Perfect Storm

An unexpected ingredient kicks up this cocktail

Artichokes in your dip? Yes. Artichokes in your cocktail? Yes again.

Cynar, an Italian bitter made from artichokes, is essential to this tasty cocktail, cooked up by Chad Vogel, the mustachioed, vest-and-tie-wearing bartender at Nostrano.

“I like taking drinks, dissecting them a bit and putting them back together,” Vogel says.

In this case, he reverse-engineered the dark ’n stormy, that celebrated mix of rum, ginger beer and, depending on the recipe, lime juice. For Vogel’s version, Variable High Cloudiness and Gusty Winds, he dismissed the beer, kept the lime, and added ginger syrup, Cynar and a dash of blackstrap rum, which rims the cocktail like a halo.

You won’t taste the artichokes, but then, that’s the point. “He’s taken something that’s super bitter and made it palatable,” says co-owner Tim Dahl. “There’s a reason all those ingredients are in the glass.”

RECIPE: Variable High Cloudiness and Gusty Winds

1 1/2 oz dark rum
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz Cynar
3/4 oz ginger syrup (equal parts simple syrup and ginger juice)
2 tsp Cruzan blackstrap rum

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients except Cruzan rum. Shake hard, strain into a coupe glass and top with Cruzan.

Recipe courtesy of Nostrano, 111 S. Hamilton St., 395-3295, nostranomadison.com.

Read more Hip Sips columns here.

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