Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Getting Down To The Root Of It - "Root" Liquor is the Drink of the Month

For as long as I can remember my husband has been coming home from the liquor store at least once a month with some crazy new spirit. Some turn out to surprisingly good, like Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. It's made in South Carolina and I'll be darned if it doesn't taste like some true southern sweet tea...and of course pack a punch. Some turn out to be surprisingly bad like Barenjager liquor. It's a German honey liquor...think really thick honey flavored cough syrup. And some turn out to be, well, something worth experiencing. My drink of the month, Root, just happens to fall into that last category.

The story of Root is actually really interesting. The folks that made it actually re-created something called Root Tea. Root Tea was an alcoholic folk recipe from the 1700's made of birch bark, wintergreen and a bunch of wild roots and herbs. Native Americans taught the recipe to the colonial settlers and soon after it became a heck of a lot more potent (apparently the "white men" liked their drinks strong). Eventually prohibition came along and took away all of the liquid fun. At that time a Philadelphia pharmacist removed the alcohol from Root Tea and renamed it Root Beer (a cruel name I would think). So long story short...that Root Beer that accompanies your ice cream in a float or quenches your thirst on a hot summer day all stems from this ancient, back-woods concoction. Pretty neat right?

Now to present day......

A Philadelphia based company now produces this recreation of the original Root Tea and they call it, simply, Root. It's certified organic for all of you folks out there that like to "keep it real" and it's got a rather interesting flavor. The back of the bottle lists some of the many crazy ingredients and they include things like cardamom, smoked black tea, anise, spearmint and of course things you would expect like sugar cane and birch bark. It does taste a lot like Root Beer, but it also, in my mind, tastes a lot like Jagermeister. I'm not saying it's for everyone, BUT, like I always say, "you'll never know unless you try".

The bottle comes with a cute little booklet that details its history and recommends a few drink recipes. But if you do decide to try Root, might I recommend you first give it a shot almost completely au natural........

Root Au Natural:
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour Root in the glass just shy of 3/4 of the way up the side. Fill the rest of the glass with plain seltzer water. Stir and enjoy.

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