By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer
USDA Certified Organic Root Liqueur is a most unique and tasty elixir. Not only does it resemble the healing tonics of the past, it's concocted with only the purest ingredients as exemplified and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture.
At one time in our nation's history everything was organic. It wasn't until the drug companies became allied with the chemical companies did things really change in the way healing took place. I'm not saying that Root is to be used for healing, but historically, Root Teas were the go-to for healing anything from the common cold to ailments of the digestive tract. Traditional healers used "tea" made from roots, spices and herbs as synthetic drugs are used to day to "treat" and "heal" many illnesses. Such is the intent of the unique and immensely flavorful Root (Tea) from Art in the Age.
Art in the Age is the Philadelphia based collective that specializes in brand re-invigoration, ground-up marketing and most importantly, the re-establishment of historically correct healing tonics and elixirs. Art in the Age is best known for their hugely successful Sage, Rhubarb, and Snap Liquors. Each is a historically based and highly expressive spirit. All exemplify the element of "healing" herbs, melded into a vivacious and aromatic, flavor-driven quaff.
You could say I'm a HUGE fan!
I discovered Root a couple years ago by the large USDA mark emblazoned right on the label. I was immediately smitten by the Root Beer-like flavor of birch bark, sarsaparilla, roots, herbs, spices and citrus. It is neither sticky nor obscenely flavored "vodka" nor is it a low alcohol cordial. What Root means to me is a link to the past, but created in a most modern fashion. Plus, Root is fabulous in mixed drinks!
Jack Rudy in Charleston, South Carolina makes two syrups that have opened my eyes and my taste buds to new experiences. Their Tonic Syrup speaks clearly of hot night in India under the stars, being swarmed by a plethora of biting mosquitoes, each carrying a horrible secret. Quinine is long held to be a cure for the malaria that these mosquitoes harbor in their dark little bodies. Plus a good slurp of gin (or the Art in the Age product named Sage) along with the Jack Rudy syrup and a few ounces of Perrier Sparkling Water will put any thought of this insidious disease to rest.
My connection with the Jack Rudy syrup, at least today, is with their lovely Grenadine Syrup. This is how Grenadine used to taste before the supermarket marketers created a synthetic version for the store shelves. The supermarket version of Grenadine bears no resemblance to the Jack Rudy product. The Jack Rudy product is gorgeous in the mouth and with the smack of orange flower water along with the ever-present pomegranate and pure cane sugar. There is no corn syrup in this marvelous syrup and it goes along with most any spirit.
I've included the Jack Rudy Grenadine in a tall cocktail that is destined for a tall Collins Glass, meant to refresh, revitalize and restore. I've also added a few healthy hits of The Bitter Truth Bitters Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters to the mixing glass. These historically correct bitters come laced with hints of Caribbean spices. They speak clearly of the pre-prohibition era when cocktails served to lubricate for more than a sour belly. Finally in the tip of my hat to France, I've included Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water to make this cocktail a fizzy treat. The elegant pin-point bubbles serve to create a focus and tantalize the taste buds and your memory.
Root 'n' Rudy
For two fun fizzy cocktails…
• 2 oz. Art in the Age Spirits "Root" Organic Liqueur
• ½ oz. Jack Rudy Grenadine
• ½ oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime
• ½ oz. Freshly Squeezed Lemon
• ¼ oz. Freshly Squeezed Orange
• 1 oz. (in each glass) Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water in Lemon Essence
• A few shakes in each glass, Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters
1. Add all liquid ingredients except for the Perrier and the bitters into a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with bar ice.
2. Shake like crazy for 12 seconds.
3. Pour into a Collins Glass with one tall hand cut ice cube. (Double boil water- then freeze in a Tupperware container, hand cut with a wood- working tool and a rubber mallet)
4. Add the Bitters and the Perrier.
5. Garnish with a Whiskey cured Cherry…
How do you cure a Whiskey Cherry?
1. Take two pounds of cherries and pit them out.
2. Sterilize a few Mason jars, keep in a pot of boiling water until ready to use.
3. Fill with the cherries, then pour your favorite Whiskey over them. I use Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon.
4. Seal and process in a pot of boiling water. (You're canning, so keep everything very cleaned and sterilized)
5. Store in a cool place for two weeks before using. After opening they keep a couple of weeks in the fridge.
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!
Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.