It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Art in the Age family of spirits. Because of their recent expansion via Tamworth Distilling in New Hampshire, though, AITA has begun to produce some very interesting, small-batch liqueurs and infusions that are deeply rooted in their local agriculture.
Most recently, we tried AITA’s Tamworth-produced Sweet Potato Vodka on the podcast (episode #68), and now we have a new bottle to try from that partnership: Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial.
What you may do when reading the label is gloss over the black trumpet part of the name, which some of you will realize is a mushroom (I didn’t). The ingredient list includes lemon verbena and lavender, too. While initially this liqueur seems it may be very sweet and berry-forward (at least on the nose), tasting it reveals a very balanced liqueur, enough that you could enjoy sipping it on the rocks, or as a replacement for the sweetener in an Old Fashioned (see recipe below).
There is little chance that you’ll dig up old cocktail recipes that include Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial in the ingredient list, but, as with most of the recent farm-to-glass spirits that Tamworth/Art in the Age is producing these days, you’re likely to invent a lot of delicious cocktails as you experiment with their ever-growing line of unique spirits.
Blueberry Old Fashioned (by Greg Mays)
in an old fashioned glass, add:
1/2 oz Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial
2 dashes bitters
2 oz bourbon whiskey
stir with ice and garnish with fresh blueberries on a pick
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is likely the most unique name for a distillery I’ve ever encountered. Art in the Age for short, they believe in “empowering artists producing high quality work marked by fine craft and intellectual rigor.” On a practial level, this means they design and manufacture everything from belts to booze. This is not a belt blog, however, so I’ll focus on the booze.
There are currently 4 Art in the Age spirits: ROOT, SNAP, RHUBARB, and SAGE. I believe the first three (not SAGE) are considered liqueurs as they contain sugar, but they are not sticky-sweet, are totally organic, and are 40% AVB (most liqueurs are around 20%). I tried ROOT and SAGE.
Art in the Age says they made ROOT because they “thought it would be interesting and fun to turn back the clock and recreate a true pre-temperance alcoholic Root Tea.” The initial scent is root-beer-like, but the finish is surprisingly not sweet. In fact, it’s very much like an unsweetened black tea, quite herbal, and a flavor almost like a lit cigar. I mixed a “ROOT and Tonic“: 1 part ROOT to 2 parts tonic with a splash of maple syrup. I’ve yet to find a way to drink ROOT that I enjoyed.
Then I opened a bottle of SNAP, a ginger snap liqueur. I liked the ginger flavor right away and found it sweeter than ROOT. I then mixed SNAP with bourbon, equal parts of each, and fell in love. It’s Fall in a glass. Whether at room temperature or stirred to freezing cold, it’s an outstanding flavor combination that finishes very clean and tasty. For the lack of decent Fall cocktails out there, this one has already made it to the top of my list. I loved it and you’ll find that pairing this with bourbon makes an outstanding simple cocktail. I only hope my bottle of SNAP stays around until the Fall.
1 1/2 oz SNAP liqueur
1 1/2 oz Knob Creek Bourbon
serve room temperature, on the rocks, or stirred and strained into a cocktail glass