Tuesday, November 6, 2012
I’m a sucker for a well designed label. It often doesn’t even matter what is in the can, bottle or box. I will buy it if there is good design going on.
I’ve been known to snap up dozens of cans of tuna based on cute labels, and you all know my penchant for orange wrappers.
And while it doesn’t take much to convince me to buy a bottle of booze, my liquor cabinet is probably bigger than it should be based on my love of labels. I’m not talking about vodka, gin or rum, which I manage to go through quite quickly. No. It’s the whole digestivo and amaro thing that has gotten out of control.
Because, well...I don’t really like to drink amari. I know that the bitter herbs in them make them a perfect choice after dinner to help with digestion. But most are either too sweet or just too bitter. I’m a grappa girl through and through.
Which is why I've had an almost untouched. bottle of Cynar in my cabinet for the last year.
Cynar is one of those charming sounding after dinner drinks with about 453 herbs as well as - I kid you not - artichokes. Which is why it has such a glorious label. Which is why it’s in my liquor cabinet.
The other night I decided to mix up a batch of Negronis. But....horror! I was all out of Campari. Since my mind was already in Negroni mode, it was hard to switch gears. Which is when I remembered having read a recipe for a Negroni that used Cynar instead of Campari.
Very wary, but happy to finally be using my forlorn bottle of Cynar, I poured away.
And you know what? I actually prefer this to a regular Negroni. The Cynar is definitely sweeter than Campari, and less ‘pushy’ in the final mix. Since I didn’t have an orange handy, a Meyer lemon from the terrace added the right amount of zip to balance out the dolce.
Creature of habit that I am, we’ve now been having a Cin Cyn (which is what these cocktails are called) every night. Which is kind of putting a cramp in my bottle of Cynar. Which is actually not that big a deal, since - no surprise - I have about twenty other bottles of artfully labeled amari to play around with.
1 oz gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz Cynar
Slice of Meyer Lemon
Combine the gin, Cynar and vermouth in a rocks glass. Add ice and lemon, stir.