Last year's announcement that CH Distillery would acquire the Jeppson's Malört brand and bring production of the bitter liquor back to Chicago set many locals' hearts aflutter. As of a few weeks ago, Malört is officially being produced within city limits once more and, thankfully, CH hasn't made any changes to the beloved recipe.
The one adjustment CH Distillery has made to its newly acquired product is the introduction of a new, more portable way to buy the divisive booze. In addition to the classic 750-milliliter variety, visitors to the CH's Bar & Table on Randolph Street can now purchase miniature 50-milliliter bottles of locally distilled Malört for $3 each. The smaller format makes it possible to pack two of the 50-millilite bottles in your carry-on luggage to enjoy on a flight (or to antagonize the person sitting next to you)—provided that you're not bringing any other liquids with you.
Anyone who has shopped at a liquor store in Cook County has likely noticed that it's impossible to buy the tiny airplane-friendly bottles inside city limits—that's because of a law Chicago enacted in the ’80s that banned the sale of any liquor in volumes less than 300 milliliters. But according to CH Distillery's director of marketing Dan Janes, as a producer-owned establishment, it's legal for CH Bar & Table to sell the tiny bottles of Malört. Later this year, CH plans to sell the miniature bottles at suburban liquor stores; they're also looking at offering six-packs of the diminutive Malört format at Chicago retailers, adhering to Cook County's minimum size of 300 milliliters for retail liquor products.
Even though the scaled-down bottles are cute, they're unlikely to win over any Malört skeptics in your life. They seem destined to become gag gifts or stocking stuffers, packed with more than enough of the to biting liquid to bring out any drinker's "Malört face."