Formerly known as “Rhuby,” AitA went with a more descriptive name for this product for reasons that must sound obvious but are in fact due to legal problems with the original name. (Current bottles actually have the new label pasted over the original one.)
Like Root and Snap before it, Rhubarb Tea is a sweeter take on a historic herbal liqueur, this one based on a recipe for a Colonial-era, Pennsylvania garden tea that reportedly dates back to 1771. That tea had a bit of a nutty composition, including not just rhubarb but also beets, carrots, lemon, pink peppercorn, and petitgrain. The liqueur includes all of the above, plus cardamom, coriander, and vanilla. Sweetened with cane sugar, everything is certified organic.
Sugar, vanilla, and rhubarb are the primary flavor components in the liqueur. I regret to say that I don’t get even a hint of carrot here. Lemon is pretty clear, and the peppercorn leaves a spicy trace on the finish, but the more vegetal flavors seem wholly integrated into the liqueur to the point where they vanish.
The sweetness, as with Age’s other liqueurs, is noteworthy, but here it tends to drown out everything else in Rhubarb Tea in a way that other installments in the AitA series don’t quite do. It’s not sickly sweet, but it’s just-shy of a toothache level of sugar. Those using it as a mixer should tread cautiously lest they blow out the sweetness of their cocktail.
Fun times. I’d love to see the mixology world run with this stuff.
B+ / $30 / artintheage.com