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The Violet Hour Enlists Letherbee To Make A House Malort

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Oct 12, 2012 9:05PM

Chicago is soon to get a second brand of Malort, According to Robert Simonson at the New York Times' Diner's Journal blog, Letherbee Distillers is making a Malort based on a recipe by Violet Hour bartender Robby Haynes.

Haynes set out on making his own Malort recipe after he had his first taste of Jeppson's five years ago. The recipe he's distilling with Letherbee adds grapefruit peel, juniper, elderflower, star anise and other botanicals to the standard mix of wormwood, paint thinner and damp socks. Another distinction between the two malorts is the alcohol content. The Haynes/Letherbee malort will be 100 proof; Jeppson's is only 70 proof. Haynes told Simonson:

“I think what we’re doing is significantly more nuanced and layered. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s not just flat — ‘Here’s something that’s bitter, but tapers off.’”

Don't look for R. Franklin’s Original Recipe—"Franklin is Haynes's middle name—on retail shelves. It will be served exclusively at The Violet Hour. Meanwhile we'll be here wrapping our heads around the idea that there's such a demand for Malort a second version had to be distilled.