An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Artichoke Cocktails

There was a time in my life when Campari and soda was the drink of choice. I am one of the lunatics that loves a nice bitter drink, such as extremely black coffee, Campari, matcha green tea, you name it. It is so interesting to observe the types of flavors people gravitate toward.

When I worked in nutrition research, I would do 24-hour recalls, where I would ask people what they ate the day prior, and then analyze the nutrients. There was always the category of people who tended toward sweet. They would have a sweetened latte or coffee in the morning with a sweet cereal. And then snack on candy or granola bars or fruit throughout the day. They were the ones who drank a lot of fruit juice or soda.

Then there were the people who tended toward savory and tangy. They would eat a savory breakfast like white rice with kimchi or vegetables. They would normally not snack, and eat meat and vegetables for lunch and dinner. They usually drank tea, or coffee, or water throughout the day.

I was always intrigued by this, which made me reflect on my own preferences. I realized that I tend more toward the savory foods, and bitter drinks, aside from red wine. Although, my wine flavor of choice is a heavy red with an extremely dry finish, which is not very easy to come across.

As a person continually on the search for new dimensions, I was quite pleased to learn of a liqueur that is bitter and is made from artichoke hearts. Artichoke hearts and cauliflower have some sort of mystical power over me. I always have some form of artichoke hearts in stock, whether it is canned, marinated, and/or frozen. So to find out a liqueur made from the lovely vegetable, I raised my hand and bought two tickets. Sold! It actually doesn't taste like artichokes at all, but the essence is there.

For awhile, I was on a mission to find it at every bar or Italian restaurant I set foot in. I am a girl who loves a challenge. There was a light sprinkling of places. But then I finally realized it is most likely sold at the liquor store. Long story short, it now has a place on my liquor shelf next to the Campari and Ouzo.

Artichoke Cocktails
2 small cocktails

This recipe makes two 4-ounce drinks. They are intended for a pre-meal drink and go quite nicely with a small bowl of olives.

1 1/2 fluid ounces Cynar (bitter Italian liqueur made from artichokes)
1 fluid ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
6 mint leaves, minced
4 to 6 fluid ounces sparkling water

Prepare two small cocktail glasses with ice. Pour 3/4 fluid ounce Cynar, 1/2 fluid ounce lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 3 minced mint leaves into each glass. Top with sparkling water. Stir and consume.


Mikaela Cowles said...

I wonder what it is about artichokes you're attracted to? I mean, other than the fact they're delicious. I'm definitely not a fan of the sweet cocktail. A few sips and I feel like I'm crawling with sugar. Can't wait to give this savory one a try!

Alli Shircliff said...

LoL I feel the same way about sweet drinks and sweets in general. I always feel completely saturated with sugar. These drinks are definitely for those of us who prefer a pungent kick :)