I’ve been in the weeds lately, starting a new job and finishing several freelance projects. Although we’ve certainly enjoyed our nightly aperitifs, I’ve had little time for anything more than old stand-bys, like Martinis and Old Fashioneds.
But things are calming down finally, so it’s time again for research and experimentation. To that end, I delved back into a book that I bought a few months ago but haven’t taken time to review: The Art of the Bar. In flipping through it, I found a flavor combination that really surprised me–Cynar, tequila, and sherry–in a drink aptly named Choke Artist.
photograph by Jennifer Hess
Here’s why I’m no professional: I’d have never thought to match up these ingredients. But this drink just works. It’s the very definition of a well-balanced drink–everything’s present and notable, but nothing dominates. You can learn a lot about mixing from this drink.
It reminds me a lot of those friendships we’ve all been a part of, where two strong personalities need a third, more laid-back, person to mediate the differences and smooth things out for everyone. That’s the role of the sherry here.
Finally, the bitters. Even with five dashes’ worth, they’re subtle.
But you should not be subtle. Instead, be fearless. Try it.
from The Art of the Bar, by Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz
- 1 ounce Cynar
- 1 ounce Gran Centenario Anejo tequila (I used Tequila Espolon Reposado, which I had on hand)
- ½ ounce fino sherry
- 5 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6
- Extra-wide orange twist for garnish
Technique: Combine the Cynar, tequila, and sherry in an ice-filled mixing glass and stir. Add the bitters to a chilled snifter and roll around to coat the glass. Pour the Cynar and tequila mixture into the snifter. Garnish with the orange twist.