When in Chicago, drink like a real Chicagoan and toss back some Malört! Malört is one of those truly regional spirits available only in Chicago. A very bitter spirit made from wormwood, Malört was originally produced in Chicago by Swedish immigrants (one of which was the Jeppson behind Jeppson’s Malört Liquor) that has since seen 100% of production shifted to Florida. Fortunately for Chicago, none of the Malört gets sold in the Florida area, reserving it for the exclusive consumption of Chicagoland.
Most people tend to find Malört somewhat unpleasent. Only 70 proof, it has an inense herbal flavor with stong hints of grapefruit. While most often taken as a shot, more and more local Chicago mixologists are incorporating it into some fine cocktails. That’s all well and good, but to me, Malört was meant to be shot. The first time, it may be a little bitter, but once you get to know it, it becomes quite enjoyable.
I like Malört. There, I said it. A lot of folks won’t agree with me, however there is a definite time and place for this stuff. When you’re in Chicago, you can pick up a bottle at Binny’s for only $20, so why not give it a try?