Root, Snap, and Rhuby – three new 80-proof premium distilled spirits from the birthplace of American democracy – are coming to take South Florida taste buds by storm.
Root is root beer with a kick. Snap tastes like an inebriated ginger snap cookie, rich in ginger and molasses. Rhuby, the newest of the trio (which I haven’t tried yet), is alleged to be an intoxicating version of rhubarb pie.
All three are products of Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction, a quirky company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that also operates a clothing store and promotes emerging artists and musicians.
Oddly, the company’s Web site seems to be at odds with its geographic roots. The history section recently was revised and expanded, and now says less about Root’s Pennsylvania origins.
A high price to pay
Root is already available in South Florida liquor stores. The company says Snap and Rhuby will be here soon.
At almost $40 for a 750 ml bottle, these are pricey beverages – but shop around. Some South Florida stores charge less than others. The price also varies in California, where I recruited a friend to check.
We are both great appreciators of good root beer. I’ve been known to try a new root beer when everyone else around me is busy trying a new local beer.
Tasting the products
Recently I attended a Root tasting at Sustain, a sophisticated new restaurant and bar in Midtown Miami. Sustain prides itself on offering beverages and drinks not served elsewhere in South Florida, and lived up to that reputation. The mixologist made some interesting concoctions.
For me, the best of these beverages wasn’t even on Sustain’s planned list of showcase drinks. I asked the mixologist to conjure up a Root and Ginger Beer mixture for me, and he very kindly obliged. Usually I sip a mixed drink just enough to taste-test it, but I drank the entire Root and Ginger Beer.
The Art In The Age Web site includes these two simple Root mixed-drink recipes, to which I’ve added some personal comments:
Root & Ginger
1 part Root
2 parts ginger beer (Use Reed’s Original Ginger Beer or homemade ginger beer).
Ginger slice (optional garnish)
Pour ginger beer over Root and ice in rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of fresh ginger.
Root & Birch
1 part Root
2 parts Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer (a regional product) or some other good-quality caffeine-free birch beer or root beer – but not the Coca-Cola birch beer product, which contains caffeine.
Pour birch/root beer over Root and ice in rocks glass.
The other drinks Sustain offered would be expensive to make at home – if you could find the ingredients. Recent research for another article showed me how expensive the duplication of mixologist drinks at home can be.
With the ongoing deterioration in the U.S. economy, the ability to make and enjoy affordable drinks at home becomes increasingly important.
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