Malört: a Wormword Liqueur
As Bitter As Chicago’s Winters
Calling anyone who enjoys black licorice and grapefruits: this is the liquor for you! While not for everyone, bësk (Swedish for “bitter”) is a traditional Swedish liquor made from wormwood. One of the most well known brands, Jeppson’s Malört (Swedish for “wormwood”), was founded in Chicago, where it is still very popular. Frankly, Malört tastes like gasoline and is better used to haze newcomers to the city than as an enjoyable beverage. However, an artisan bësk from craft Chicago distillery Letherbee, is much more palatable and in my opinion, quite delectable
– especially alongside the right cheese.
Bësk has a syrupy mouthfeel and tastes of sweet grapefruit rind with a punch of anisey wormwood. It’s very intense, so I recommend taming it with a large ice cube or mixing it into a cocktail or fruity beer before pairing with cheese.
Reach for a sweet cheese that’s strong enough to stand up to the spirit’s vigorous flavor.
Scroll down to see some of my favorite pairings.
Aged Goat Cheese – Trivium from Creamery 333
Stinky Soft Cheeses – Bossa from Green Dirt Farms
Aged Alpine – Tarentaise Reserve from Spring Brook Farms
Buttery Blue – Roaring Forties from King Island Dairy