A Touch of Bitterness – My Cynar Cocktails

The Italians do bitterness well. They create aperitivi and digestivi  utilizing unusual ingredients thought to have medicinal properties. These products strike a balance between the bitterness of the herbal and vegetal components and the sweeted base wine. Of these, Campari may be the most renowned. However, my favorite is Cynar, whose main ingredient is artichoke leaves(!). While not as hip or bitter as Campari, Cynar adds an pleasing edge to cocktails. I was first introduced to Cynar by Adam Lantheaume of The Boston Shaker during a class he conducted  sponsored by WDWU. My usual use for Cynar was to add an ounce to a  Gin & Tonic which gives the drink a fuller, rounder profile. Recently, I expanded my repertoire of cocktails employing Cynar with excellent results. My Cynar cocktails –

CIN CYN

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Cin Cyn
Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Cynar, Orange Bitters

I’d been introduced to this drink by Eleni, my colleague at WDWU. Though I initially liked it, the measurements were exacting and thus a bit daunting. (I’m no fan of eye dropper mixology or – for that matter – tweezer cuisine.) Earlier in the year, while re-reading Mario Batali’s cookbook Babbo, I discovered his simpler version of this apertivo. Once again, the Cin Cyn was in my repertoire.

THE CIN CYN

  • 2 oz. Gin + 1/2 oz. Cynar + 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth + three drops of orange bitters
  • Stir or shake with ice
  • Strain and serve straight up or on the rocks
  • Garnish with an orange twist

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    The Cin Cyn

 

A BOULEVARDIER – OF SORTS

The Boulevardier - Of Sorts Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Cynar, Angostura Bitters

The Boulevardier – Of Sorts
Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Cynar, Angostura Bitters

The classic Boulevardier is Bourbon, Campari and Sweet Vermouth. Since I enjoy cocktails made with Rye better than those with Bourbon – save that Bourbon for sipping – I substituted the former for the latter. Ditto for the Campari. Since a  Manhattan is my usual cooler weather cocktail of choice, this concoction is a logical progression.

The Boulevardier – Of Sorts

  • 2 oz. Rye +  1/2 oz. Sweet Vermout + 1/2 oz. Cynar + 3 drops Angostura Bitters
  • Stir or shake with ice
  • Strain and serve straight up or on the rocks
  • Cherry garnish
    The Boulevardier - of Sorts

    The Boulevardier – of Sorts

    CHEERS!

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