Art in the Age is a conundrum. Their name comes from Walter Benjamin’s 1935 essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Industry. His essay is described as a cultural criticism which proposes that the aura of a work of art is devalued by mechanical reproduction. Art in the Age is anything but a mechanical reproduction. They began as an artists’ collective with a heavy emphasis on local, hand crafted items. The store also stocks bar tools, mixers, bitters, and glassware. They also offer educational workshops, tastings, and home mixology training. We have heard a lot about Art in the Age from friends and decided it was time to check them out.
This was a particularly good night to stop in for a visit since every month they introduce new cocktails. Tonight, they were launching cocktails featuring chicory root vodka. When you first enter Art in the Age, you are amazed at how many bitters, syrups and mixes they stock and all are handmade. Everything is beautifully laid out and working in the front of the store was Rebecca who was extremely helpful picking out a perfect lavender lemon bitter for us. Looking for different bitters for your cocktails at home? They got you covered and you can sample dozens of them to find the right one for you.
In the back part of the store, there is a wonderful bar area where you can order cocktails or flights to sample some of their cordials. The amazing cocktail menu was created by Amanda and we couldn’t wait to get started! We of course started with their featured chicory root cocktails, the El Batey and the Chicory Ginger. Both were fantastic. Bartending this evening were Emily and Kelly and do they know their stuff. The El Batey was made with the chicory root vodka, white rum, lime juice, pineapple juice and simple syrup. The Chicory Ginger was also made with chicory root vodka, ginger beer, lavender bitters and garnished with lavender.
For our next cocktails, we ordered the Dirty Rosemary Martini and Bloody Butcher Boulevardier. This was probably one of the best dirty martini’s I’ve every had the pleasure of drinking. Perfectly infused rosemary vodka, olive brine, vermouth, garnished with rosemary and an olive. The boulevardier was also amazing. Made with bourbon, campari, vermouth with a bourbon cherry garnish, the balance of flavors was simply spot on. Well done ladies!
Art in the Age is a wonderful store to stock up on your barware, bitters, cordials or to just kick back and relax with a wonderful cocktail. The staff are super friendly and the cocktails are all made with hand crafted items which really makes a difference because you are helping to support local businesses. Next time you’re walking around Old City, give Art in the Age a try.