Ah, a quintessential British picnic – the natural culmination of a road trip. Pulling into a grassy verge and pulling out a blanket and unpacking a hamper full of cucumber sandwiches, fairy cakes and a flask with something to drink. Nothing unfamiliar about that scenario maybe, only this time the ‘grassy verge’ is a cool hidden bar in Bristol, and as well as the hamper, there are a trio of quirky Jägermeister cocktails to tuck into.
With a squeal of brakes and cloud of dust, the #JagerRoadTrip arrived for the fifth and final time this year at Her Majesty’s Secret Service in Bristol where the theme was ‘Outside Comes Inside.’ With walls covered in creepers and dangling ‘fruit’ of mini Jager bottles, plus fronds of plants, faux grass and picnic accoutrements, it certainly had a ‘Famous Five Go Boozing’ appeal, but what was the Jägermeister link?
“When talking to Florian Beuren [UK Brand Ambassador] about the ethos of Jägermeister, it’s obvious that the botanicals and foraging are at the core of the drink”, says Ben, owner of HMSS Bristol. “We wanted to do something a little different and add some fun – bringing our own tongue-in-cheek twist to the foraging concept. So the outside-comes-inside idea was born.”
Instagrammable cocktails are part and parcel of the HMSS Bristol charm, so the set-up couldn’t have been more perfect. We sipped The Picnic Punch from a wellington boot; delved into the Fairy Cake Flip (a cupcake with meringue topping that soaked up the mixture of Jagermeister, salted chestnut & cacao and spiced cupcake syrup), and sampled the delicious Ramblin’ Rascal. This tropical tipple was a mix of Jägermeister Spice, lychee wine, cranberry and white peach, and refreshing mint leaves – all served up in a thermos flask. There was something that felt both nostalgic and slightly naughty about pouring the boozy beverage into our thermos lid and sipping away, “And that’s what we want,” says Ben. “For our cocktails to conjure emotions and moments, as well as tasting and looking great.’”
“What the guys have done here is super,” Florian agrees. “There’s a guest cocktail menu for Jägermeister, but they’re not forcing customers to order from it. People choose from it because they think the drinks look and sound appealing, and they might not even realise it’s a ‘Jager cocktail.’ So they go somewhere else and request something similar – and that’s how to get the spirit out there. It’s the way to start a trend.”
And it’s certainly a trend Bristol have taken to their hearts, with a packed bar full of welly-sipping, cupcake-quaffing and thermos-swigging cocktail lovers. Who knows if they came for the Jägermeister – they certainly stayed for it, and it was happy-campers all round.