That was the winner of an (unofficial) contest to provide a marketing slogan for Jeppson's Malort, a wormwood-heavy Swedish liquor sold only in the Chicago area. First popular among immigrant populations on the North side, its profile has increased in recent years as more locals clamor to delight in/inflict pain on unsuspecting friends with a flavor that has been likened to "dirty sweat socks" or "400yrs of oppression mixed with bug spray".
To call it an acquired taste would be an understatement, but still, it is a taste that can be acquired. As proof, we tapped a sextet (that just means "six" -- calm down) of waitresses with varying levels of Malort experience from The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group in Chicago to show us their "Malort face" and give us their thoughts.
Madi, a Malort virgin, approached the shot with some trepidation and was not pleasantly surprised.
Tasting notes: "Oh, it burns. Wow, it burns. It's just so bitter and it's not going away. It's perpetual bitterness."
Jasmine is also a rookie, as you may be able to tell, given the "who farted?" look on her face.
Tasting notes: "It started off herbal and then it just went to dirt. Really muddy, probably-stepped-on-several-times dirt. It's still there. It's a lingering dirt."
Nicole came to the table with a little experience, but also came away feeling dirty.
Tasting notes: "Ugh, like nothing good. Like dirty flowers. Not nice flowers. Dirty, angry flowers."
Grace, despite her puckered reaction, came into it with some experience.
Tasting notes: "I always tell people it tastes like grapefruits and gasoline."
Nicole (yes, more than one Nicole works there) can also take it like a champ.
Tasting notes: "It's the pungent juice of the fruit called Earth."
Brittany, meanwhile, would have gladly done a few more.
Tasting notes: "It's like mother's milk."
So there you have it. You, too, can develop a taste for the intense flavor of Malort over time. And if you can't find any, just squeeze a grapefruit into some gasoline.*
*Please do not squeeze a grapefruit into some gasoline.