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What the Malort!?

What the Malort!?
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  • Post #61 - March 19th, 2009, 2:10 pm
    Post #61 - March 19th, 2009, 2:10 pm Post #61 - March 19th, 2009, 2:10 pm
    Alchemist wrote:Unicum is no longer imported into the USA. I blame a culture that raises it's children on Ding-Dongs and Coke. The average american cannot get thier buds around Malort, Campari, Unicum.

    So keep bringing the Unicum in, it's the only way to have it here.

    Toby


    This makes me sad, indeed. :( I was hoping at least Bende or someone similar would have it.
  • Post #62 - April 10th, 2009, 8:00 am
    Post #62 - April 10th, 2009, 8:00 am Post #62 - April 10th, 2009, 8:00 am
    LTH,

    Mike Sula (m'th'su) has gone Malort crazy in this weeks Chicago Reader. (must be the wormwood)

    Shot of Malort, Hold the Grimace

    A cure for Malort face

    The Great Malort Challenge (drink recipes)

    Homemade Malort

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #63 - April 10th, 2009, 1:13 pm
    Post #63 - April 10th, 2009, 1:13 pm Post #63 - April 10th, 2009, 1:13 pm
    Although I find it clever to name a drink that is both bitter and sour a "Bukowski", I think the best way to "enjoy" Malort (if that is really possible) is straight up and chilled. Maybe I am just Old School.

    I do have a theory that they toned down the Malort recipe when the bottler left Chicago. The closest I came to proving that theory was when a friend inherited an unopened bottle of Malort of indeterminate age, from a great uncle's basement. The stuff seemed much more vile than the currently available version (maybe more wormwood?). That elixer sent chills up my spine straight to my salivary glands. We never did an actual side-by-side taste test, due to lack of interest. Then again, like myself, maybe Malort just becomes more bitter with age.
  • Post #64 - April 11th, 2009, 11:00 am
    Post #64 - April 11th, 2009, 11:00 am Post #64 - April 11th, 2009, 11:00 am
    d4v3 wrote:The stuff seemed much more vile than the currently available version (maybe more wormwood?). That elixer sent chills up my spine straight to my salivary glands. We never did an actual side-by-side taste test, due to lack of interest. Then again, like myself, maybe Malort just becomes more bitter with age.

    Speaking of vile, I had the displeasure of tasting Mike Sula's (m'th'su) homemade malort.

    Pouring in a glass = cocking the hammer
    Small sip = pulling the regurg reflex trigger.

    Seriously, someone wants to label me a panty-waist New Zeland son of a Kiwi so be it, but I'd pretty much guarantee that is the last time malort crosses my grimacing lips.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #65 - April 11th, 2009, 12:12 pm
    Post #65 - April 11th, 2009, 12:12 pm Post #65 - April 11th, 2009, 12:12 pm
    d4v3 wrote:
    I do have a theory that they toned down the Malort recipe when the bottler left Chicago.


    I don't know about that, but there there is an explanation for Malort's variability. From my blog post:

