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Cynar Amaro

Move Over, Fernet: There's a New Amaro in Town

If you're thinking, "What the heck is a picture of an artichoke doing on the label of that bottle of booze?", I've got answers. Cynar (pronounced chee-NAHR, not sigh-NAHR), an Italian amaro, does in fact count the thorny edible blossom as an ingredient. (It even derives its name from the vegetable's scientific name, Cynara cardunculus.) That said, it hardly screams grassy green vegetable on the first bitter, brooding sip, as artichokes are only one of the 13 herbs and plants that make up its recipe.

Long prized in its homeland, Cynar is becoming increasingly popular stateside as bartenders embrace it, much like the renaissance of bitters and biting liqueurs like Fernet, Campari, and Aperol as of late. Milder than Fernet, Cynar could still be considered an acquired taste, but those who like it tend to love it. For the bold, try it as pictured: cut with equal parts soda water and an orange twist. Want to ease into things? Pair it with gin, vermouth, and citrus (in a riff not unlike a Negroni) or in a bitter spin on a Pimm's Cup.

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