Cynar Hard Candy

Cynar Hard Candy
A bitter herbal candy perfect for garnishing sweet cocktails.Heami Lee

While experimenting behind the bar at Mercantile in Charleston, Michael Mai realized that boiling down an aperitif like Cynar—a robustly bitter Italian amaro—could reduce it to a bittersweet syrup that would harden into drink-garnishing candy. The glassy sheets are great for melting into hot toddies or spiked hot chocolate, or they can be crushed to add a bit of bitter magic atop eggnog. With so much sweetness around the holidays, a little bitter is always better. In a dry environment, this candy will keep well for a few days; for longer storage, tuck a packet of silica gel in the container to absorb humidity.