Malört Is Coming to Ohio

You made a face just reading that sentence

You can blame or thank Heidelberg Distributing, depending on your personal opinion, for the imminent arrival of cult favorite Jeppson's Malört to Ohio.

The distiller on Monday announced it's struck a deal with the company to bring the, uh, unique spirit to the Buckeye State.
Jeppson’s Malört was founded and is still distilled in Chicago, and if you have friends or family from or in Illinois, you've probably been prodded with a shot as a joke or earnestly or as an earnest joke. It has a particular taste, which most people describe as particularly bad, and which gave rise to the #malortface hashtag.

On the Malört website, the product is described like so: “Jeppson’s Malört is Chicago’s local beskbrännvin — a style of bitter, wormwood-based, Swedish schnapps. First developed during medieval times for its supposed medicinal benefits, it’s traditionally associated with the farms of Skåne, in Sweden, where wormwood grows wild. In the early 1900s, it was the most ubiquitous drink in Sweden and accompanied the nearly 1 million Swedes who immigrated to the U.S. during that period. One of those immigrants was a man from Ystad, Skåne named Carl Jeppson.”

As a writer for Scene's sister paper in St. Louis once described the taste:

The shot is often given descriptions like “rootsy” or “earthy” and other, naturalistic terms. As an avid gardener, I’d go ahead and offer this scenario: If you were able to stick a straw into the distilled, liquified center of a backyard compost pit, the microbial delights that you’d find in your first sip would be akin to Malört. If you’ve had shots of Jaegermeister or Fernet Branca and your head tilted sideways, imagine that reaction amplified, multi-fold. 
Gird thy loins, Ohio. And be wary of inviting your Chicago pals to the bar.

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Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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