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Here’s a refreshing cocktail starring your favorite Italian amaro: the Cynar Spritz! It’s bubbly, refreshing, and 100% impressive.

Cynar Spritz
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Once summer rolls around, the Spritz is where it’s at! Here’s a new spin on this favorite concept: the Cynar Spritz! It features Cynar, the popular Italian bitter liqueur for a drink that’s bubbly, bittersweet, and refreshing as all get out. Cousin of the ubiquitous Aperol Spritz, the Cynar Spritz is what true connoisseurs sip. It’s got a nuance in flavor that’s much more intriguing than the sweet, citrusy orange standard.

What’s a Cynar spritz?

The Cynar Spritz is cousin of the classic cocktail, the Aperol Spritz or Spritz Veneziano. The concept of a spritz is hundreds of years old: it was invented back in the 1800’s in Italy as a way to water down wine. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the Aperol spritz took the form it has today, with sparkling wine and soda water. The Cynar Spritz uses Cynar in place of the Aperol. Cynar is another type of Italian amaro, which we’ll get to later. Here’s what’s in a Cynar Spritz:

  • Cynar
  • Sparkling wine, like Prosecco or champagne
  • Soda water (not tonic water)

More about Cynar

Cynar is an amaro, part of a family of Italian herbal liqueurs that taste bitter (amaro means “bitter” in Italian). The most famous is the ultra-bitter Campari, and at the other end of the specturm is citrusy sweet Aperol. Cynar is somewhere in the middle, with other amari like Averna or Meletti. Here are more specifics on Cynar:

  • Cynar is an Italian amaro or bitter liqueur made with 13 herbs and spices, including artichoke leaves. The name is derived from the scientific name for artichoke (cynara), and a bright green artichoke in the logo. Cynar was invented in 1952 by an entrepreneur from Venice, Italy. It has since been acquired by the Campari Group (that distributes CampariAperol, Averna and other liqueurs).
  • How to say it? You might be saying it wrong (we were). Pronounce it “Ch-NAHR.”
  • What does Cynar taste like? The flavor is bittersweet, with notes of caramel, toffee and cinnamon, and an herbal bitter finish.
  • What else to make with it? Try the Cynar Negroni or Bitter Giuseppe.

What’s the spritz ratio?

The classic spritz ratio is present in all spritzes, from Aperol to an amaro spritz like the Cynar Spritz. The basic idea? 3 parts sparkling wine, 2 parts liqueur, 1 part soda water. Once you’ve memorized this ratio, you can use it to make endless variations of spritzes. You can do them with any type of liqueur. Keep reading for some ideas…

Cynar spritz

Ways to step it up!

The Cynar Spritz is really a matter of pouring everything into a glass! If you really want to take it over the top, try the following:

  • Serve with clear ice. This ice is crystal clear, with none of the cloudiness of normal ice. You can cut large chunks and they look just like a fancy bar! All you need is 24 hours. Go to How to Make Clear Ice.
  • Add a citrus wedge. Lemon, lime or orange works great!
  • Throw in a straw. What’s more fun and summer-centric?


What is a good substitute for Cynar?

You could use any amaro. We’d recommend Amaro Averna.

What does a Cynar spritz taste like?

This drink gives you a lot of complexity from a few simple ingredients. You get bitterness, sweetness and herbs from the Cynar, a sweet effervescence from the Prosecco and a dash of acid from the garnish. The overall effect is almost like a fancy homemade soda (but with a kick!)

What mixes well with Cynar?

The options are limitless. We like it mixed with tonic or soda water, or swapped with vermouth into a negroni or Manhattan. Or, just drink it straight.

Even easier, make it a Cynar Spritzer!

Want an even easier spin on the Cynar Spritz? The Cynar Spritzer! It might sound the same, but to us the spritzer is key to summer sipping. All you need is soda water! Skip the spendy Prosecco in favor of just Cynar and sparkling water. Start with a ratio of 50/50, then adjust to taste.

Cynar spritz

More spritz recipes

There are lots more spritzes in the family! Here are a few more spritz recipes to try:

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Cynar Spritz

Cynar Spritz

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Here’s a refreshing cocktail starring your favorite Italian amaro: the Cynar Spritz! It’s bubbly, refreshing, and 100% impressive. 


  • 2 ounces** Cynar
  • 3 ounces Prosecco* or other sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 ounce soda water
  • Ice (try clear ice!)
  • For the garnish: lemon wedge, a straw if you like


  1. Add the Cynar to a glass filled with ice and stir. Top with the sparkling wine and soda water. (*Cynar Spritzer variation: Use 2 ounces Cynar and 2 ounces soda water.)
  2. Squeeze in the lemon wedge and stir gently, then serve. Serve with a straw to minimize dilution!


**To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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