Tag Archives: art in the age

Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial

black trumpet blueberry cordial

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

Spodee White

spodee white

Spodee was one of the first liquors I reviewed at Simple Cocktails, almost exactly 2 years ago. The team behind some of the most unique drinks of our generation (for instance, Hendrick’s, Sailor Jerry Rum, and Art in the Age) are now introducing us to Spodee White.

On the podcast this week, we described the original, red Spodee as a cheap, strong, chocalatey wine…and we didn’t mean it in a negative way. Spodee Red goes well with stuff like soda (Spodee and Sody, he he) or even for breakfast with orange juice.

Now it’s time for the new stuff: Spodee White. Still packed in a 500 ml milk jug, and still a fortified wine at around 18% alcohol, White is a $9 “country wine” too, but a very different taste experience from Red.

Where the original Spodee was only fruity from the wine base, White has added coconut and pineapple, and is in many ways a ready-to-pour tiki drink. As of yet, I’ve been drinking it just as you see it above, straight out of the fridge and poured over ice. Like we mentioned on the podcast, I think an awesome way to serve White would be shaken with a equal part of coconut water.

Like many inventions from the minds at Quaker City Mercantile (and particularly from Steven Grasse), Spodee White is a unique liquor that opens up a world of great new cocktails. Every bit of liquor from them is edgy and new, and every detail of their presentation is respected and analyzed, but their ultimate goal is making great liquor, and they always tend to succeed.

Papa’s Cough Medicine

hot root tea

I’ve covered Art in the Age’s ROOT Liqueur before, and while I haven’t quite found a cold cocktail that I love with it yet, it makes a hot tea to die for, and probably the best cough remedy I can think of, particularly when you use a ton of citrus with it. The recipe is simple (of course):

Papa’s Cough Medicine (by Greg Mays)

  • in a mug, add:
  • 1 1/2 oz ROOT
  • juice of 1 mini orange or lemon
  • top with boiling water
  • if needed, add sugar or honey to taste

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Art in the Age SAGE

art in the age sage in bloom cocktail

SAGE is one of 4 small-batch liquors that Philadelphia-based Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction produces, including ROOT, SNAP, and RHUBARB liqueurs as well. SAGE is a tough one to categorize, as it’s basically a juniper-less, sage-heavy gin, a base for a more herbal martini maybe.

SAGE, then, is a unique bottle for your home bar. If gin is not a liquor you enjoy, SAGE may give you a fresh-tasting and suitable alternative. For gin lovers, SAGE has a pretty distinct flavor, so give it a taste and let me know what you think. I used SAGE in this cocktail, which is a refreshing sipper for a spring garden party:

In Bloom (by Greg Mays)

  • 2 oz SAGE
  • 1/2 oz Royal Rose: Rose Syrup
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  • garnish with a lemon wedge

 

ROOT and SNAP

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.

root liqueur

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.

snap happy knob creek bourbon and snap liqueur

SNAP Happy

  • 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