Malört – The Most Disgusting Liquor of All Time

Ever enjoy the ritual of absinthe tasting? You combine sugar cubes, fire, and ice water to make the licorice-flavored beverage palatable. What if absinthe lacked any of these interesting additives? You would be left with malört — a harsh, extremely unpalatable beverage with an hour-long bitter aftertaste.

Despite its revolting taste, malört enjoys a cult following. How does the beverage endure to this day?

It came from … Sweden!
Malört is a variation of the Swedish liquor brännvin. Brännvin is a clear, 70-80 proof unflavored beverage made from potatoes or grain — sort of like slightly diluted vodka or unflavored schnapps. Malört gives drinkers the honor of sending their taste buds to Sweden, but with wormwood as carry on luggage.

The wormwood infused form of brännvin is known for it’s absurd mix of flavor combinations. Malört enters with a citrous taste and exits with the opposite – a lingering bitterness. Carl Jeppson, a Swedish immigrant, is responsible for bringing malört to the United States, and particularly, the city of Chicago, where the drink has its largest following.