Chicago is known for many things and while it is the home of the Cubs, Bears and Oprah, it is increasingly become the hotspot for mixologists because of its new Malort cocktail.
Malort is a distilled beverage that is concocted by the Carl Jeppson Company of Chicago. It is a brand of bask brannvin and is the only brand of bask made in the United States. Malort is Swedish for “wormwood” which is the key ingredient in bask brannvin. The liquor is often displeasing to those who try it for the first time as it is intended to have a strong and sharp taste.
In over 60 years of American distribution, suppliers found that that only 1 out of 49 men will drink Jeppson Malort.
With that being said, Malort is now being used to create some of the tastiest mixed drinks around. Check out how some of these Chicago bars are using it:
Violet Hour: Violet Hour is currently working with Letherbee Distillers to create its own in-house Malort. The new brand will be poured exclusively at Violet Hour and will not be sold to outside customers. The rumor is that the Violet version will be infused with elderflower, grapefruit peel, juniper and star anise.
Trencherman: Believe it or not, Trencherman has Malort on tap. If that sounds too intimidating for you, they also serve a special cocktail called “The Desperate Viper” which is a combination of gin, Lillet Blanc and Jeppson’s Malort.
The Drawing Room: The Drawing Room has a Malort cocktail that is known as the “Dirty Old Man,” named after the column written by journalist Charles Bukowski. The drink combines Malort, Drambuie, orange juice, lemon juice, honey syrup and basil leaves.
Bar DeVille: Bar DeVille gives you a hard sell… literally. This autumn cocktail combines Malort, Beefeater Gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, grapefruit peel and lemon juice. It’s said to be the perfect drink for the fall.
The Whistler: Features a Malort drink with apple brandy, cinnamon syrup, lemon and egg white called the Daley Sour.