Cocktail Spotlight } Sip Some Root

If you’re looking to liven up this season’s boozy concoctions, check out Root from Philadelphia-based Art in the Age. A few years back, Metrocurean picked up on a root beer revival of sorts when the liqueur originally debuted in Philly in 2009. Root became available to DC cocktail makers this summer.

This full-bodied, 80-proof liqueur is distilled from organic sugar cane with strong notes of birch, citrus and vanilla bean — without an overly sweet or syrupy foundation.

The recipe was inspired by an 18th century root tea drink once popular with Native Americans, which gave way to alcohol-free root beer during the Temperance movement.

Also picking up lots of holiday press this season is the company's latest spirit, Rhuby. The Root sibling is based on a garden tea recipe from the 1700s made with rhubarb, beets, carrots, lemon, petitgrain, cardamom, pink peppercorn, coriander, vanilla and cane sugar. It's not available in DC stores yet but you can snag a bottle online.

On the DC scene, there’s an extensive list of local restaurants and bars offering Root. To name a few — Againn, Founding Farmers, Graffiato, Tabard Inn, Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill, and Lincoln.

Interested in adding Root to your home bar? Pay a visit to Ace Beverage, Cleveland Park Liquor & Fine Wines, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquors, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill and various Virginia ABC stores.

Already have a bottle? Try these Root inspired cocktails, created by Lincoln bar manager Chris Houk: the Root Cup, a refreshing herbal concoction that works well as an aperitif, and the Root and Rum Collins, a decidedly spicy cocktail.

Root and Rum Collins
courtesy Lincoln bar manager Chris Houk

1 ounce Root
1 ounce Cane and Abe Freshwater Rum
3/4 ounce Luxardo Triplum
1 ounce fresh lemon sour
ginger ale
lemon wheel

Add the ingredients to a tall Collins glass, top with ginger ale, stir to combine, and garnish with lemon wheel.

Root Cup
courtesy Lincoln bar manager Chris Houk

1 ounce Root
1 ounce Pimm's No. 1
3/4 ounce ginger syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters #6
ginger ale
half orange wheel

Add the ingredients to a double rocks glass or tumbler, top with ginger ale, stir to combine, and garnish with half orange wheel.

More cocktail spotlights:
Tabard Inn's Old Hickory
Great Spots for Warm Cocktails 

Ashlie Hughes is pursuing her longtime dream of writing about food and travel. During her free time she enjoys trying new restaurants, searching for the perfect cocktail, and daydreaming about traveling the world. She currently writes a column titled The Aperitif and other articles for