Drink of the Moment
Rooting For It
Name: Cumberland County
Ingredients: Old Overholt rye whiskey, Art in the Age root liqueur, Punt e Mes, Benedictine, Xocolatl Mole Bitters.
Inventor: Beverage director Rob Haberek. “It’s a fall cocktail that I love.”
Concept: A classic Manhattan goes to backwoods Pennsylvania and commingles with a traditional recipe involving bark.
Tonic Tale: “I’m a huge fan of root beer,” says Haberek. “But there was never a good root beer liqueur. This one’s a little more grown up, and it’s definitely cut back on the sweetness.” Rather than a cloying imitation of soda, the
liqueur plays on the strong herbal flavors of 18th-century drinks. Note the pronounced birchbark and peppermint.
Taste: A Benedictine sweetness on the nose dips into deep, burnt caramel undercut by the herbs. The back end is medicinal, with inklings of spice from the bitters. It’s like taking a sip of A&W, but with about a dozen layered dimensions and a mule-strength kick. This is, after all, a Manhattan at heart.
Namesake: The mining region of Cumberland County, Pa., where root beer was invented as a teetotal alternative to old-fashioned root tea.
Pair it with: “It has a little sweetness,” says Haberek. “You could do it with dessert, like chocolate cake, or something more bold. Steak or a burger.”
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