bar Mash‘s Teddy Nixon took home the title in Charleston’s competition, with his drink, Day Tripper. The refreshing cocktail is made with house-toasted coconut rum, pineapple juice, Jäger (of course), lime, orgeat, Peychaud’s bitters, and one dropper of absinthe. It’s delicious. I mean, it won.

The second place award went to Joy Richard, also a Bar Mash bartender (I swear it wasn’t rigged). Her drink, Enjoy the Silence, is made with Jäger, Giffard Banane du Barsil, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and seven dashes of Angostura bitters. And she topped it with a tropical flower, so presentation was on point. 

I would list all of the cocktails here, because I’m still flabbergasted that they all tasted so damn decent, but instead I’ll describe a couple I think would be super easy to make at home.

The Rarebit’s Alan Kennedy concocted The Big Adventure. The recipe is:
.5 oz. Jägermeister
1 oz. Gin
4 oz. coconut water
.25 oz. condensed milk
.25 oz. lime juice 

Sound good? It looks good too. You pour the Jäger on top of the drink at the end. Then again, .5 oz. of the strong stuff may be why this tastes so good …

The Spectator Hotel & Bar’s Steven Huddleston whipped up a Parks & Recreation:
2 oz. Elijah Craig
.75 oz. Jägermeister
.5 oz. creme Yvette
.5 oz. black tea syrup (can make with Charleston Tea Plantation tea).

Three cheers for anyone making me like Jäger.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.