WEST LOOP — Looking to trick-or-treat your taste buds this autumnal season? Pumpkin Spice Malört is officially on the menu in Chicago.
The limited-edition flavor of Jeppson’s Malört is available throughout October (or until it sells out) at CH Distillery, 564 W. Randolph St.
The West Loop distillery is the only place in the city serving Pumpkin Spice Malört, and it’s not available to purchase by the bottle online.
The privilege to shoot 1.5 ounces of the pumpkin-ified liqueur is $8 a pop. Proceeds benefit Punk Rock Saves Lives, a Denver-based nonprofit that promotes punk rock events that focus on “wellness and equality.”
Pumpkin spice, or pumpkin pie spice, is typically a mix of allspice, nutmeg, ginger, clove and cinnamon and is a delicacy added to many foods and beverages during the fall.
Conversely, Malört is often described as tasting extremely bitter and gasoline-like.
Taking a shot of the made-in-Chicago liqueur is a rite of passage for many Chicagoans and a way to haze unsuspecting visitors, the joke being: It doesn’t taste good.
While the idea of combining Chicago’s most famous and, frankly, gross alcoholic beverages with one of the nation’s most polarizing fall flavor combinations may seem cruel and pointless, it’s actually not the first time it’s been done.
In 2021, iconic Wrigleyville bar Nisei Lounge, 3439 N. Sheffield Ave., created and sold its own version of pumpkin-spiced Malört.
When Jeppson’s announced this week it had made its own official concoction, Nisei Lounge reminded its social media followers that it had “invented” it two years prior.
“We just haven’t brought it back this year because you guys hated it and it’s beautiful out again today,” the bar tweeted Tuesday. “Maybe this weekend if you’re lucky.”
Neither Jeppson’s nor Nisei Lounge responded to comment by publication time.
In 2018, CH Distillery bought the Carl Jeppson Company and moved production of Malört from Florida to its Pilsen distillery.
CH Distillery made a version of Malört with Revolution Brewing’s Anti-Hero beer in 2020.
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