artichokes vs. booze
- b grubbs
So Spring came to the Upper Valley briefly and we found ourselves cooking artichokes. One always hears about how the artichoke smacks up your tastebuds so they don't take the wine proper, so we ended up drinking what we were drinking before dinner -- the humble Americano (1 to 1 Campari and sweet vermouth) -- and damned if it wasn't bitter enough to get along famously with the artichokes.
Then we got to wondering if that artichoke-derived Cynar liqueur might not be a good accompaniment as well, but there wasn't any around, and neither of us had ever tasted the stuff, so maybe somebody else has an opinion?
I know several people who like it. My husband thinks Cynar + soda tastes like Dr. Pepper, and he really likes it. Personally, I'd much rather drink Becherovka.
As far as the top 100 ranking referred to is concerned, it comes I believe from the Impact Databank publication. Link attached (go to the M. Shanken Communications section a little bit down the page).
When I started working at a wine shop, I saw Cynar for the first time. Everyone who worked there said it was horrible, and I shouldn't waste the money. I still won't, though I'm still curious.
I'm sure it is one of the top 100. After all, Mad Dog 20/20 is one of the top 5 wines in a good deal of states in the union. Does not mean I would drink either.
I like it. and I used to say "only the Italians would make liquer out of Artichokes" my stepfather was Italian so it was a rib. But I had it recently on ice after seeing it for many years. and its drinkable. But, I have to tell you, I like Fernet Branca and Amaro and the like. It's really in that family of "digestives". For the unaware were talking something like Jagermeister (without the sugar). Its def. an acquired taste. Try Chinar on the rocks. not straight up. If you want to get a taste for some of the other Italian liquers like this, I would highly recommend a glass of Amaro Lucano, Ramazotti or some other Amaro after a nice Italian meal. It will make you feel like a million bucks!
Personally I never got why people drink espresso after eating a huge meal. That to me is trouble with a capital T.
Lupa has a nice collection of Amaro and you can usually find it at decent Italian Restaraunts.
If you like Campari, your chances of liking Cynar are pretty good. Not that they taste very much alike, but they're both in the bitter aromatic family, as is Fernet Branca. I like this sort of "digestif" so I liked Cynar, but it's definitely not for everyone.
I've not tried it with artichokes, but if Campari and soda worked, it might as well.