This research project explores the curious ascension of Jeppson Malört, a brand of bäsk brännvin - Swedish style wormwood liquor - produced by the Carl Jeppson Company of Chicago, Illinois. This research considers Jeppsons From its earliest production and marketing, by Carl Jeppson, a Swedish immigrant to the United States during Prohibition as a legal medicinal beverage during prohibition, and later to its present-day cult-beverage status in Chicago. It is, however, Malörts relative regional-centric acclaim that raises the essential question of this research. First, how is it that Malört became a cultural staple - a Chicagoans right-of-passage beverage, so to speak - yet remain relatively unheard of outside of Illinois? Second, considering its bizarre taste profile that seemingly lasts on the palate for an eternity after initial consumption, how did it survive the competitive landscape of more marketable alcoholic beverages? Through consulting a diverse collection of sources, with an emphasis on visual marketing campaigns from the mid-1950s to the present, this research will present that the curious and endured success of Malörts was the bi-product of the inclusiveness and interconnectedness of immigrant populations in Chicago, and a unique marketing campaign, which embraced its one-of-a-kind character. Ultimately, the visual and rhetorical description of the topic will present that the significance of this research rests in its eager approach to the unasked question regarding Malörts historical trajectory.
"The Curious History of Jeppsons Malört: From the Repeal of Prohibition to Cult-Status in Chicago, Illinois,"
The Exposition: Vol. 5
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.buffalostate.edu/exposition/vol5/iss1/3