Bitter cocktail lovers will get a kick out of this Rye and Cynar Cocktail. Bittersweet Cynar and peppery rye are mixed with simple syrup and bitters, resulting in well-balanced and complex sips.
A full-bodied, 4-ingredient cocktail
Bittersweet and robust cocktail lovers will love this Rye and Cynar Cocktail. Similar to an Old Fashioned and Cynar Toronto cocktail, this drink is layered with all kinds of herbaceous, peppery, and vegetal qualities.
You may not see Cynar pop up in many cocktail recipes, but this Italian amaro liqueur is one not to forget about. Made from artichokes, it has a dark color and botanical flavor. Whether you pair it with rye and bitters or use it in a Negroni cocktail, Cynar adds unique qualities to all of your favorite full-bodied drinks.
You’ll want to sip on this rye Cynar cocktail before the night begins. It’s a wonderful aperitif that will warm up your digestive system and prepare you for the meal or flavorful appetizers at the party, like apple crostinis with thyme, roasted cauliflower soup, and garlic bread.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Rye - Rye whiskey is a full-bodied liquor primarily made from rye wheat. Its peppery and spicy finish makes it the perfect fit for mixed cocktails, like this bittersweet Cynar cocktail, a rye and ginger, or a classic Manhattan.
- Cynar - Although you only need an ounce, Cynar (pronounced chee-nar) is the superstar in this cocktail. It’s an Italian bittersweet amaro liqueur made from artichokes and 13 secret herbs and botanicals.
- Demerara syrup - Homemade simple syrup is easy to make using a 1:1 mix of demerara sugar and water. The mild sweetness balances the otherwise strong botanical flavors in this cocktail.
- Bitters - Cocktail bitters find their way into many rye and whiskey cocktails, like an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan. They’re a great addition to this cocktail as well, finishing every sip with a nice complexity.
- Orange twist & Cherry - For garnish.
- Mixing glass - This is a must-have tool for home bartenders who love making craft cocktails. Stirring cocktail ingredients in a mixing glass prevents the finished cocktail from being diluted or from incorporating air bubbles.
- Bar spoon - This long spoon will help you mix the cocktail ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass with ease.
- Cocktail strainer - Prevent tiny ice shards from getting into your glass with a cocktail strainer. There’s only room for fresh ice in this cocktail!
- Rocks glass - Also known as an old-fashioned glass.
How to make a Cynar cocktail
Step 1: Add to a mixing glass. Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice.
Step 2: Stir. Use a bar spoon to stir the cocktail until thoroughly chilled.
Step 3: Strain and serve. Strain the cocktail into a glass with ice, garnish with an orange twist, and enjoy!
More ways to use Cynar
Don’t let the bottle of Cynar collect dust on your bar cart. Instead, put it to use in more cocktail recipes or use it as a lighter replacement for stronger liqueurs.
- Use it instead of Campari in a Negroni.
- Swap the Aperol for Cynar in an Aperol Spritz variation or in this Aperol Negroni Sour.
- Enjoy it on its own or with ice as an aperitif.
- Make a Cynar Manhattan by replacing the rye or bourbon with the liqueur.
- Give this Violet & St Germain Spritz a bittersweet note by adding 1 ounce of Cynar.
- Pour it straight up, top with tonic water, and garnish with an orange or lemon twist.
Frequently asked questions
Cynar is an approachable liqueur that’s light, vegetal, and bittersweet. The flavor is on the sweeter side and finishes with notes of herbs and spices. Its low alcohol content also prevents you from experiencing that punch that many other liqueurs offer.
A Couple Cooks suggests replacing Cynar with the equally bittersweet and caramel-tasting Meletti, Amaro Nonino, or Amaro Averna. All three will pair well next to the rye, bitters, and simple syrup.
Replace the rye with bourbon, dark rum, or brandy.
No. Campari is much more bitter and has a higher ABV of 24%. Cynar is lighter with a lower ABV of only 16.5%.
More cocktail recipes to try
- Basil & Lillet Spritz
- Blackberry and Lilac Gimlet
- Pear Brandy Sour
- Blueberry Gin Sour
- Spiced Apple Brandy Cocktail
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try this Cynar cocktail recipe, please share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Rye and Cynar Cocktail
- Mixing Glass
- Bar Spoon
- Cocktail Glass
- Cocktail Strainer
- 2 Oz Rye
- 1 Oz Cynar
- ½ oz Demerara Simple Syrup
- 3 dashes Bitters
- Orange & Cherry garnish
- Add ingredients into a mixing glass with ice2 Oz Rye, 1 Oz Cynar, ½ oz Demerara Simple Syrup, 3 dashes Bitters
- Stir to both combine and chill ingredients
- Strain into serving glass, garnish and enjoy!Orange & Cherry garnish
- What does Cynar taste like? Cynar is an approachable liqueur that’s light, vegetal, and bittersweet. The flavor is on the sweeter side and finishes with notes of herbs and spices. Its low alcohol content also prevents you from experiencing that punch that many other liqueurs offer.
- What can I use instead of rye? Replace the rye with bourbon, dark rum, or brandy.