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What Does Malort Taste Like? An Exploration of Chicago’s Most Infamous Spirit

Chicago has no shortage of unusual delicacies.

From the deep-dish pizza to the Chicago-style hot dog, the Windy City boasts a diverse culinary scene.

But there’s one Chicago delicacy that locals and visitors alike either love or hate – Malort.

Malort is a wormwood-based spirit that has been a staple in Chicago for over a century.

It is notorious for its extremely bitter taste that some people claim is “worse than gasoline.

But what exactly does Malort taste like?

Malort is an extremely bitter spirit that tastes like a combination of gasoline and black licorice. It has a sharp, lingering aftertaste that leaves the mouth feeling numb.

What is Malort?

Malort is a spirit that originates from Sweden.

It was first produced by Carl Jeppson in 1931 in Chicago.

It is made from a combination of wormwood and other aromatic roots and herbs.

Malort has a long and storied history in Chicago.

It has been a favorite of Chicagoans for over a century, with fans including Al Capone and Steve Goodman.

But for many people, Malort is an acquired taste.

In fact, Malort is so strongly associated with Chicago that some people call it the city’s official unofficial drink.

What Does Malort Taste Like?

The taste of Malort is notoriously difficult to describe. Some say it’s like drinking gasoline, while others describe it as “licking a campfire.” But in general, Malort has an extremely bitter taste that can be overwhelming for some people.

The bitterness comes from the wormwood used in the production of Malort.

This plant is also used in the production of absinthe and is known for its bitter flavor.

In addition to the bitterness, Malort has a somewhat medicinal taste, with hints of black licorice.

The flavor is intense and sharp, with a lingering aftertaste that can leave the mouth feeling numb.

Overall, Malort is not a spirit for the faint of heart.

But for those who enjoy bitter flavors, it can be a unique and enjoyable experience.

How to Drink Malort

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, Malort makes an excellent addition to a Bloody Mary, adding a strong herbal flavor to the classic cocktail.

Another common way to drink Malort is to chase it with a beer.

This can help to minimize the bitterness and ease the shock of the initial taste.

Some people even mix Malort with sweet liqueurs or syrups to create a more balanced flavor.

But for purists, the best way to drink Malort is straight, in small sips.

This allows you to savor the intense flavor without overwhelming your taste buds.

The History of Malort

Malort has a long and colorful history in Chicago.

The spirit was first introduced to the city by Carl Jeppson, a Swedish immigrant who settled in Chicago in the early 1900s.

Initially, Malort was marketed as a “medicinal” spirit, believed to help with indigestion and other ailments.

During Prohibition, Malort became a popular bootleg spirit among Chicagoans, who appreciated its intense flavor.

After Prohibition ended, Malort continued to be popular among Chicagoans but struggled to gain a national following.

Despite this, Malort has remained a staple in Chicago, with many bars and restaurants offering it as a unique local specialty.

The Future of Malort

Despite its niche appeal, Malort has gained somewhat of a cult following in recent years.

This can be attributed in part to the rise of “bitter” flavors in the cocktail world.

As more and more people become interested in strong, herbal flavors, Malort has gained a certain cachet among cocktail enthusiasts.

In addition, Malort has been embraced by the local Chicago community, who see it as a symbol of the city’s unique character and history.

As such, it seems likely that Malort will continue to be a fixture of the Chicago bar scene for years to come.


Malort may not be a drink for everyone, but for those who enjoy bitter and herbal flavors, it can be a unique and enjoyable experience.

The spirit’s intense flavor and history have made it a beloved local specialty in Chicago.

While the taste of Malort is difficult to describe, it is definitely a drink worth trying at least once.

For those who find the flavor too intense, there are a few ways to make Malort more palatable, such as mixing it with other spirits or chasing it with a beer.

Ultimately, whether you love or hate Malort, there’s no denying that this unusual spirit is a true Chicago icon.

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.