For two years now we've been hearing raves and whispers about Root, a root beer-like liquor from Art in the Age. But because of the small batches Root is made in, if you wanted to try it out it seemed like you needed to either be at the right whiskey event, know someone with a bottle, go down to Pennsylvania, or order it online. And we never seemed to be in any of those situations. But next month we won't have an excuse anymore when the brew starts making its way to NYC bars.

So what's the deal with Root? Here's how owner Steve Grasse (who previously created Hendrick's Gin) explained the drink's genesis:

I was always fascinated by root beer because I knew it was started in Pennsylvania by Charles Hires in 1876 in Philadelphia. When I researched it I found out it was originally called “root tea” and it had been around since the early settlers. In fact, the Indians used to make it and they taught the early settlers how to make it. It was mildly alcoholic. Its what they called a “small beer” and it was drunk as an herbal remedy. This was back in the days when it wasn’t safe to drink water so people would drink things that had been fermented. We took liberty and greatly increased the alcohol content as I wanted to create something that drank more like a whiskey. We researched ancient root tea recipes and came back with a list of ingredients and then experimented.

Its like nothing else out there. Usually things that are root beer flavors are liqueurs or vodkas and its all done with synthetic syrups as opposed to botanical ingredients. And of course we wanted to take it a step further and make it organic. The thing we found out though is that what was in all these recipes was sassafras and you’re not allowed to use sassafras anymore because safrole oil is a known carcinogen. Who knew? What we did is experimented and found out that wintergreen, spearmint, orange and lemon peel mixed together creates the same flavor. That’s the one thing that’s not historical is me having to take out sassafras but i think wintergreen, spearmint, well they all sound really tasty.

We're still waiting to find out which bars in town will be boasting the beverage starting next month, but as soon as we hear from Art in the Age we'll update.