Cynar, a bittersweet artichoke-based Italian liqueur, "adds a sophisticated yet gentle, bitter, rich note—a je ne sais quoi, if you will," says mixologist Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club in New York City. To make simple syrup, put equal parts granulated sugar and water into a small pot and bring just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let cool completely before using.
Makes 1 cocktail
3/4 ounce lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
3/4 ounce simple syrup
8 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces rum, preferably Bacardi 8 Year
1/2 ounce sherry, preferably Dry Sack
1/4 ounce Cynar
2 ounces Champagne, chilled
Total time: 10 minutes
Put lemon juice, simple syrup and mint in a cocktail shaker. Muddle mint, pressing down gently on the leaves with a wooden spoon to extract the mint's essential oils. Add rum, sherry and Cynar. Top with ice, close shaker and shake for 5 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with Champagne and serve immediately.