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Entertaining
The 7 Best Cocktails to Make with Cynar

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There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to Cynar. How do you pronounce it? (Chee-nar.) Does it taste actually taste like artichokes? (No.) What the heck do you do with it? (Stay tuned.) The mysterious Italian amaro is made from 13 botanical ingredients, the primary one being artichoke, but this doesn’t mean that it tastes like a jar of marinated vegetables—it simply gives the liqueur a distinctive vegetal, earthy flavor that you won’t find replicated in other amari. Try mixing Cynar into one of these seven delicious cocktails, and prepare for the artichoke liqueur to become a new favorite.

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Figs have a natural, earthy richness that can come alive when mixed with bold spirits. This cocktail from Jeff Zillmann of Anvil in Houston stirs fig-infused bourbon with Cynar, sweet vermouth and a spoonful of cinnamon syrup. A dash of tiki bitters adds spicy depth, and an artichoke petal garnish cheekily nods to the vegetal liqueur inside.

The Essentials

Fig-Infused Bourbon
Cynar
Punt e Mes Vermouth
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This wine-imbued take on a Whiskey Sour is perfect for fall, thanks to its blend of jammy, bittersweet and spicy ingredients. Blake Pope of North Carolina’s Kindred Restaurant shakes up ruby port with rye, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and Cynar. The port gives the drink a ton of body and added sweetness, which offsets the more pungent flavor of the bitter digestif.

The Essentials

Rye
Ruby Port
Lemon juice
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A truly unconventional tiki cocktail, the Poison Dart calls for whiskey instead of rum, along with Italian Cynar. The unlikely combination of booze gets shaken with nutty orgeat, fresh lemon juice, orange bitters and allspice dram to create a tropical tiki-tail that acts as a bridge between summer and fall.

The Essentials

Bourbon
Orgeat
Cynar
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This intensely flavored cocktail proves that funky kombucha and Cynar were made for each other. Created by Andrew Clyde of Alchemy Kombucha and Culture in San Antonio, the Lucky Dragon mixes black tea kombucha, Cynar, bourbon, cherry Heering, fresh lemon juice, honey syrup and cinnamon. The brand of kombucha Clyde uses, Element, is infused with cardamom and spicy piquin peppers, and that fierce flavor gets tempered nicely by Cynar’s earthiness.

The Essentials

Bourbon
Black tea Kombucha
cinnamon
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Instead of reaching for a basic Mimosa at brunch time, try mixing up the Moai Spritz, a tiki-inspired take on a light, daytime spritzer. Incredibly easy to make and drier than the standard brunch libation, simply pour dark rum, Cynar and falernum into a wine glass, top with dry sparkling wine and soda water, garnish with a lemon wheel, and get to sipping.

The Essentials

dark rum
Cynar 70
falernum
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A Black Manhattan traditionally uses a bitter amaro in place of sweet vermouth, but this wine-spiked variation is far less intimidating. Cabernet Sauvignon (go ahead and use a cheap one) is added to a mix of bourbon and Cynar, which gives the drink an oaky, vanilla-twinged flavor. Using Cynar insures that the drink is just lightly bitter, and a few dashes of pimento bitters lend those baking spice notes that will warm you from the inside out.

The Essentials

cabernet sauvignon
Cynar
bourbon
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If you don’t feel up to making a complicated cocktail with a million ingredients and steps, don’t worry—simply top two ounces of Cynar with crushed ice and a little lemon soda (ideally San Pellegrino Limonata). Give it a quick stir, garnish with mint if you so desire, and enjoy this effervescent, refreshingly bittersweet libation with your feet kicked up on the table.

The Essentials

Cynar
crushed ice
Lemon Soda

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