Pre-prohibition cocktails and modern twists on classics



Confused by many, Cynar is pronounced “chee-NAR”

Another bitter amaro, Cynar is named after one of its key ingredients: Cynara, latin for artichoke. While artichoke is a dominant ingredient and is featured on the label, Cynar doesn’t really taste like artichokes. In fact, artichoke is only one of the 13 herbs and plants infused into this amaro.

Many find the idea of “artichoke liquor” to be appealing; however, the dominance of artichoke in the name and label has also worked against Cynar, turning off those less “adventurous.” Unfortunately, this has led to many missing out on one of the most versatile and approachable amari.

Sweet and bitter with a hint of rust on the nose. The taste is initially light and sugary, in stark contrast to Cynar’s dark color. The herbal/vegetal qualities also really shine through on the palate. The finish is bitter, akin to a light espresso finish.
Cynar is 33 proof (16.5% ABV) and is sold in 1L bottles.


A few Cynar Cocktails:


Cynar is a relatively new amaro, first produced in Italy in 1952.  Advertising in the 1960s by Ernesto Calindri, helped propel Cynar to relative popularity in Italy. One such ad depicted a man sitting at a table in the middle of traffic drinking Cynar, completely oblivious to the outside world. Despite being somewhat recent, there is not much to find in regards to its origins. In 1995, the Campari Group acquired Cynar and has produced the bittersweet amaro ever since.

14 Responses to “Cynar”

  1. Choke the Treuse | The Straight Up

    […] friend (Domaine de Canton) to a few favorites with fantastic results. Something made me think that Cynar and Domaine de Canton would go well together…. and they definitely do. The ginger flavor […]

  2. Scorched Earth | The Straight Up

    […] variation, it started out a bit different. I was playing with the great combination, of Mezcal and Cynar. I wanted to add a little more body to the mix. As most know, a few ingredients are always on my […]

  3. Eloquent Gentleman | The Straight Up

    […] As previously mentioned, I really enjoy Gran Classico, but found that directly substituting it into classics for Campari made for something a bit too sweet for my taste. This held true in one of my favorite cocktails, the Boulevardier. In an attempt to make something a little different, but still keep a similar flavor profile to a Boulevardier, I swapped the bourbon for rye and the sweet vermouth for Cynar. […]

  4. Herban Botanist | The Straight Up

    […] set this one apart from your standard gins. The combination of Botanivore with the herbal/vegetal Cynar and the bittered Cocchi Americano makes for a delicious sipper that is both light and refreshing, […]

  5. Pinarello | The Straight Up

    […] one a while back, but Bottechia features 3 of my favorite amari in one drink: Campari, Fernet and Cynar. I loved how well this one worked, but it’s a little on the heavier side and I wanted to do […]


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