Cicada-infused Malört available at Lombard brewpub

For the first time in more than 200 years, two different groups of periodic cicadas will emerge at the same time. We have the latest buzz and updates.

Want to try a shot that won’t be around for another 17 years?

A suburban brewpub is pouring up shots of cicada-infused Malört to celebrate the arrival of two adjacent broods of the insect in Illinois.

Noon Whistle Brewing in Lombard got the idea to create the creepy drink as a fun way to spread the word of the establishment via social media. Their twist on Malört, an iconic Chicago spirit made of wormwood known for its bitter, slightly grapefruit taste, uses real bugs collected in a wooded park neighboring the restaurant.

They’re $5 each and have “a flavor reminiscent of succulent lobster,” according to an announcement posted Tuesday morning on Instagram.

“Everyone already hates Malört, so it’s like, let’s just make it even worse,” said Joey Giardiniera, the restaurant’s creative director.

The infused shot will be around for two or three weeks, he said in a phone interview late Tuesday with the Sun-Times.

“It’s exactly akin to the worm in a tequila bottle, except it’s absolutely Midwestern,” he noted.

The live cicadas are collected using gloves and tossed into a freezer for a “humane death,” Giardiniera said. Then, they’re rinsed off and sanitized in a high-ABV (alcohol by volume) spirit like vodka. The bugs are finally cooked thoroughly to ensure food safety before being placed in a bottle of Malört to start the infusion process.

In the past, Noon Whistle has made other Malört concoctions for laughs and online engagement from Malört enthusiasts and haters alike, including a Malört lager and a Pizza-lört.

“People think that because we get so much traction on Instagram, that we make so much money off of it,” Giardiniera said. “But it honestly will probably sell maybe, like, two or three bottles worth of shots.”

Cicada shot drinkers beware: The insects contain shellfish allergens.

Noon Whistle Brewing is located at 800 E. Roosevelt Rd. in Lombard.

UPDATE: As of May 30, the brewpub will no longer serve the beverage. The announcement came via a social media post from the establishment.

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For the first time in more than 200 years, two different groups of periodic cicadas will emerge at the same time. We have the latest buzz and updates.

Sensory walks, a campfire feast and learning sessions with scientists are just some of the ways Illinoisans and out-of-towners alike can celebrate the historic double emergence of the 13-year and 17-year cicadas.

With trillions of red-eyed bugs here for a few weeks, furiously mating and laying the groundwork for the next generation, you have to wonder what humans are here for.

The neighborhoods where people aren’t seeing many cicadas remind us many insect species are in decline: 40% of insect species are threatened by extinction. Nature-based solutions are needed to nurture native insects and keep our ecosystem in balance.

Brian Athern caught a bluegill that was chasing cicadas while he and Ricardo Rodriguez fished for smallmouth bass on a southwest suburban stream.

The buzzing coming from the cicadas is expected to get louder as more insects emerge from the ground.

For tourists, Illinois is the place to be for the historic cicada emergence. The 17-year brood in the state’s northern half and the 13-year brood in the southern part are set to converge near Springfield.

The extremely rare bugs were found this week in Beverly, Orland Park and Warrenville. One was donated to the Field Museum.

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