Wednesday, November 25, 2020


2 oz Beefeater Gin
3/4 oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Cynar

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a cherry.

Two Wednesdays ago, I was flipping through the Death & Co. Cocktail Book when I spotted the Cynartown crafted by Phil Ward in 2008. It appeared like a gin-based Little Italy which worked with his "Mr. Potato Head" substitution strategy for creating new drinks and functioned as a great tribute since he worked for Audrey Saunders at the Pegu Club when she crafted that Manhattan variation. Phil also utilized his riffing technique to generate the Augie March with reposado tequila.
The Cynartown began with a juniper, grape, and citrus aroma. Next, grape and caramel on the sip flowed into pine, funky vegetal, and plum flavors on the swallow. Without the barrel-aged structure of rye whiskey in the Little Italy, the Cynar and vermouth became more dominant flavors with gin as the base spirit instead of supportive characters in the play. I was also amused that it took writing this up to realize that Phil was making a pun on the Manhattan neighborhood near the Lower East Side.

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