Jagertee (“hunter’s tea”) is an Austrian drink made with inländer rum and tea, as well as a variety of other herbs, roots, spices and peels. Similarly to a Scottish toddy, it is often served hot with water as a winter warmer, although it also works well when partnered with warm apple juice.
Stroh Jagertee is bottled at two different strengths: 40% ABV and 60% ABV. As the flavours are heavily concentrated, it is typical to dilute the spirit. As I’ve mentioned, hot water is often used in the cooler months, with a typical ratio being 1 part Jagertee to 3 parts water; but what about drinking Jagertee in the summer as a cool beverage?
This was the question posed to me by one of the agents that represent Stroh in Britain. When the product was being described to me, its similarity to fruit cup was immediately apparent and, as such, some experimentation soon took place. But what were the best mixers to use to turn Jagertee from a Winter Warmer into a Summer Cooler?
A 2:1 ratio was way, way too strong, whereas a 4:1 or 5:1 was much better, making a refreshing drink with a dry finish. The syrupy Jagertee needs some fruit to freshen it up; this was improved by a slice of lemon.
A sweet, syrupy, herbal start, followed by the dryness of the tonic; well-balanced, but still quite flavourful. The lemon added some freshness to the finish, lifting it. Lots of ice essential to ensure that it has a crispness – warm, the initial sweetness would be too much, but ice-cold, it was delicious.
With no extra sweetness, this worked very well and was crisp & very refreshing; using plenty of ice and chilled water is the key.
3) Ginger Ale
For this drink, I used a 5:1 ratio. I liked how the ginger worked alongside the herbal notes of the spirit and how the cinnamon came through more strongly. There was quite a nice balance to this drink, which means that it works well with a variety of garnishes/fruits, or even no garnish.
This also worked well at a 5:1 ratio; it was still possible to taste the herbal elements, but they were not too overpowering and the lemonade didn’t make the drink too sweet. Once more, a bit of citrus fruit livens up the drink.
This makes a wonderfully cooling drink with ice and I found that a squeeze of the fresh lemon before adding it as a garnish really improved it. The Stroh comes through more in this drink, making it more crisp, light, fresh and refreshing. There was a touch of sherbet to it. This might also work well with a couple of slices of cucumber, making more of a fruit cup kind of drink.
5) Orange Gin
This was really quite floral, but was probably a bit too sickly for my liking. It reminded Mrs. B of Galliano and orange juice.
This had a sweet start that quickly faded into more complex, herbal, and medicinal notes, all followed by a slightly bitter finish. All of the flavours go together very well, resulting in a smooth drink, and the lemon stops it from becoming too sweet. This was very enjoyable to drink and would be particularly good in summer, making a more interesting cola drink, where the medicinal notes of the Coke are highlighted; more old-school! You could also easily drink quite a lot of it, but not by gulping it down, as there’s substantial flavour there – it had a good balance overall.
7) Cranberry Juice
This was an odd one and we were split as to whether we like it or not. The dry, tart cranberry juice contrasts with the sweeter Jagertee. I think this will appeal to some but not others.
8) Bitter Lemon
This was pretty good; the flavour of the Jagertee is prominent, but there was also some lively lemon and a dry, bitter finish from the mixer. This lengthens the Jagertee in a crisp, refreshing way.
9) Iced Tea
Quite pleasant, but maybe a touch on the sweet side; using a homemade version of iced tea with less sugar would be better. As long as the iced tea is not too sweet, this works wonders. Quite smooth, too.
10) Dr Pepper
Pretty tasty; reminded me of an alcoholic, slightly more herbal, root beer. Very easy to drink, there was no need for a garnish, just lots of ice.
I set out researching the article with two question in mind:
1) Can you make a summery drink using Stroh Jagertee as a base?
2) What is the best and the simplest way to do this?
I was pleased that many of the mixers that I tried worked well with Stroh Jagertee. The issues that some of the drinks had, for example being too sweet, can easily be resolved by a dash of lemon or lime juice.
The best mixers were Lemonade, Bitter Lemon and Chilled Water.
Stroh Jagertee is available for around £19 for 50cl from TheDrinkShop.com