Not Even Malort Is Safe From Pumpkin Spice

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Two forces that Chicagoans never imagined teaming up, pumpkin spice and Jeppson’s Malört, have forged an alliance in the name of charity. Depending on the perspective, pumpkin spice has either jumped the shark or reached a new pinnacle.

Next week, CH Bar & Table, the West Loop bar from the distillery that manufactures Chicago’s gift to bolstering friendship, will begin to pour a limited-edition Pumpkin Spice Jeppson’s Malört shot. Just in time for Spooky Season, the shot will be offered starting on Tuesday, October 3, at CH, near the corner of Randolph and Jefferson.

Pumpkin spice, pushed by many due to that big national coffee chain, brings a devil-may-care attitude. Pumpkin spice fans created Halloween playlists that likely skew poppy with songs like Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. On the contrary, malört drinkers hate sunlight as much as the windowless dive bars they frequent. Their Halloween playlists skew toward punk, perhaps entirely comprised of the Misfits.

Holding that thought, proceeds of the $7 shot will be donated to Punk Rock Saves Lives, a nonprofit that sets up a presence at punk rock events and shows that focuses on health concerns and social justice.

CH Distillery head distiller and CEO Tremaine Atkinson says he hopes to come up with more fun small-batch malört shots to benefit an array of charities.

“I had an early test concept version which was made with actual pumpkin spice syrup from the actual kingdom of pumpkin spice and it was awful,” Atkinson texts. “Our final actual batch version uses the real deal spices and is surprisingly good, kind of like a slice of pumpkin pie with a malört finish.”

The pumpkin spice-malört combo may feel off, but in a world where a pop starlet can date a professional football player, how can anyone judge? Hypothetically.

Jon Lovett interviewing Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.
Podcaster Jon Lovett interviews Mayor Brandon Johnson on September 21 at the Vic Theater with a bottle of Jeppson’s Malört in between the two.
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

In other malört news, the spirit was present when podcaster Jon Lovett visited the Vic Theater in Lakeview and interviewed Mayor Brandon Johnson on Thursday, September 21. While Lovett sampled from the malört bottle seated in between himself and the mayor (he admitted to enjoying the drink), Johnson refrained from partaking.

Pumpkin Spice Jeppson’s Malört at CH Bar & Table, 564 W. Randolph Street, starting on Tuesday, October 3.

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