A shot of Jeppson’s Malört may be a local rite of passage, but for the past 30 years, the overpoweringly pungent Chicago-born wormwood liquor has been made in Florida. That changed earlier this year, when Pilsen-based CH Distillery became the sole producer of the storied booze. The craft distillery has updated the recipe, and while the tire-fire flavor remains, the artificially colored commodity grain alcohol has been replaced by a clear, pure distillate made from rye and wheat grown in Kane County. It’s almost drinkable.
For those who still haven’t acquired a taste for the stuff on its own, CH Distillery offers a softer option at its bar in the West Loop: the Chicago Style, a Malört cocktail gentled with caraway-based kümmel and a hit of ginger. It’s a perfect way to toast the spirit’s homecoming. $13. 564 W. Randolph St.