    "Gabelick says she still occasionally hears from annoyed customers that claim the taste of her powerfully bitter liqueur has changed over the years. "Sometimes I have people call me and complain and say it's sweet," she says. "They don't mean it's sweet the way they describe it. They just mean it's not as bitter." There's good reason for that. Gabelick imports dried wormwood from Switzerland, but it's possible the botanical is harvested from different regions in Europe--once she saw Romania listed on the shipping documents. The intensity of the bitterness can also be affected by variable harvests or by how old the herb is when it's macerated. She ought to mark the bottles with vintages."
  • Post #66 - April 11th, 2009, 2:52 pm
    Post #66 - April 11th, 2009, 2:52 pm Post #66 - April 11th, 2009, 2:52 pm
    I commented on the Reader site, but, for those interested, you can get dried wormwood at Brew & Grow (1824 N. Belsey Court), where it's priced at about $2.50 for 1 oz. No country of origin is listed. Also, you can find wormwood tea at some Polish stores, under the brand "Herbapol", labeled "Zielnik Apteczny Absinthium Fix/Piolun Fix." The wormwood tea, to me, is much harder to gulp down than Malort (which I quite like.)
  • Post #67 - December 24th, 2011, 12:52 pm
    Post #67 - December 24th, 2011, 12:52 pm Post #67 - December 24th, 2011, 12:52 pm
    It looks like this stuff used to be on Binny's site, but it's not there anymore. Anyone know if that's just a technological glitch or if I can get a bottle somewhere else? I have a white elephant exchange with the in-laws tomorrow.... :twisted:
  • Post #68 - December 24th, 2011, 1:30 pm
    Post #68 - December 24th, 2011, 1:30 pm Post #68 - December 24th, 2011, 1:30 pm
    abe_froeman wrote:It looks like this stuff used to be on Binny's site, but it's not there anymore. Anyone know if that's just a technological glitch or if I can get a bottle somewhere else? I have a white elephant exchange with the in-laws tomorrow.... :twisted:

    I've seen in the stores, as recently as earlier this week. I suggest a call over there. They'll hold a bottle for you, in case there's a sudden rush. :lol:

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #69 - December 24th, 2011, 1:31 pm
    Post #69 - December 24th, 2011, 1:31 pm Post #69 - December 24th, 2011, 1:31 pm
    Looks like West Lakeview Liquors has it (might want to call first):

    2156 West Addison Street
    773.525.1916

    Perfectly evil idea by the way--kudos!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #70 - December 24th, 2011, 2:15 pm
    Post #70 - December 24th, 2011, 2:15 pm Post #70 - December 24th, 2011, 2:15 pm
    I was walking out the door as I posted this, and now I'm happy to report that the Arlington Heights Binny's had one bottle left, hidden behind something else, all the way at the back.

    I think we're going to make this separate from the white elephant exchange...a game of Uno or something and the "winner" gets to take a sip (because I don't expect anyone to drink more than I could) and keep the bottle until next Christmas....I have a feeling this bottle's going to be around for a long, long time.
  • Post #71 - January 2nd, 2012, 9:45 pm
    Post #71 - January 2nd, 2012, 9:45 pm Post #71 - January 2nd, 2012, 9:45 pm
    I gave Malört for Christmas :mrgreen:. It better not be disappearing off the shelves! I was asked recently "Did you move to Chicago for Malört??" (I did not - it is a happy coincidence.)

    Current recommendation: 1 oz Malört, 1 oz Fernet Branca. Neat - to be sipped.
  • Post #72 - January 3rd, 2012, 3:08 pm
    Post #72 - January 3rd, 2012, 3:08 pm Post #72 - January 3rd, 2012, 3:08 pm
    This thread is a, long running, trip.

    For those that have missed it, The Violet Hour does have a Malort based cocktail on the current menu (and no, I haven't tried it, yet):

    Wicker Park Sour
    Malort, Grapefruit, Honey Syrup, Egg White, Angostura Bitters

    SSDD
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #73 - January 3rd, 2012, 3:37 pm
    Post #73 - January 3rd, 2012, 3:37 pm Post #73 - January 3rd, 2012, 3:37 pm
    headcase wrote:For those that have missed it, The Violet Hour does have a Malort based cocktail on the current menu (and no, I haven't tried it, yet):

    Wicker Park Sour
    Malort, Grapefruit, Honey Syrup, Egg White, Angostura Bitters


    It's really just a jumped up pisco sour (with pisco inexplicably left off the listing). I never tried it, partly because I only like two of the ingredients, but mainly in protest over the version that made the menu vs. the original.

    If you're feeling brave, find Andrew and ask him for the original Wicker Park Sour ;)
  • Post #74 - January 3rd, 2013, 6:03 pm
    Post #74 - January 3rd, 2013, 6:03 pm Post #74 - January 3rd, 2013, 6:03 pm
    There's a new Malort in town.

