The Cynar flip was first published in Jefferey Morgenthaler’s The Bar Book, an excellent publication from 2014 that also sports a title which is very hard to work into a sentence non-awkwardly. Morgenthaler credits the drink to Ben Sandrof, who arrived at the idea while working on “a sort of ice cream with fernet-branca.” While The Bar Book, has become a standout in the latest class of contemporary cocktail books, the Cynar flip hasn’t enjoyed nearly as much publicity. This is a shame, as this simple recipe belongs amongst the other winter greats, and should have a special appeal to those who love complex and bitter cocktails. Indeed, this may be one of the best ways to experience Cynar; the creaminess from the egg complements the amaro’s bitter complexity perfectly, and creates an unforgettable combination of vegetal complexity and milkshake-like consistency. Often, Cynar is paired with other strong flavors to balance intensity with more intensity, but the Cynar flip walks in the opposite direction, opening up the complexity of one ingredient in minimalist fashion, all to amazing results.
The Cynar flip is perfect for the amari lover, and it doesn’t need to be limited to Cynar. We dreamt up several bitter replacements—from fernet and Zucca to amaro Ciociaro or Campari—that could make for an amazing variation, and we’re excited to riff on this formula each holiday season. The recipe does not easily form a frothy head worthy of a discerning eye, so those who are pickier will want to dry shake for a full twenty seconds before shaking again for another full twenty seconds over ice. This drink is best when thick and icy, so the extra shaking will be worth it. It also helps to choose appropriate glassware; varieties with moderate proportions and slightly narrower mouths will fare better than traditional wide-mouthed cocktail glasses. If you don’t have the glassware, don’t let it stop you. From amazing holiday staples like the rum flip to the coffee cocktail, the flip family is an excellent and underrated category of drinks, and this one might be among the strongest additions we’ve tried.