Hand me down my golden hat,
And grab the winter one at that,
You never know how long I'll be away
The label lists the ingredients up front, presumably (based on what comes out in the flavor) based on predominance: birch bark, smoked black tea, cinnamon, wintergreen, spearmint, clove, anise, orange, lemon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamon, and pure cane sugar. You'll see some common ingredients in Art in the Age's other spirits, such as RHUBY (rhubarb, which I've purchased), GINGER, and SAGE, although each bottle is utterly unique when it comes to flavor and applications to mixology.
The Story of ROOT:
In the 1700s, it was called Root Tea. A folk recipe made with birch bark, wintergreen, and other wild roots and herbs. Native Americans taught the recipe to colonial settlers. As it was passed down from generation to generation it grew in complexity. This was particularly true in the Pennsylvania hinterlands where the ingredients naturally grew in abundance.
At the close of the 19th century, as the Temperance movement conspired to take the fun out of everything, a Philadelphia pharmacist removed the alcohol from Root Tea and rechristened it (ironically) Root Beer. He did this so that thirsty Pennsylvania coal miners and steelworkers could enjoy it in place of true alcoholic refreshment. He introduced his Root Beer in a big way at the legendary 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. The rest, as you know, is flaccid history.
Here at Art in the Age, we thought it would be interesting and fun to turn back the clock and recreate a true pre-temperance alcoholic Root Tea. We've even made it certified organic, since back then, everything was organic. This is the opposite of corporate culture. It's a genuine experience rooted in history and our own landscape. A truly interesting and contemplative quaff, it is certainly like nothing else we have ever tasted before. It is NOT Root Beer-flavored vodka or a sickly sweet liqueur.
There's not a lot of mystery to peel back in terms of the flavor here, since the ingredients are all listed and the birch bark influence predominates. However, there are noteworthy departures:
The palate is a different story.
Nothing about the spiciness or minty character in ROOT is unpleasant or overbearing (I'm looking at you, little pinwheel red-and-white breath mints). Instead, you're already starting to think about mixing.
I know it's hard to get adventurous with your drinking dollars, as the greatest piece of mind comes from those spirits we know to be a "sure thing". You're holding Bulleit Rye in one hand for $35 and some weird, brown ROOT from some hipster company with the word "Art" in the name in your other hand for $30 and you can only get one. Most of us opt to bite the Bulleit (not a bad choice by any stretch), but now at least you can rest assured that if you're in the mood for new and exciting, ROOT won't let you down.