Jeppson's Malort is Chicago's local beskbrannvin - 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 Skane, 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, Skane named Carl Jeppson.
During Prohibition, Mr. Jeppson was into the business of producing legal "medicinal alcohol," and sold his brand of besk bar-to-bar. After repeal, Malort was a staple of every Swedish bar on Clark St and by that time he had sold his recipe to Bielzoff Products Co., a Chicago distillery. George Brode, Bielzoff owner, helped push Jeppson's Malort beyond its Swedish origins by introducing it to Chicago's Polish population, who in turn introduced it to the rest of Chicago.
Through the decades, Jeppson's Malort has been thought of as a rite of passage and even a purported hangover cure. But the company thinks of it as more than that - Jeppson's Malort is a drink that has helped define the Chicago bar experience.
Most first-time drinkers of Jeppson's Malort reject the liquor. Its strong, sharp taste is not for everyone. The liquor is rugged and unrelenting (even brutal) to the palate. During almost 80 years of American distribution, the company has found only 1 out of 49 men who will drink Jeppson's Malort. During the lifetime of the company's founder, Carl Jeppson was apt to say, "My Malort is produced for that unique group of drinkers who disdain light flavor or neutral spirits."
It is not possible to forget this two-fisted liquor. The taste just lingers and lasts - seemingly forever. The first shot is hard to swallow! PERSEVERE. Make it past two 'shock-glasses' and with the third you could be a fan... forever.
Jeppson's Malort has the aroma and full-bodied flavor of an unusual botanical. Its bitter taste is savored by two-fisted drinkers.