The next time you”re in the mood for a nice herbal liqueur, make sure you have a competent barkeep slinging the drinks, because it takes a lot of skill to make these drinks. Herbal liqueurs may contain dozens of different flavor elements that a master blender manipulates to achieve the desired flavor profile.
With that said, some of the most well known herbal liqueurs are of the imported variety. In the United States, the most common herbal liqueur is Jagermeister. Potent and bittersweet, Jagermeister herbal liqueur is oftentimes consumed as a shot for the brave drinking soul.
Jagermeister is so potent, in fact, that some (thanks to smart and also finicky patrons) order Jagermeister along with an energy drink, such as Red Bull. The mix is known as a Jager Bomb, as the drinks potency remains the same. However, with the addition of an energy drink, this cocktail tastes a lot like apple juice. Here is how many bartenders and you can prepare this specialty.
- 1 oz. Jagermeister
- 1 16 oz. glass of Red Bull filled roughly three quarters of the way.
Drop the shot of Jagermeister in your glass of Red Bull and drink away! Repeat if you deem necessary, but make sure take a break after each drink, as these cocktails hit fast and hard!
Other Types of Herbal Liqueurs
While Jagermeister continues to be a favorite in bars and at home, other types of herbal liqueurs are readily available and just as enjoyable. A few notable types on the list of herbal liqueurs are:
- B&B: Since many people found the original Benedictine alcohol to be a little too sweet for their tastes, the logical thing to do was to cut it down with brandy. So, a new brand was created to satisfy the taste of the consumer. B&B, of course, stands for Benedictine and brandy.
Making a similar blend to B&B on your own is simple, as all you have to do is combine equal amounts of Benedictine and brandy. Dont forget you can play with the amounts to suit your tastes, much like one would do with any mixed drink.
- Chartreuse: Chartreuse could be one of the most fascinating of all herbal liqueurs, as it has been said that there are over 125 ingredients in this concoction. Oddly enough, Chartreuse comes in two different colors, yellow and green. If youre looking for something that will make a bald man grow hair, then go green, sir. But if youre looking for something a bit less strong, but still full of flavor, yellow is a more suitable choice.
- Pimm”s No. 1: If you want to go highbrow on all your friends and pretend youre a British socialite the herbal liqueur for your cabinet is Pimms No. 1. This is the liqueur that the upper crust of British society drinks at polo matches.
Bittersweet and very potent, Pimms comes in several varieties based on gin, whiskey, rum, brandy or vodka. However, only the one based on gin is called Pimm”s No. 1. A popular way to enjoy Pimm”s is with club soda, a bit of lemon juice and a cucumber or celery garnish.
Homemade Recipe for Herbal Liqueurs
Herbal liqueurs have many ingredients, so it is difficult to make most of them at home. If, however, you are up for the challenge, star anise liqueur is a good choice.
Star Anise Herbal Liqueur
- 3 tbs. ground star anise
- 2 c. vodka
- 1 c. sugar.
- Add the ground star anise to a glass jar or bottle.
- Pour in 2 cups of vodka (or alcohol with neutral flavor that is 40 percent alcohol by volume).
- Set the jar aside and let it sit for 2 weeks.
- After 2 weeks, strain the mixture to remove the star anise grounds.
- Filter again into a clean bottle using a coffee filter
- Add 1 cup of sugar and gently stir or shake the bottle until the sugar has dissolved.
Alternatively, you can make a simple syrup by boiling the sugar in half a cup of water. This simple syrup can then be added to the vodka mixture instead of just plain sugar. This method will result in a better consistency. Keep in mind also that you can add more alcohol or sugar to adjust the flavor.