This TV show combines two things I enjoy–learning about history and laughing at drunk people. Here is the episode about Chicago.
With so much fascinating history here, I was a little disappointed that one of the segments was about Al Capone. Had I been on the show, I would have chosen to drunkenly ramble about the first open heart surgery (performed in Chicago by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams in 1893. one of the first African-Americans to graduate from an American medical school), the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction (at the University of Chicago on December 2, 1942), or the tale of the smoke-filled room (in the Blackstone Hotel, where Warren G. Harding was allegedly rigged to be the Republican candidate for president in 1920). Still, it’s a good episode with some beautiful shots of the city.
There is a Flickr pool devoted to them here, Buzzfeed has a list of them here, and John Hodgman wants you to make one.
You might have some questions. What, exactly, is this stuff? Why is everybody making faces? Why are they drinking it if they know they are going to make a face?
Jeppson’s Malort is like absinthe’s black sheep of a cousin. Made from wormwood but without a charming anise flavor or an association with heavyweights of art and literature (who also happened to be heavyweight drinkers), Malort will likely never be sipped in cute cafes or called any kind of fairy. It is in a family of beverages called brännvin, which translates from Swedish to English as “burn-wine.” No, really, try it!
Here is my Malort face.
My bartender described the flavor to me as the flavor you might get in your mouth if you pass out face-down on some chemically-treated grass. I found it reminiscent of hair spray with a furniture polish aftertaste. Allegedly it aids digestion after consumption of fatty foods, but I tried it mainly because I could, and for the novelty of the experience. You can only make a Malort face in or around Chicago, because you can only get Malort in and around Chicago.
Here are three of my favorite Malort faces.
Tip: when attempting to document a Malort face, wait a few seconds after the drinker finishes. The full force of the flavor takes a little time to manifest. Be a friend; offer some water.