It’s not often that you see a dusty denizen of the back bar—especially one as niche as this classic artichoke-infused amaro—given a high-profile reboot. The numeral in the spirit’s name refers to its proof, which is more than double the original Cynar’s 33. A higher alcohol content allows a spirit to carry more flavor, which Cynar 70 joyfully does. Whereas the original Cynar has a puckering, bitter crackle, Cynar 70 allows deeper, darker, sweeter notes to emerge, reminiscent of coffee and dark chocolate gilded with orange peel and cinnamon. After a silky crescendo of complex flavor, it glides into a characteristically bitter, but not puckering finish. The original Cynar is a great mixer, but creamy Cynar 70 can stand on its own. All you other amaros, watch out.
Jordan Mackay’s writing on wine, spirits and food has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, the Art of Eating and many other publications. While Secrets of the Sommeliers, the book he wrote with Rajat Parr, won a James Beard Award in 2011, it’s certain winemakers that he credits with some of his most important tasting lessons.
This story appears in the print issue of Winter 2016.
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