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Discovering Our Roots

People feel the same way about root beer as they feel about us: they either love it or hate it.

Also like us, adding a lot of alcohol can make anyone warm up to the idea real quick. Having us all warm up to root beer just in time for the cold is the first genuine American spirit since pre-Prohibition: Root liqueur from Art in the Age.

We learned in grammar school that Native Americans gave the gift of maize and gold to Pilgrims, while colonists returned the favor with the gift of smallpox and casinos. But there’s something contemporary educators leave out of America’s early trading days: the root beer-esque libation passed down from indigenous lushes.

Originally called “Root Tea,” the folksy alcoholic brew was a hit from the 18th century until Prohibition. Like mom making a surprise visit during Black Party, the temperance era was the biggest buzzkill in history (including election-night 2000 and 2004), successfully transforming the classic American liqueur into a soda pop.

But like Whitney, Root is back, this time with less pop and a drowsier-vibe (also like Whit-Whit – save for “Million Dollar Bill”).

Culled from the same suspects found in various root beers such as birch bark, black tea, sassafras, anise, vanilla bean and sugarcane, the 80-proof Root liqueur is a testament to its roots (hardy, har) in Root Tea.

The final product is truly unlike any libation we’ve tasted (we’ve tasted quite a few, if you can believe it). Finally, something new to reek of in the office all morning long.

Available in most states online; in stores in Pennsylvania

Our favorite Root recipe:

Created by Israel Nocelo & Andre Sanchez of Positano Coast

4 wedges of lime
7 blackberries
1/2 oz. hibiscus syrup
1 1/2 oz. ROOT
1/2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
Muddle lime, berries, and syrup. Add ROOT and gin. Shake vigorously. Double garnish with sage.