"What's burdock?" I asked Chuck from the kitchen, where I was uncapping a bottle of fermented Dandelion and Burdock drink.
He laughed, then Googled
Burdock, for the initiated, is that spiky thing that sticks to your tube socks when you're hiking in the woods. Burdock is also that thing that, when mixed with dandelion, ginger and anise, tastes fucking amazing. This drink is like root beer. Or rather, like a melted root beer popsicle or root beer barrels. It's the anise you smell when you pop the top and also the taste that lingers.
This one comes with some helpful guidance from V-Nick, who I ran into at the store. Him: Dog food. Me: A basket full of science.
"I don't know if you've heard," I said to him. "But it's Blah Blah Beverage Week."
He led me to a corner of the store that I tend to not even skim: It's a luxury destination for crackers with the equivalent of a 1,200 thread count and mixes of fruit and jalapeno jam and chutneys, the gourmet rubs and marinades. After the Daija and before the Chik'n Scallopini on my shopping route. And there it was: Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock, putting all other Blah Blah Beverage Week contestants to shame.
I couldn't not get it. I wanted the answer to "What are you doing right now" to be a shrug and "drinking dandelions and watching 'Friends.'"
"Better chill that burdock drink," V-Nick texted me. "It'll improve the experience."
The verdict: Hot damn that's good.