Cy-a-nar-a!

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Ah amaro, how I love thee!  With hundreds of unique amari to choose from, Cynar is unusual in that it’s make from artichokes.  While it might seem odd that a beverage would be made from what is basically the flower of a thistle, there are so many uses for this! From sipping straight, “like an Italian mama”, my friend would say, to using it as a bittering agent in cocktails, it was originally intended to be a digestif.  The unique bitterness combined with the sweetness of the chemical cynarin, as well as thirteen different botanical, it is quite versatile. Now, Cynar comes in two versions:  Original Cynar,and the new Cynar 70 Proof.  Cynar 70 Proof is really just a more intense version of the original, and stands up to more complex cocktails. This week, try out a couple of fun cocktails using Cynar!   The Cy-Groni In a twist on the classic Negroni, substituent original Cynar to add the bitter complainant that Campari would normally occupy.  I am not the biggest fan of Campari as I find it almost too bitter, so I often use Cappalletti Aperitivo.  Here, the best of both worlds comes in to play. In a cocktail shaker, add over ice: 1/2 oz Cynar 1/2 sweet vermouth 3 oz gin (I love Ransom Old Tom) 3 dashes orange bitters (try the Fee Bros Gin Barrel Aged) 1 dash 5 by 5 Aged Citrus Bitters Shake, and pour over ice, with an orange twist.  For fun, I used a blood orange rind. A variation on the Negroni with bourbon, is the classic Boulevardier.   My friend Emma actually introduced me to this cocktail (I know, I should have know about this ages ago!).  The Cynar 70 Proof is perfect in this recipe because it is a bolder flavor and holds up to the whiskey. Boulevard of Dreams In a cocktail shaker, add over ice: 1/2 oz Cynar 70 Proof 1/2 sweet vermouth 3 oz bourbon (Knob Creek Single Barrel knocked my socks off here!) 3 dashes bitters (Fee Bros whiskey barrel aged cocktail bitters are the bomb) 1 dash cherry bitters (check out Carlton Cocktail Company’s woodland cherry) 1 dash fig bitters (for a bit of depth, again try Carlton Cocktail Company) Shake, and pour over ice, with an orange twist and a good marachino cherry.   Being a bourbon lovin’ gal, I was really interested to try the Game, Set, Match Courtesy of Basil Hayden’s recipe page, (more on that next week!) this delicious variation of the classic Manhattan, it packs a punch with the bittersweet addition of Cynar.  Bourbon on it’s own can have the perception of being sweet, and sweet vermouth is also sweet.  The Cynar adds a delicious bitter note that tones down the classically sweet Manhattan and makes a refreshing afternoon pick me up! In a cocktail shaker, over ice add: 3 oz bourbon 1/2 oz sweet vermouth 1/2 oz (I used a bit less) 3 dashes orange bitters Shakes, and strain.  Add a cherry or lemon […]