If your favorite part of Valentine's Day is a conversation heart that says, "Bite Me," try drowning this month's syrupy banter with a bit of (delicious) bitterness.
'Cynar' on Serious Eats
Are you tired of the relentless stream of hearts, hugs, and assorted pink nonsense that has been surrounding you since the day after New Year's? Does it make you want a cocktail? A non-rose-colored one?
The combination is simple: Cynar and Punt e Mes, a little lemon juice and orange bitters, finished with salt on top of the ice. The mixture is rich, at times sweet and others tart and sometimes tongue-curlingly bitter.
For Morgan Schick and Eric Quilty, creating food-and-cocktail pairings was always part of the game plan. Schick (of the Mission's Trick Dog) and Quilty (of East Bay Spice Company) banded together in 2010 to form Jupiter Olympus, a cocktail consulting group. At Choke, an artichoke-themed dinner hosted by Cynar, they paired 5 cocktails with food from Chris Kronner of Kronnerburger and Kevin Cimino of St. Vincent.
Just like the bitter greens that start showing up at greenmarkets this time of year, Cynar is a delicious palate refresher. Although it's often consumed alone or with a splash of soda, it can also make cocktails much more interesting. Here are three great recipes to try.
I'm definitely prone to focus too much on the utilitarian side of tea. I sip English Breakfast to wake up and turn to my favorite echinacea infusion not because I especially enjoy the taste, but because I've convinced myself that if I drink enough of it, a winter cold won't last as long. But tea also offers a myriad of flavors: there's rich, earthy pu-ehr, grassy and bittersweet green teas, malty black teas, smoky and bacony Lapsang souchong, not to mention the wide range of herbal options available. In an infusion, a syrup, or a straight-up brew, tea goes way beyond function and brings delicious and complex flavors to these 3 super-simple cocktails.
Let's get this out of the way at the start: Cynar doesn't taste like artichokes. The edible thistle is only the most prominent name in an array of more than a dozen botanical ingredients that make this liqueur so memorable.