This is another crazy thing I saw, well, heard, in a bar.
Everybody knows that I’m a fan of Jagermeister. As a drinker, I enjoyed drinking it, and as a bartender I enjoy serving it. I believe that, of the 100 or so wines, beers, and liquors I can dispense at the bar, Jagermeister has a buzz like no other.
When German Kurt Mast first distilled the liquor–it was introduced in 1935–it is said that he was creating a liquor for cold hunting mornings, and the name literally translates to English as “hunting master.” That is going to be important to note a bit further down this line.
At the bar of a tender who manages well his or her charges consumptions and tells, Jager can be an excellent asset. When dispensed cautiously, Jager helps to create a festive atmosphere. The buzz it provides is like no other that I’ve encountered, that’s probably due to the 56 herbs, fruits, roots, and spices (Apparently, Mast was just a skosh less willing to commit than those folks over there at Heinz), which include citrus peel, ginger, and ginseng. “Heck, this stuff doesn’t just get you drunk, but it’s good for you too!”) In fact, this liquor that has become an American party drink is actually used by Germans as an after dinner digestive aid.
But most of that is neither here nor there. What matters is that I like to sell the stuff, and I probably mention it no less than ten times every shift. I do so facetiously; an older couple has just finished their wine and salmon, and I’ll say something to the effect of “Anything else, folks? Dessert? Coffee? Jager?” With the odds of actually selling the stuff as low as they are in my bar, the mention of it is more of my comedy schtick for the bar than an attempt to sell anything. It is essentially a preposterous notion in most cases.
Such was the case here. Brian and Sandy Kell, good friends of the bar, were finishing up one evening, and I gave them the options: “Another round? Dessert? A couple shots of Jager?”
And that is when she spoke. She was sitting to Brian’s right; as far as I know, I’d never seen her before, nor have I since. Still, I just love the guts out of her.
“Jaegermeister?!” she said, fearful like, as if I’d said “Freddy Krueger,” and Freddy was real and she knew him. I swear she even gave a little shiver. “You don’t want to drink that stuff; it’s got deer’s blood in it.” (It doesn’t, actually, despite that often spoken notion.)
The three of us made our small wonders at the wisdom she was imparting. (A good bartender never points out his or her guests’ incorrect statements or beliefs; it’s bad business, not to mention that it’s just a rude social habit. If it’s me, and you’re my friend, however, I might tee you up a bit.)
So the three of us are going on with statements like “Oh, really?” and “You don’t say,” when she says something to the effect of “Yeah, the English translation of Jagermeister is ‘blood of the beast.'”
At that, “Oh, really” and “You don’t say” stepped it up to “Wow” and “That’s interesting to know.”
That’s when I looked at her and said, “I never knew that,” and then she said the thing that makes me love her the way I do. And it’s not so much what she said, but how she said it, haughty and elevated with a dollop of “Hmmph.” She looked at me and said, “I used to date this German dude.”
Apparently his English wasn’t too good. Bonus! More for me!