Cocktail: The Dirty Sanchez

Soon to be written about

The BF’s recipe:

2 oz Sweet Vermouth (I used Vya)
1 oz Old Tom Gin (I used the Ransom one, which is great) – if you don’t have the Old Tom, might want to add some symple syrup
1/2 oz Cynar
4 dashes Boker’s bitters (maybe unnecessary with the Cynar, but I used them anyway)

Stir and strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass; flame orange peel on top, and serve with orange twist and / or brandied cherry.
The resulting drink is moderately bitter, though I think pretty balanced because of the sweet vermouth and the Old Tom; you could reduce the Cynar if you prefer. I make my Martinezes with the older style proportions (more vermouth than gin), but you could flip those too, or do a mix of dry and sweet.

This came about when I asked the BF to make me a Martinez, and then he said, “With Cynar?” as a joke, and I said, “Why not?!” I like Cynar. I like the Martinez. Why not have my cake and eat it too? It has a pleasantly bitter aftertaste which goes surprisingly well with gin. Surprisingly well because who knew that the Pine-Sol taste of gin could be improved by adding some bitterness.

As for the name, it also started as a joke, but also fits the drink the more I think about it. Not that I’ve personally experienced a real Dirty Sanchez (NSFW if you’re thinking of googling it at work), but this drink is brown, bitter, but still pleasant for those who like that type of thing.

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.