Odd News Show

Illinois Bar Offering Cicada-Infused Malört

When life gives you cicadas, make cicada-ade. Or perhaps combine the noisy insects having a once-in-a-17-year season throughout the Midwest with another regional phenomenon, disgusting Chicago liqueur Malört?

By Bram Teitelman · June 1, 2024

Shots shots shots shots sho - uh, never mind. Marcello Consolo/Creative Commons

Disclaimer: While this article is based on 100% proof facts, it does contain a gag reflex of satire.

Unless you live under a rock, or perhaps underground where these jerks have been hanging out for well over a decade, you’re probably aware that Summer 2024 is the season of the cicada. A rare convergence of 13-year and 17-year cicadas emerging at the same time and infesting 16 states, this is perhaps the most annoying thing to affect such a large swath of the country since the last time Carrot Top went on tour. This is the largest number of cicadas that we’ve had in 221 years, according to bug nerds (they prefer to be called entomologists), with the numbers in the trillions and your backyard may never be the same again - or at least not for a few months.

States in the midwest and south are most likely to be overtaken by the annoying insects, and one Chicago-area bar is doing something about it one shot at a time, taking the annoying critters and infusing them with the city’s other favorite torture device, Jeppson’s Malört Liqueur. The combination of two of the grossest things imaginable is being served up at Noon Whistle Brewing. While those outside Chicago may not be familiar with the spirit, Food & Wine has several descriptions of what it tastes like, with “citrus-flavored gasoline,” “the regional prank beverage,” and “burnt vinyl car-seat condensation” among a few of the choice descriptors.

We try to stay as far away from cicadas as possible, but they apparently taste like shrimp or lobster, and while that’s what Eater says, we’re thinking that they arrived at the description after asking local shrimp or lobster. Noon Whistle uses “locally sourced” cicadas, meaning they went outside and scraped them off a tree or something. The pub then freezes, rinses, sterilizes, and cooks them before dunking them in Malört. Instead of doing what a sane person would do and throwing it into a toilet, the bar puts the cicada concoction into a shot glass, where you can quickly consume it before then throwing it into a toilet yourself, if you catch our drift. 

Wasting away again in shot cicada-ville.  NBC Chicago/Youtube

NBC Chicago quoted a bar patron as saying the addition of cicada made the Malört taste “buttery, smooth, and nutty,” When asked for comment, Malört said, “finally, something to make us taste slightly less disgusting,” while cicadas commented, “What fresh hell is this - 17 years underground only to be dumped into this demon juice?”