Last year I took a little vacation to San Francisco and brought back with me a bottle of Root that I found at a specialty liquor store. Root is a Philadelphia liqueur brewed by Art in the Age, an artist collective that believes in "high quality work marked by fine craft and intellectual rigor". For a bit of history, root tea was made by Native Americans and the recipe was passed along to early American settlers. It had kick but when the Temperance Movement gained popularity and wanted to keep coal miners sober on the job, the non-alcoholic root beer we know today was born. Art in the Age wanted to go back and create a recipe based on the historical bevy and thus Root was born.
It's a blend of birch bark, wintergreen sugarcane, sassafras and a bunch of other wild roots and herbs. It's 80 proof and organic and has nothing in common with those sickly sweet root beer flavoured vodkas that are around today. While their website has a variety of recipes you can make, I've found the one that I like the best. Root and ginger. I used Fentimans ginger ale here, but good old Canada Dry also makes for a perfect summer sipper. But remember, this packs a powerful punch, so sip carefully!
Root and Ginger
2 oz Root
4 oz Ginger Beer
lime wedge (optional)
Pour Root over ice and top with ginger beer. Stir. Garnish with a lime wedge, if desired.