    Via Chuck Cowdery:

    The new malört on the block is R. Franklin’s Original Recipe Malört. As reported by Robert Simonson in the New York Times, 'R. Franklin' is the nom de bar of Robert Franklin 'Robby' Haynes, who manages The Violet Hour in Wicker Park. Haynes first tasted malört about five years ago and began to think about how it might be improved.

    The producer is Leatherbee Distillery, a new micro in Humbolt Park.

    Right now, you can taste R. Franklin’s Original Recipe Malört at The Violet Hour, but you can't buy a bottle. That may change.


    Also reported in the NYT: "Another Taste of Malört Is Arriving in Chicago".
  • Post #75 - January 4th, 2013, 12:42 pm
    Post #75 - January 4th, 2013, 12:42 pm Post #75 - January 4th, 2013, 12:42 pm
    Interesting. Looking at the stuff in the new Malort, I wonder where exactly Malort ends and absinthe begins. I guess the stuff described doesn't expressly contain anise or fennel in addition to star anise. I also don't see how even a short items like this discussing Malort can fail to mention Brad Bolt's Hard Sell.
  • Post #76 - January 4th, 2013, 2:54 pm
    Post #76 - January 4th, 2013, 2:54 pm Post #76 - January 4th, 2013, 2:54 pm
    Darren72 wrote:There's a new Malort in town.

    Via Chuck Cowdery:

    The new malört on the block is R. Franklin’s Original Recipe Malört. As reported by Robert Simonson in the New York Times, 'R. Franklin' is the nom de bar of Robert Franklin 'Robby' Haynes, who manages The Violet Hour in Wicker Park. Haynes first tasted malört about five years ago and began to think about how it might be improved.

    The producer is Leatherbee Distillery, a new micro in Humbolt Park.

    Right now, you can taste R. Franklin’s Original Recipe Malört at The Violet Hour, but you can't buy a bottle. That may change.


    Also reported in the NYT: "Another Taste of Malört Is Arriving in Chicago".

    I was in the right place at the right time last night and got to try this. It's like Malort on steroids. Briefly sweet and boozy up front -- but only for a moment -- and then as bitter as bitter can be. If you like Malort, you'll probably love this and if you don't . . . well, you'll dislike it in a whole new way. :)

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #77 - January 5th, 2013, 2:36 pm
    Post #77 - January 5th, 2013, 2:36 pm Post #77 - January 5th, 2013, 2:36 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I was in the right place at the right time last night and got to try this. It's like Malort on steroids. Briefly sweet and boozy up front -- but only for a moment -- and then as bitter as bitter can be. If you like Malort, you'll probably love this and if you don't . . . well, you'll dislike it in a whole new way. :) =R=

    As someone who had their first malort shot at the Green Mill about 15 years ago while in college, as someone who used to regularly do malort shots at Rite Liquors when I lived a block away about 10 years ago, and as someone who actually enjoys and orders malort, cynar, fernet straight up/as shots and in cocktails, I, too, was also at Ronnie's "right place, right time" spot a week ago and tried a shot of the "new" malort ...

    ... and it was one of the WORST things I've ever drank! While I didn't catch any of the sweetness upfront that Ronnie did, it was super, super, super bitter mixed with the taste of a mouthful of grass....and not in a good way (and I love super hoppy beers).

    I'll reserve final judgement on it until I have it in a proper cocktail, but I am shuddering right now a week later just thinking about doing another shot of it.
  • Post #78 - January 13th, 2013, 12:06 pm
    Post #78 - January 13th, 2013, 12:06 pm Post #78 - January 13th, 2013, 12:06 pm
    Saying a version of Malort is the WORST thing you've ever drank won't dissuade Malort fans. If anything, I'm more intrigued. Dulling the bitter with various botanicals seems interesting if a bit misguided.

