Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction believes in one thing and one thing only: the empowerment of Grade-A artists crafting quality goods. They tend to not associate with mass-produced manufactured goods that were churned out of some factory overseas. No, sir. These guys are in search of the real deal. They’re in search of the worlds most extravagant and unique products crafted by the hardworking men and women in this country who are gracious enough to lay down their blood, sweat and tears in honor of their craft.
From high quality Norman Porter denim to fun Mason jar shakers to an array of apothecary goods, Art in the Age pretty much has it all. However, what we’re most intrigued with at the moment is their unique line of distilled spirits.
Yes. Art in the Age have their own line of spirits and liquor, created by Steven Grasse. Separated into four separate unique flavors – Snap, Sage, Rhubarb Tea and Root – these spirits are one of a kind. They’re made from all organic ingredients, each containing 40% alcohol per volume, and make for an intriguing addition to any man’s mini bar. Each with their own special backstories, these drinks not only provide for great tastes and good times, but they also add a bit of class to any alcoholic element they’re tossed into.
Fortunately for us, we recently had all four bottles sent to our doorstep. I swear it’s like the Fourth of July every time this happens. So exciting. Normally we’re more akin to whiskey, but we just had to try these. In our excitement, we eventually drank the bottles dry, tried a couple of different cocktail recipes, discussed our thoughts and came up with some comprehensive reviews for you guys. If you like what you read and want to give them a try, you can locate a store that stocks these spirits here or simply order online via Hi-Time Wines.
Snap ultimately came out of Grasse’s great-grandmother’s gingersnap recipe. A real ginger snap. Not the mass-produced ginger snap cookies you find at the grocery store. No. Snap is based off of real Pennsylvania Dutch ginger snap cookies made with blackstrap molasses and fresh ginger.
Snap was the first of the four spirits I tried from Art in the Age. I sat around in the grass in my backyard with a few friends and sipped it straight on a sunny day. When I first smelled it, I was instantly reminded of the sweet cookies I used to enjoy in my youth.
Tasting the snap was an entirely new experience, mostly because an alcoholic ginger snap spirit had never been invented before. It was a sweet, savory experience with a bit of a bite, much like a ginger snap cookie. I eventually took a chance and tried the Ginger Rye cocktail, which was quite the delectable experience. Mmm…whiskey.
Sage from Art in the Age is an herbal concoction that’s being considered a “garden gin”. That may sound deceivingly bland, but we enjoyed it. And we’re not even huge gin drinkers. What makes sage exceptionally unique is its association with Thomas Jefferson. Yes…the third president of the United States.
It’s said that Jefferson was an avid gardener. So much so that he befriended horticulturist Bernard McMahon and sent him out into the vast unknown that was the West to plant and collect plants on Lewis and Clark’s expedition. Sage uses some of those findings which included thyme, rosemary, lavender, fennel and…you guessed it, sage.
After smelling Sage for the first time, I noticed notes of citrus and herbs, likened to most of the premium gins I’ve ever smelled before. The mild citrus scent probably comes from the dry orange peel infused into the drink.
The first sip wasn’t overwhelming at all. It was a bit strong, yet had little to no burn. The taste of mild citrus mixed with a sort of herbal pine made for a surprisingly smooth drink. We tried a few of their different recommended cocktails as well. I particularly enjoyed the Greenhouse Gimlet, while my girlfriend took quite the liking to the Sage Martini.
Art in the Age’s Rhubarb Tea is based on a recipe Grasse’s mother used to make. Rhubarb’s uses in teas as well as pies and jams in Pennsylvania date back a couple of centuries, all the way back to Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin was known for many things, agriculture being one of them. He’s responsible for bringing the first rhubarb seeds over from Europe to America in 1771. It was originally used as an herbal tonic from China, which eventually changed in the 18th century when cane sugar became more affordable. Rhubarb was suddenly enjoyed in a much different manner. Today, Art in the Age boasts that such a spirit has never existed before, at least since 1771.
It’s slightly odorless with semi-sweet notes that I can’t particularly explain. After tasting the Tea, I concluded that Rhubarb Tea is essentially juice. The alcohol was barely noticeable as there wasn’t much of a burn at all. It was crisp with a pleasing balance between sweet and tangy flavors. Rhubarb Tea can be enjoyed straight or mixed into a few different summery cocktails.
Root is based off of a concoction that Native American’s came up with in the 1700’s called “root tea”. It was taught to colonial settlers and passed on from generation to generation growing into what we know today as root beer.
If I’m being honest, I was the most excited to try the Root. Mostly because I love root beer. It brings me back to the days when my grandfather would take me to the local pub, order himself a beer and grab a root beer for my brother and me. To this day, you just can’t beat a tasty root beer on a hot day. And that’s exactly how Art in the Age’s Root made me feel.
Smelling the Root was just like smelling root beer without all the bubbles fizzing up and popping up your nose. It was sweet…like candy to my soul. Tasting the Root was even better. It was essentially non-carbonated, alcoholic root beer. You could definitely taste the alcohol, but it was very subtle. And the burn was mild and nonintrusive as well. As far as I’m concerned, Root is the tastiest of the four spirits. Hell, we even decided to try and make a root beer float coffee cocktail with it that was quite delicious. I found it to be most enjoyable straight on the rocks, though the Root Float was also a nice treat.
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