This drink has inspired a lot of experimenting recently. I found it while reading a thread on egullet and I have been adding its core to all kinds of cocktails for the last week or so. While there are numerous drinks which have common ingredients, sometimes in similar ratios, I hadn't actually thought to isolate such a combination, bottle it and use it for other things until this drink came along. The main reason I did it for this one is because the recipe uses metric measurements that don't translate easily. The core of this drink is Cynar, Punt e Mes and Maraschino. That's pretty much all I had to see to be on board. Those three ingredients are mixed with soda and garnished with an orange twist. The measurements, though, are where it gets tricky. I have metric jiggers but not ones with lines every 5 milliliters. So when I saw that the measurements for this drink were 35, 25 and 5 milliliters I thought I'd just try and split the markings on my jiggers or maybe use the jiggers and a teaspoon (5 ml) to get it as close as possible. Then again...I could just batch the whole ratio in ounces (7:5:1), put that in a bottle and the drink would be that much easier to make in the future. The thing is though, once I put it in a bottle I couldn't help but try it out in other drinks. I’ve since used it in place of the vermouth and maraschino for a nice twist on the Martinez, paired it with bourbon for a solid Manhattan variant and mixed it with Jamaican rum for a pretty tasty late night sipper.

Cynar What I Mean is delicious in it's own right. Described by the drink's creator, Adam George, as a complex Americano it follows through on that association by being bitter, sweet and refreshing but with added herbal qualities and depth courtesy of the Cynar. There are some interesting tweaks you can make to this drink - swapping Prosecco for soda gets you the a la Royale version or you can drop the soda and flip the Cynar and Punt e Mes measurements for the drink which inspired this one, the Old Giuseppe.

Cynar What I Mean
Cynar What I Mean

Back when it wasn't raining every day these were fun to drink outside. Now they are consumed indoors. Low in alcohol but with plenty of flavor.

Martinez style riff with 'Cynar What I Mean' base using Tanqueray Malacca,left and Beefeater 24, right.
Martinez style riff with 'Cynar What I Mean' base using Tanqueray Malacca,left and Beefeater 24, right.

The Malacca version was nice but the quantity of Punt e Mes and Cynar didn't allow much room for that particular gin. The one with Beefeater 24 however was something I would make again. The extra proof carried the gin through along with its citrus flavors and hints of tea.

Smith & Cross + Cynar base
Smith & Cross + Cynar base

This is a drink I've been making even more often than the Cynar What I Mean. I think it alone is responsible for the depletion of one batch of the base. Initially I mixed it 2:1, base to Smith & Cross, probably since I've had Bonsonis on the brain. However, 1:1 is where it's at with this one. Smith & Cross is an overproof Jamaican rum with tons of spice, plenty of heat and a funk that refuses to be subdued. The Cynar/PeM/Maraschino combo adds bitter, sweet and herbal qualities that contribute significantly to this drink's depth and character.

Cynar What I Mean - Adam George, South Place Hotel, London
35 ml Cynar
25 ml Punt e Mes
5 ml Maraschino Liqueur
Garnish - Orange Twist

Stir with ice, strain over fresh ice in Collins glass, add soda and garnish

65 ml is 2 oz + 1 tsp (or just a heavy 2 oz) if you're batching the Cynar/PeM/Maraschino

Old Giuseppe - Rafa Garcia Febles
1 1/2 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Cynar
1/4 oz Maraschino
Garnish - Lemon Twist

Stir, Strain, Up

Distant Harbor - I figured I'd go ahead and give it a name.
1 1/2 oz Smith & Cross
1 1/2 oz Cynar/PeM/Maraschino base*
Garnish - Orange Peel

Stir briefly with ice, strain over fresh ice in rocks glass

*for base, mix Cynar, PeM and Maraschino 7:5:1.

Also, I've found that 1 oz Cynar, 1/2 oz Punt e Mes, 1/2 tsp Maraschino is an approximation for the base which works fine for this drink.