    Trenchermen has a barrel aged version ... apparently available a short time starting on Black Friday each year. It'll be 2 years old next November. Not really sure that barrel aging will help or hurt in any palpable way but I do admire the idea.

    We went through a case of Malort at my wedding. It was our signature drink. We said: it's bitter, weird, and not for everyone -- just like us.
  • Post #79 - January 13th, 2013, 2:36 pm
    Post #79 - January 13th, 2013, 2:36 pm Post #79 - January 13th, 2013, 2:36 pm
    queequeg's_steak wrote:Saying a version of Malort is the WORST thing you've ever drank won't dissuade Malort fans. If anything, I'm more intrigued. Dulling the bitter with various botanicals seems interesting if a bit misguided.


    Misguided in what sense? (I say this as a fan of malort. Do you mean misguided as in its getting away from the essence of what malort is--just pure, unadulterated wormwood?)

    Oh, and this may be a good place to share the Wall Street Journal article that came out over the week of Thanksgiving this year about Malort, and its newfound popularity (in relative terms).

    Ms. Gabelick, who inherited the company from her boss, says sales climbed last year by more than 80% from just a few years ago to 23,500 bottles, with annual revenue of more than $170,000. The company raised its price this year for the first time since 2004.
  • Post #80 - January 16th, 2013, 6:29 am
    Post #80 - January 16th, 2013, 6:29 am Post #80 - January 16th, 2013, 6:29 am
    Binko wrote:
    Oh, and this may be a good place to share the Wall Street Journal article that came out over the week of Thanksgiving this year about Malort, and its newfound popularity (in relative terms).

    Ms. Gabelick, who inherited the company from her boss, says sales climbed last year by more than 80% from just a few years ago to 23,500 bottles, with annual revenue of more than $170,000. The company raised its price this year for the first time since 2004.


    Let's just hope Quencher's doesn't raise their price of a Malort shot. It is currently $1.
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #81 - January 17th, 2013, 9:06 pm
    Post #81 - January 17th, 2013, 9:06 pm Post #81 - January 17th, 2013, 9:06 pm
    Tasted it today for the first time. Not as wacky or bad as I expected. Liked the bitter /drying nature of it and can see how it could add something to a cocktail
    Not sure I'll be doing shots of it.....
  • Post #82 - April 18th, 2013, 10:58 am
    Post #82 - April 18th, 2013, 10:58 am Post #82 - April 18th, 2013, 10:58 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Darren72 wrote:There's a new Malort in town.

    Via Chuck Cowdery:

    The new malört on the block is R. Franklin’s Original Recipe Malört. As reported by Robert Simonson in the New York Times, 'R. Franklin' is the nom de bar of Robert Franklin 'Robby' Haynes, who manages The Violet Hour in Wicker Park. Haynes first tasted malört about five years ago and began to think about how it might be improved.

    The producer is Leatherbee Distillery, a new micro in Humbolt Park.

    Right now, you can taste R. Franklin’s Original Recipe Malört at The Violet Hour, but you can't buy a bottle. That may change.


    Also reported in the NYT: "Another Taste of Malört Is Arriving in Chicago".

    I was in the right place at the right time last night and got to try this. It's like Malort on steroids. Briefly sweet and boozy up front -- but only for a moment -- and then as bitter as bitter can be. If you like Malort, you'll probably love this and if you don't . . . well, you'll dislike it in a whole new way. :)

