Christina Georgina wrote:Thanks Hoke. I'm terribly interested and am looking forward to reading this book. I brought back a bottle of homemade Gentiana from the Abruzzi this spring and had a very interesting tasting of Cynar and many other botanical liquors while there. So interesting
You're going to love it, Christina...and I strongly suspect the book will stimulate you more into acquiring, and ingesting, even more herbs and spices. Even the most well-informed of my friends well-versed in the botanical and cocktail and food worlds were appreciative of the book and the lovely things they learned from it.
If you like Cynar, by the way, see if you can locate something called Cardamaro---it's somewhat harder to find, but it's a delightful and intriguing wine-based amaro from the Piemonte with the primary flavoring ingredients of cardoon and Blessed Thistle, both predecessors of the artichoke (the artichoke was developed to emphasize the flower/fruit for eating; the cardoon and Thistle were less gustatory and more botanical in nature). It's sorta-kinda like a softer (wine based) version of Cynar mixed with vermouth. (The amaro was originally famous for combating the black plague; supposed health properties of the thistle. Didn't work, of course; but it didn't hurt either.)
It's great, and with the wine base it has a softer, lower-alcohol profile and makes for a wonderful aperitivo. Good for cocktail mixing as well. And cheap. I get a bottle for about $20 here in Portland.