Friday, February 6, 2015

Malort - Besk

Taste it tonight: Friday Feb 6 from 4-6pm
The Wine and Cheese Place - FORSYTH

The Wine and Cheese Place is bringing the "Malort Face" to St. Louis!
We recently introduced Letherbee liquors to our store. I wanted to mention more about one particular product that they make Besk - also know as MALORT

Malort is the Swedish word for Wormwood and of course, Malort originated there. Chicago has been really the only city that has been drinking Malort apparently. It has cult status in Chicago - Malort is their "mascot" or "secret hand shake".

Created by Jeppson and Co., Malort has been in Chicago for a long time. It is only distributed in Chicago. Letherbee initially called theirs Malort, but the name Malort is trademarked by the famous producer Jeppson Malort. The trademark is being disputed by liquor giant Sazerac (sounds like they might have a Malort in the works?) 

 Letherbee now calls theirs "Besk" which means "bitter".  In stock now at The Wine and Cheese Place in St. Louis!

Their are a lot of interesting articles about it, click on the ones you want to read
NPR - How Swedish Malort Became Chicago's Mascot Bitter Drink
Serious Eats - Malört: Chicago's Favorite Bitter Liqueur
Jeppson Malort website
Chicago Tribune
There are even websites for the"Malort Face" - pictures of people taking their first shot of Malort

Thrillist - 14 thing you did not know about Malort  - click to read the full list, quite interesting

  • 3. Malort was one of the few beverages Carl Jeppson could taste. As a cigar shop owner and avid smoker, Jeppson loved drinking and selling Malort, because it was one of the only things his tobacco-ravaged tongue could actually identify.
  • 4. Malort beat Prohibition.  The liquor was sold door-to-door by Jeppson during Prohibition, with the loophole of being medicinal alcohol. Jeppson's Malort was the only legal wormwood product sold in American for 96 years, starting in 1912 and up until 2008, when other wormwood products (like absinthe) became legal.
  • 8. It’s distinctively Chicago’s.  90% of all Jeppson's Malort produced is consumed within Cook County. 

BËSK ...$29.99
Letherbee unites with R. Franklinfor a refined rendition of BËSK —a relatively obscure yet locally infamous Swedish liqueur dominated by wormwood. The violently bitter shot initially hits with flavors of grapefruit before an onslaught of wormwood alongside earthy gentian root — an effect that lingers on the palate for quite a surprising while. Beneath the acrid din of the more acute tasting notes rests more gentle traces of juniper, star anise, and elderflower musk. Bottled at 100 proof, Letherbee’s BËSK remains an esoteric shot for adventurous drinkers, but the bitter liqueur can be gracefully incorporated into sophisticated cocktails.

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