What is Malort?

The bitter liqueur Malört has long been a favorite in Chicago. Carl Jeppson, a Swedish immigrant who began making the liquor in Chicago in the 1930s, popularized the Swedish-style liqueur, which is produced from wormwood and other herbs. Malört has a reputation for being an acquired taste due to its harsh and bitter flavor, despite being widely consumed throughout the city.

The most well-known Malört brand is Jeppson’s, which has been created by the Carl Jeppson Company for many years. But in 2018, Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood’s CH Distillery purchased the brand.

In Chicago, the booze has developed a cult following, and many pubs now offer Malört shots as a tradition for both locals and visitors.

Some people adore the flavor of Malört, while others find it disgusting. Despite the conflicting reviews, Malört is still a staple of Chicago’s drinking scene. It has been characterized as tasting like “cigarettes and rubbing alcohol” or “a combination of gasoline and grapefruit juice.”

History of Malort

Malort is a Swedish-style schnapps that has become a beloved tradition in Chicago.

The liquor is distilled with the flavor of wormwood, which gives it a distinctively bitter taste. The word “malort” is Swedish for wormwood, and the drink was first used as a medicine in the Middle Ages.

Malort made its way to Chicago by way of Swedish immigrant Carl Jeppson, who first distilled and popularized the liquor in the 1930s. Jeppson had been making the drink for years before he decided to start selling it commercially. He founded the Carl Jeppson Company in Chicago, which produced and distributed the liquor for many years.

During Prohibition, malort was marketed as a medicinal product that could cure a variety of ailments. It was sold door-to-door by salespeople who claimed that it could cure everything from the common cold to cancer. After Prohibition ended, malort became a popular drink in bars throughout Chicago.

In the 1970s, the Carl Jeppson Company was sold to George Brode, who continued to produce and distribute malort. The company changed hands again in the 1990s, when it was purchased by Patricia Gabelick.

In 2018, the Carl Jeppson Company sold the malort brand to CH Distillery of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. The sale was prompted by the retirement of the company’s last employee. Today, malort is still a popular drink in bars throughout Chicago, and it has also gained a following in other parts of the country, including Florida and Kentucky.

What is Malort?

Malort, also known as Jeppson’s Malört, is a bitter liqueur that has become a cultural icon of Chicago.

It is made from wormwood and other unusual botanicals, including grapefruit peel, and has a notoriously strong and bitter flavor. Malort is typically consumed as a shot, although it can also be used in cocktails.

The history of Malort dates back to the 1930s when Carl Jeppson, a Swedish immigrant, began distilling the liqueur in Chicago. Jeppson’s Malört was initially marketed as a medicinal tonic, but it soon gained a reputation for its unique flavor and became a popular after-dinner drink.

Malort has a full-bodied flavor that is difficult to describe. Some people compare it to gasoline or turpentine, while others describe it as tasting like grapefruit peel or burnt rubber. Despite its challenging taste, Malort has a loyal following among Chicagoans who consider it a rite of passage for anyone visiting the city.

While Malort is not for everyone, it is worth trying at least once for its unusual flavor profile. It is a bold and distinctive liqueur that has become a part of Chicago’s cultural identity.

The Malort Experience

Malort is a unique spirit that is known for its extremely bitter taste. The first sip of Malort can be a shock to the system for those who are not used to its intense flavor.

The bitterness of Malort is often compared to a variety of unpleasant tastes, including ash, pencil shavings, gasoline, turpentine, nail polish remover, burning garbage, burnt rubber, and even the Chicago Handshake.

One of the most common reactions to Malort is the “Malört Face.” This is when the drinker’s face contorts in a way that shows their distaste for the spirit. The bitterness of Malort can be overwhelming for some, but for others, it is an acquired taste that they have come to enjoy.

Despite its reputation for being a difficult spirit to drink, there are a few ways to make Malort more palatable. One popular way to drink Malort is to mix it with other spirits or mixers. For example, some people mix Malort with tonic water or sugar cubes to help cut the bitterness.

Malort is often associated with Chicago, where it has become a staple of the local drinking culture. The drink is sometimes referred to as the “Chicago handshake” because it is often given as a gesture of goodwill between friends.

Malort Culture

Malort is not just a drink, it’s a cultural phenomenon in Chicago.

The bitter liquor has become a rite of passage for many Chicagoans, and it has a long tradition in the city. Jeppson’s Malort is the most famous brand of bitter liquor, and it has become synonymous with Chicago.

The Chicago flag is often associated with Malort, and many bars and restaurants in the city proudly display the flag alongside a bottle of Malort. The Nisei Lounge in Wrigleyville is one such bar, and it has become a popular destination for Malort lovers. The bar even has a Malort Club, where members can earn rewards for drinking the bitter liquor.

Drinking Malort has become a badge of honor for many Chicagoans, and fan slogans such as “Malort: Kick your mouth in the balls!” have become popular. Bartenders in the city have become experts at serving the drink, and many have developed their own unique ways of serving it.

Drinking Malort is often a social activity, and many Chicagoans have their own drinking buddies with whom they share the experience. The bitter taste of the liquor is not for everyone, but for those who love it, it has become a beloved tradition.

Malort has its roots in Sweden, where it is known as Bäsk Brännvin. The liquor was brought to the United States by Carl Jeppson in the early 20th century, and it has been a staple in Chicago ever since. The bitter taste of Malort is due to the wormwood used in its production, and it has been described as tasting like “burnt rubber” or “a grapefruit wrapped in a dirty sock.

Malort has even become a part of popular culture, with comedian Jason Sudeikis referencing it in his Netflix series “Ted Lasso.” The bitter liquor has become a symbol of Chicago’s unique culture, and it has become a must-try for anyone visiting the city.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Rocco

Rocco is a Florida State University alumnus with years of bartending and hospitality experience. From slinging hundreds of vodka sodas a night in jam-packed college bars to serving carefully crafted cocktails in upscale restaurants, there’s not much he hasn’t done behind a bar. Now, Rocco shares his knowledge and passion for all things alcohol-related here on My Bartender for bibulous readers everywhere to enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Crystal Glasses Baccarat

10 Most Popular Old Fashioned Glasses

assorted craft beers in a flight with peanuts and pretzels in the background

What is Craft Beer: A Comprehensive Guide