What is Cynar, how can you use it to make cocktails and what does it taste like?
Cynar is an amaro produced starting from the infusion of artichoke leaves and 13 herbs and aromatic plants. It is a historic bottle born in the 1950s and marked the way of drinking throughout the 1900s. It was a revolutionary amaro, taken from a brilliant intuition.
But does it still make sense to drink Cynar today? Is it a good product?
It’s ok if it’s taken neat or with an ice cube and a splash of soda. The taste of the artichoke is bitter, tannic, suggestive. Of course, it is always an industrial amaro with a standard taste, shaped by massive amounts of sugar, so don’t expect an artisan amaro with a thousand shades, but it is true that in some sparkling cocktails, it still does its dirty job. So much so that if the spritz with Aperol is scandalous, at least the spritz with Cynar has its own dignity.
But with the Cynar, you can make many other cocktails, not just the spritz. After all, it is a bitter, so you could also use it to make a particular Negroni with artichoke. Even if one of the best cocktails to modify is the Mint Julep, add a drop of Cynar and it will transform, it will acquire an incredible aromatic depth.
If you want to experiment to create new cocktails with Cynar, consider that it is excellent in combination with mint and whiskey, with tonic water, tequila or gin. Obviously, it adds thickness to the neutral taste of vodka and with gin you can create symphonies of a suitable thickness. Just remember that it is bitter in name, but not in fact: it is sweet and mellow, so you don’t need to add sugar syrup or sweeteners.
Having said that, what is the taste of Cynar? Is it good?
Let’s say that among all the bitters produced on an industrial level, it is still a good product. Not very mottled or evocative, so don’t ask it the moon. But it manages to offer pleasantness, originality and a flavor that is all in all relatively clean. The call of the artichoke, although caramelized, still has a unique charm.
Artichoke, eucalyptus, licorice, anise, mint, cardamom, sage, rosemary and then some more spicy touches. The beauty of Cynar is that it is very herbaceous and not very spicy. It maintains a reasonably balsamic profile.
The mouth is played on a balance in continuous contrast between bitter and sweet taste. It is not medicinal and uncompromising like a Fernet, but it is positioned in the middle of the gustatory scale. The finish is long, with an earthy and aromatic flavor, but slowly fades into a sweet background. Winking.
The price of the Cynar
You can find it for 10.50 euros on the Campari website.