Because we're calling Root an "American amaro," it should be no surprise that it mixes well with all-American rye whiskey. This is basically a Manhattan variation that uses Root instead of bitters. The trick here is to use the bianco/blanc (a.k.a. white) vermouth, which is not to be confused with dry or sweet vermouth. Bianco vermouth is more herbal than dry vermouth and has more vanilla or honey notes than sweet vermouth. Martini and Cinzano brands make bianco vermouth; Dolin makes blanc.
Root is the brand name of a spirit that's based on the original "root tea" alcoholic precursor to root beer or birch beer, popular in Pennsylvania in the 17th to 19th centuries. We found it at Cairo Liquors (202-387-1500) and at Ace Beverage (202-966-4444), both in Northwest Washington.
- 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1/2 ounce root (see headnote)
- 1/2 ounce bianco or blanc vermouth (see headnote)
Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add the rye whiskey, Root and bianco or blanc vermouth. Stir vigorously, then strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass.
From Spirits columnist Jason Wilson.
Tested by Michael Taylor.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.