We've been told that taking a shot of Malört is a classic Chicago dive bar experience, and more than one Mouth-er has their "the first time I tried Malört" tale. So we were super excited when we heard Letherbee was making their own version in a hip flask, with a recipe developed by rockstar bartender Robert Franklin Haynes, who made a name for himself while heading up the Chicago's famous cocktail bar, The Violet Hour.
Oh, how to describe the flavor. Well, it's a little like absinthe, dominated by anise and wormwood, followed by waves of bitter botanicals. It's already one of the most popular items at Mouth HQ and on the shelves at our Indie Spirits + Wine Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
There is some debate whether Malört is a traditional spirit or a brand name, so Letherbee decided to use the ancestral Swedish name Bësk and avoid unbottled bitterness.
tip of the tongue
After you've had your first taste, be sure to Google "Malört face” (no, really). Letherbee's take is so tasty you might not get the same results. We love sipping it as a digestif, but it's also an intriguing addition to cocktails like this one: Combine 1 oz Bësk, 1 oz Vya extra-dry vermouth, 1 oz freshly squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice and 1/4 oz simple syrup in a shaker with lots of ice. Shake until very cold and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
50% alcohol by volume. Comes in a 200ml flask bottle.