    =R=


    I got a chance to try The Violet Hour Malort at The Publican last week and I really liked it. The only thing I'll add to Ronnie's description is that the bitterness has a really nice citrus/grapefruit taste. I've never had the more common Malort and so I can't compare the two, but I would be very happy to end an evening with a sip of TVH version.
  • Post #83 - April 18th, 2013, 12:13 pm
    Post #83 - April 18th, 2013, 12:13 pm Post #83 - April 18th, 2013, 12:13 pm
    I brought some Beska droppar from Sweden last year and Chicago Malort fans were really into it, describing it as being much worse. They all wanted more... also a lot of bartenders I know have requested it. More aggressively worse = more popular with malort fans I guess.
  • Post #84 - April 18th, 2013, 2:22 pm
    Post #84 - April 18th, 2013, 2:22 pm Post #84 - April 18th, 2013, 2:22 pm
    I'm among those who are convinced that Malort ain't what it was. Recently bought a round of Malort for some out of town colleagues and they found it completely inoffensive, if not downright palatable. I'm an actual non-ironic fan of the stuff and I think the Hard Sell is one of the great modern cocktails, regardless of provenance or booze. But the wormwood has been less litmusy lately.
  • Post #85 - April 18th, 2013, 2:42 pm
    Post #85 - April 18th, 2013, 2:42 pm Post #85 - April 18th, 2013, 2:42 pm
    Avery Glasser of Bitterman's is making a Swedish-style Besk now. Word is that Brad Bolt has a bottle at his bar

    http://baskasnaps.com/kopa-purchase/distributorer/

    I haven't tried it yet, but I am very curious. Like Robby's, it has other botanicals.

    In Sweden it usually is just wormwood, sometimes caraway. A variant I've seen called Stockholmsbesk has sugar in it.
  • Post #86 - April 19th, 2013, 2:37 pm
    Post #86 - April 19th, 2013, 2:37 pm Post #86 - April 19th, 2013, 2:37 pm
    Thanks for this, by the way. I'll look for it. Binny's has a lot of Bitterman's stuff. I like the more stripped down, dry wormwood boozes and would assume this is more bitter-forward than even the better absinthes. (But as much as I like to think I have no dislike for anything, I can rarely get past the caraway in kummels and aquavits.)
  • Post #87 - April 19th, 2013, 3:33 pm
    Post #87 - April 19th, 2013, 3:33 pm Post #87 - April 19th, 2013, 3:33 pm
    I didn't mention this before, as I don't recall actually seeing it in Polish stores here in the US, but for those of you who are on the hunt for wormwood-flavored alcohols, the Polish version of this is called piołunówka.
  • Post #88 - April 19th, 2013, 3:41 pm
    Post #88 - April 19th, 2013, 3:41 pm Post #88 - April 19th, 2013, 3:41 pm
    Darren72 wrote:There's a new Malort in town.

    Via Chuck Cowdery:

    The new malört on the block is R. Franklin’s Original Recipe Malört. As reported by Robert Simonson in the New York Times, 'R. Franklin' is the nom de bar of Robert Franklin 'Robby' Haynes, who manages The Violet Hour in Wicker Park. Haynes first tasted malört about five years ago and began to think about how it might be improved.

    The producer is Leatherbee Distillery, a new micro in Humbolt Park.

    Right now, you can taste R. Franklin’s Original Recipe Malört at The Violet Hour, but you can't buy a bottle. That may change.


    Also reported in the NYT: "Another Taste of Malört Is Arriving in Chicago".



    Isn't "Malort" a brand name? Isn't that like selling "R. Ramjet's Original Recipe Tanqueray"?
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #89 - April 20th, 2013, 1:25 am
    Post #89 - April 20th, 2013, 1:25 am Post #89 - April 20th, 2013, 1:25 am
    BTW I was talking with Peter Strom, who is Jeppson's historian, and he says that each year of Malort actually has a bit of a vintage because it depends on the farms where they get the wormwood and the particular character of the crop. He said the one ten years ago was particularly strong. Would be interesting to have a tasting and compare.
  • Post #90 - April 22nd, 2013, 11:02 am
    Post #90 - April 22nd, 2013, 11:02 am Post #90 - April 22nd, 2013, 11:02 am
    Roger Ramjet wrote:Isn't "Malort" a brand name? Isn't that like selling "R. Ramjet's Original Recipe Tanqueray"?


    Malört is the Swedish word for wormwood.

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