Malört, the dive-bar liquor known for its horrible taste, salutes those who can endure it

‘I Malörted’ campaign likens a decision to order Malört to a hold-your-nose choice at the ballot box

Published On
Jul 01, 2024

Editor's Pick

Jeppson’s Malört, the bitter liquor that’s become a Chicago dive-bar phenomenon for how bad it tastes, is embracing its hard-to-love reputation.

A campaign breaking on social media this week from Bandolier Media frames the decision to order a Malört to a difficult choice at the ballot box. “During an election year, when some might argue there are no good choices, Malört fits right in,” the brand said.

A video features testimony from consumers who, against the better judgement of themselves or their friends, gave Malört a try. They reward themselves with a sticker reading “I Malörted” in the style of “I voted” stickers given to participants at polling places.

“Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils—or in this case, the greater?” one man wonders in the video. “Did it smell great? No. Did it taste great? Definitely not,” a woman muses. “But I did it.”

“I Malörted” stickers will be available in Chicago bars while they last, and the brand is supporting the campaign with on-premise posters reading “I Want You to Malört.”

Jeppson’s Malört, a wormwood liquor dating to 1933 and controlled today by CH Distllery, has undergone a recent resurgence behind creative marketing and dive-bar calls like the “Chicago handshake,” a combination of a Jeppson’s shot and an Old Style beer. It’s an acquired taste, the brand acknowledges, but “a thrilling adventure for those brave enough to take on the challenge.”

“I Malörted” joins a long tradition of marketing—from Laphroaig to Marmite—based around a food or beverage product’s polarizing taste.

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Jul 01, 2024
Client :
Jeppson's Malört
Agency :
Bandolier Media

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