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Pete's Place

8330 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa

Jägermeister and root beer schnapps...two not-so-great tastes that shouldn’t taste great together. But on any given Sunday during football season…

And according to Matt Lowery, bartender at Pete’s Place, that’s how it started — with a football game on the TV at Pete’s about four years ago.

“After being creative and after mixing a few things up, we came up with it,” he tells me. “We were watching a Charger game one night here at Pete’s Place, and we were watching Shawne Merriman, who used to play with them [2005–2010]. His nickname, ‘Lights Out,’ kind of became the name for the shot.”

Perhaps what’s most amazing about Lights Out (the drink, not the player) is the fact that anyone would think to try it. But according to Lowery, it doesn’t take long before curiosity gets the better of a customer.

“People are genuinely amazed at how it tastes when they know we’re using Jäger,” he says. “Customers see us making it behind the bar and when we explain it they give us this sour look and say, ‘Huh?’ You see it all the time, but then people try it and say, ‘Wow, it really is good.’”

The properly made Lights Out, Lowery says, should taste like root beer — but not the kind you get in a bottle.

“You really can’t taste the Jägermeister — that’s the thing about it,” he says. “Did you ever have one of those root-beer-flavored hard candies shaped like a beer barrel? It tastes just like that.”

Kitchen Proof: Lowery says, “You have to like root beer, of course,” to enjoy the Lights Out. This is true. But it’s the Lights Out wattage — a few shots deep you feel it — that sheds new light on a familiar flavor.

Matt Lowery

Matt Lowery

In cocktail shaker, pour:

  • 1 oz. Jägermeister
  • 1/2 oz. root beer schnapps
  • 1 splash 7-Up
  • 1 splash soda water

Shake ingredients, strain into rock glass, and repeat as necessary as you watch for the lamps to start dimming.

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