Bartenders tend to be “go big or go home” types. If you’ve ever seen a bar crew slam back shots of super-bitter Fernet, you’ll know what we mean. And bitter liqueurs have never been more popular in the bartender world. So it was only a matter of time before some traditional brands have decided to turn up the dial.
To that end, the artichoke-based Cynar — dark, earthy, bitter, and awesome in cocktails — just got a bigger, brawnier cousin in the newly released Cynar. More than twice as alcoholic as the original, the 70-proof liqueur packs a punch, almost as boozy as most straight spirits. It’s great as an after dinner digestif sipped and tasty with soda is; but of course, we like it best in cocktails. Given its intense flavor and higher proof, we don’t just swap it in for our favorite Cynar cocktails. We’ve created three drinks for 70 to have all to itself.
Easy: Cynar + Ginger
A high-quality ginger beer like Fever Tree is a great pair for Cynar 70, the ginger meshing with the amaro’s earthier side, while bumping up the sweetness to balance the bitter. Squeeze in a lime wedge to animate the whole thing and you’ve got an easy, super-refreshing summer drink.
Instructions: In a tall glass with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of Cynar 70 and 4 ounces of ginger beer. Give a quick stir, then squeeze in a lime wedge.
Intermediate: Cynar + Bubbles
A traditional spritz, brings together prosecco, soda, and amaro. But this cocktail is less in the super-refreshing spritzy camp, more in the “spiking sparkling wine” camp. Sparkling wine brightens and lightens the dark, dense Cynar 70. A big orange twist brings it all together.
Instructions: In a champagne flute, combine 1 ounce of Cynar 70 and 4 ounces of sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange twist, squeezing it over the top of the drink to spray its citrus oils all over.
Advanced: Cynar Sour
Since Cynar 70 is almost as boozy as most spirits, so why not use it as the base of a stiff drink? Here, we’re making a traditional sour. The egg white gently tames Cynar 70’s bitter side, in this elegant and utterly drinkable cocktail.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker without ice, combine 2 ounces Cynar 70, 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup (that’s equal parts sugar and hot water, dissolved), and 1 egg white. Shake all that up without ice (the “dry shake”), then add ice and shake again (“wet shake”). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a very thin lemon wheel.