When I'm cooking dinner in the evening, I often like to have a small drink. It's usually just a little something to sip on, and it signals to me, emotionally anyway, that the work day is transitioning into something else, something a bit quieter. I know this isn't unusual and that many folks do the same thing. For some reason, I find it refreshing while working at home, especially: it's like a marker to tell myself that I can turn the 'work recipe mind' off and play a little more freely in the kitchen.
While wine is a typical choice (we have mini ball jars we like to pour a little in before dinner), lately I've been craving a more bitter cocktail, and dry white vermouth (like Dolin) and a splash of Cynar is where I've been landing. If you're not familiar with Cynar, it's a bitter artichoke liquor. It sounds more odd than it really is. If you like Fernet Branca, Averna, Punt e Mes or even Campari, you'd probably like it. That's it, really. No simple syrup. No squeeze of lemon or special drops of anything. Just as much vermouth as you'd like in your class and a good, healthy splash of Cynar. While I suppose I could also choose good chocolate, a buttery scone, or homemade marmalade as my kitchen treat these days, this cocktail has been really warming up winter nights in our house lately.
(Image: Megan Gordon)