Close-up magic and live-music – both performances requiring dedication, inventiveness, a steady hand, and a knowledge of what the audience wants. Not dissimilar to what it takes to be a ace bartender, in fact.

All featured heavily in the third leg of the #JagerRoadTrip, which sees members of the Hubertus Circle – a global initiative from Jägermeister to build a community of passionate and curious bartenders with a love for the German liqueur – bringing their own cocktail menus to individual cities around the UK. Taking place in Manchester’s musical hot-spot MOJO, the menu in question, created by Hubertus Circle member Sophie Mackay, was all about showcasing classic cocktails with a Jäger twist – with some magical flair to boot.

“The exciting thing about Jägermeister is its versatility,” says Sophie. “There are so many interesting botanicals that you can really play around with.” So the Ginger Gypsy Sour is an inventive twist on the classic, allowing this fiery botanical to take the forefront, while the Madhatten is a short and punchy drink with a lingering taste of sweet aniseed. Coffee lovers can’t go wrong with the Resurrection Martini (as tasty as any Espresso Martini you’l find gracing a bar), and any nay-sayers who think Jägermeister doesn’t pair well with milk – think again. The White & Black is a herbalicious, liquorice-laced take on a White Russian.  All given that extra essence of illusion with magic-inspired garnishes.

“The clever thing that Sophie’s done is make these cocktails accessible to people who might not usually know what kind of Jäger drink to go for,” says Florian Beuren, Jägermeister UK Brand Ambassador. ‘The Madmatten might not actually taste like a Manhattan, but people who know they want a short, strong cocktail with a kick are in safe hands ordering this. Sophie created some wonderful great ‘gateway’ drinks.’

And the audience were also dazzled and dazed (in a good way) by the combination of live magic and a superb two-piece band playing them into the night. But perhaps one of the most impressive things about the evening was that almost 100 Jägermeister cocktails were sold – read cocktails, not shots or bombs. It seems when people have the choice of whether to stick or twist, they’re going with the twist.

By Rebecca Milford 

 #jagerroadtrip

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