If you’re from Chicago, then you have heard of, and have probably tried, Malört. Indeed it is something that many people from outside Chicagoland have never heard of because, despite its Swedish name, is a Chicago liquor. Although, it is based on the Swedish bäsk brännvin that was brought to Chicago by Carl Jeppson. Jeppson’s Malört, produced in Chicago, was named after Carl who was a Swedish immigrant that popularized the drink in the area.
Malört is Swedish for wormwood, which is a type of schnapps and the key ingredient in Malört, giving it its divisive flavor. Some people love it and others don’t, but it is thoroughly Chicagoan. The Jeppson’s label has a Chicago flag with only three stars because it predates the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition, which gave the flag its fourth star; and 90 percent of Jeppson’s is produced and consumed in Cook County. While most of the country misses the boat, Chicago mixologists and restaurateurs have been incorporating Malört into their cocktail recipes. Creating delicious Malört cocktails is the best way to enjoy hints of this unique local brew (or distillation, as it were) while tempering some of flavor.
To get you started on your love affair with Malört, we have two Malört cocktail recipes that are full of citrus flavor - perfect for winter and the a warm summer barbeque. These recipes are for the home-trained mixologists-at-heart, and more remedial starters - something for everyone to try Malört.
Swedish Seed(by Kimpton Hotels)
1 oz. Malört
1 oz. root liqueur
1 egg white
¾ oz. lemon juice
1 ½ oz. brown sugar honey syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1.Combine the Malört, root liqueur, and egg white in a shaker (or in a class with another glass turned over, rim to rim) and shake well.
2.Add the lemon juice, brown sugar honey syrup, and Angostura bitters to the shaker and add a large scoop of ice.
3.Shake well again and strain pour into a cocktail coupe glass.
4.Garnish with fresh orange peel zest.
Bitter End Cocktail (by DieticianDebbie.com)
3 oz. Malört
3 oz. grapefruit juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
16.9 oz. can Stiegl Radler
1.Fill the serving glasses half way with ice cubes.
2.Combine the Malört and grapefruit juice in a shaker and shake well.
3.Pour the mixture into your prepped glasses, and top with Radler and serve.