When it comes to drinking, the city of Chicago may have many crowning achievements, but we’re still trying to figure out why it’s instigated a national cult-like following for Malort — the wormwood-based liqueur of Swedish origin that is arguably the most unsavory, palate-contorting spirit a drinker dares to down.
The most popular and recognizable version is Jeppson’s Malört, named after its Swedish immigrant creator Carl Jeppson, who came up with the concoction in 1930s Chicago. Sold as “medicinal alcohol”, it survived Prohibition and was the only legal wormwood product in America until the lift of the absinthe ban in 2008.
One thing is certain: it is unyielding in character as it is in flavor. Accordingly, New Orleans has embraced Malort with mouths wide open. Here are the New Orleans bars that serve the bold libation, drinker be warned.
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