|I’m just glad it’s not wax-dipped.|
This is a strange thing I’ve managed to get hold of. I’m not going to try to explain why this one caught my eye, because I’m honestly not sure. I think there’s something about simplistic labels that makes them stand out to me when they’re surrounded by lots of other, brighter ones (I found this on the shelf next to all the Puckers and flavored liqueurs).
Root is distilled by Art in the Age, which seems to sell an assortment of interesting things in addition to producing three kinds of liquor. Snap and Rhuby are the other ones – ginger snap and rhubarb (?!) respectively. I’m intrigued by Snap, but would definitely need to taste Rhuby before buying it…not sure about the whole rhubarb thing.
But I digress.
|Everything but the kitchen sink…|
Reading the handy little pamphlet-thing attached to the bottle gave me more actual information about Root than I was expecting – apparently it’s based on a recipe for an old herbal remedy called “Root Tea” from the 1700’s that sounds to me like alcoholic sassafras tea with some additives. I won’t give you the whole story because that would be boring (you can read it here if you wish), but let’s just say one thing led to another and this stuff eventually became the root beer we all know and (maybe) love.
The ingredients list is
terrifying impressive…it sounds like a big, spicy mess. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen anything with all of those ingredients together in one place (at least not anything that ever ended well). I was most concerned about the anise, since it’s pretty high on my list of least favorite flavors.
|My root beer seems to have gone flat..|
Color-wise Root is quite dark, as you can see from the pictures. If you hold it up to the light it does let some shine through and you can see that it’s a deep reddish brown color. If you were to get resourceful and pour this into a pint glass, I think it would look like you were really drinking root beer and nobody would be the wiser (good for those long meetings at the office).
The smell is dominated by birch and clove. If I concentrate I can get hints of wintergreen, but I don’t catch the other ingredients at all. I will not say it smells like root beer…I will not say it smells like root beer…I give up – it smells like root beer.
The taste is mostly birch…the easiest way to describe it would be as root beer that hasn’t been sweetened. It’s a bit of a shock at first – prior experience has programmed me to associate the smell of root beer with the idea that what I’m about to drink will be sweet, but this is not. After getting over the initial “what??” moment, I think it’s actually pretty good. The alcohol bite isn’t there, but it does give a warming sensation as it goes down. The website suggests mixing it with things, and provides some recipes…I can see it being great in a mixed drink, but I do find it drinkable (in small amounts) solo as well.