The Little Italy (and Cynar)


I drank my first Little Italy a week or so ago at The Tar Pit. It’s a Manhattan variation with more depth in the aftertaste thanks to the Cynar (Chi-naaaar). Because the drink is on the bitter side, it’s one to be sipped instead of gulped and might not be for everyone.

Cynar is an artichoke liquor that’s bitter-sweet, leaning more into bitter. It sounds gross, but it’s pretty good if you’re a fan of bitter liquors.  I think it knocked Campari out of its spot as my favorite bitter liquor. It has the bitterness of Campari, but is more syrupy sweet upfront. It’s good in mixed drinks because unlike Campari, it doesn’t have a distinct enough flavor that screams, “Hey look, I added some Cynar to this!”  Instead, it hangs around in the background waiting to be appreciated.

According to this post, the cocktail consists of:

2 oz rye
1/2 oz Cynar
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 brandied cherries skewered on a stick
flamed orange twist

The drink is made even better if Carpano Antica (the best vermouth evar) is used for the sweet vermouth. This sweet vermouth makes every drink magical.

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  1. says

    hi louise, just wanted to say that i love how you have cocktail recipes on your site. my wife and i enjoy mixing up cocktails at home as well. i’m looking at the carpano vermouth, and ready to shake it up at home ha. that stuff is so good and the best for manhattans! i hope to post some cocktail recipes up soon. cheers.

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