Tuesday, October 15, 2013
FEW Malort Mule
Right after I left Chicago back in 2011, I started hearing about this wormwood liquor called Jeppson's Malort, that could only be found in Chicago. Due to its unique (and to some, off-putting) flavor, a shot of Malort is considered a right of passage for "true" Chicagoans. Challenge accepted! I knew I had to get back and try it.
I finally made it back last week and tried not one but THREE brands of Malort! Jeppson's is the original, and what most people assume you're talking about when you say "malort." The front is herby and ever-so-slightly bitter, but gives way to a smooth and lingering after-taste reminiscent of bread and butter pickles. FEW's Malort is much milder. A little sweet and very herbaceous, it reminds me more of green chartreuse than anything else. The last I tried was Letherbee's Malort, which had the most anise flavor of all of them (Binny's categorizes it with the absinthes).
I ordered my very hearty pour of Jeppson's Malort from Headquarters Beercade, home also to all the free vintage arcade games you can imagine, and a delicious "Hop Scotch" cocktail [Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, IPA, fresh lemon & Angostura]. You can get Letherbee's Malort and a $3 shot of Jeppson's from Scofflaw.
I don't pretend to be a cocktail expert, especially when it comes to making them at home. I just know I like drinking them! I also like that it seems to be an endless topic to learn about...the combinations are nearly infinite.
Usually you would name a variation on a Moscow Mule after another place, but narcissistically, I named this cocktail after myself. I trafficked a bottle of Malort to my friend in Cleveland. And so...the Malort Mule was born.
2 oz. FEW Malort
1 oz. fresh lime juice
lime peel to garnish
Fill a rocks glass with ice, add the malort and lime juice and stir. Fill the rest of the glass with ginger beer and garnish with the lime peel.
This recipe really only works with the FEW version of Malort. Jeppson's would be better suited for a Bloody Mary or something like that. Who knows, more skilled and creative individuals than myself have probably used it in many a delicious cocktail. But like I said, I'm a beginner, so this is a cocktail for beginners.