The Root of My New Passion

I’ve been stumping a lot of bartenders lately. Not just the ones from places that have more TVs than cocktails, but even some of the more seasoned pros behind the bars at The Drawing Room and GT Fish & Oyster. “Have you tried Root yet?” I’ll ask them. When I see their puzzled faces, I know that this is truly going to be the next Big Deal in Chicago’s mixology arms race; you heard it here first folks.


I was introduced to this certified organic neutral spirit about a month ago, in Nashville, at City House. It’s 80 proof, and at the time, I thought it was some type of modified root beer. What I didn’t realize, is that it’s from an artist’s collective out of Philadelphia, called Art in the Age, and its become one of the best matches for whiskey/rye and a hint of simple syrup. Just look at the label, which proudly lists on the front, all of the ingredients: birch bark, smoked black tea, cinnamon, wintergreen spearmint, clove, anise, orange, lemon, nutmeg, allspice and pure cane sugar.


They made me a drink at City House which I’ve duplicated several times at home already, thanks to the fact I found a bottle at Binny’s in the South Loop (about $35). They were kind enough to share  the recipe with me, and so, in the spirit of paying it forward, here it is verbatim. Cheers. (Hey Binny’s, can you be sure to stock their other spirits, Snap and Rhuby?)

Buzzy Beer (courtesy City House, Nashville, TN)

1 oz. Root

1 oz. Elmer T. Lee bourbon

½ oz. Nardini Amaro

¼ oz. simple syrup

1 egg white

Add all ingredients to a shaker (preferably already chilled) and shake.

Pour into glass and top with a few drops of aromatic bitters, such as those from The Bitter Truth

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