Cicada Shots: The Only Thing That Could Make Malört Even Less Appealing

Here at Mashed we like to be pretty food-positive, and we'd never yuck your yum. Plus, we understand that if you're from Chicago — or perhaps Sweden — it may be part of your cultural tradition to drink a bitter beverage such as Jeppsen's Malört or a similar brand of beskbrännvin. The polarizing flavor of such a liqueur comes from a plant called wormwood, which (despite its off-putting name) generally contains no actual worms. In Chicago, however, it seems as if some mixologists are introducing insects to Malört in the form of cicadas.

In an Instagram post shared by Barstool Sports, people in attendance at a White Sox game are shown downing shots of this unlikely combination. This prompted some commenters to compare the experience to the team's equally painful win-loss record — with baseball (and cicada) season in full swing, the Sox set a new record by losing 14 games in a row. It clearly takes guts to be a White Sox fan these days, so perhaps this wasn't the most representative group to report on Malört-cicada shots.

While most Instagram users seemed horrified at the thought of downing cicadas (or perhaps it was the Malört giving them pause), the drinkers in the video seemed unfazed. One person, after crunching the cicada, even remarked that it wasn't bad.

A Malört-cicada shot could pose a danger to your health

Cicada-infused Malört, however, is not without its risks, as both elements have downsides. Drinking the liqueur component puts you in danger of making the widely-reported "Malört face" and, as your mom always warned you, "What if it freezes that way?" (The drinkers from the Instagram reel showed no such effect, however.)

There are also numerous other dangers both mental and physical associated with drinking alcohol in general, of course. Although, in Malört's defense, it may be the kind of beverage that makes you happy to stop after just one shot — kind of like the alcoholic equivalent of hitting yourself on the head with a hammer, since it feels so good when you stop.

As for cicadas, people have eaten them before. When 2021's Brood X emerged, Frank's RedHot came out with a cicada-themed cookbook. The bugs also became the basis for one of the more unexpected ice cream flavors to emerge over the years. The Cleveland Clinic confirms that cicadas are generally safe to consume but offers a few caveats: These insects may be high in mercury, and (depending on the brood) could contain 13 or 17 years' worth of whatever nasty chemicals may have leaked into the ground. High-risk groups warned to avoid cicadas include the shellfish-allergic, pregnant or lactating people, young children, and anyone prone to gout. Should you fall into any of these categories, no cicada shots for you — we're not sure whether condolences or congratulations are in order.