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Cynar and Campari are both Italian liqueurs. In this article, we are going to talk about what they both taste like, and how they are similar and different.

Cynar is an artichoke-based bittersweet liqueur made with an infusion of herbs and plants. Campari has an intense and bitter flavor profile with herbal, orange and floral notes.

Cynar is lower in alcohol at 16.5% ABV. Campari alcohol levels varies depending on where it is sold between 20.5-28.5% ABV.

Campari is a key ingredient in many classic cocktails, making it the more versatile of the two.


What is Cynar?

Cynar is an artichoke-based bittersweet liqueur. It is made with an infusion of 13 herbs and plants and is dark brown in color. The exact recipe is something of a secret, but we do know that it is based on some natural substances found in artichokes, such as “cynarine”.

Cynar was created in 1952, in Italy, by the Venetian Angelo Dalle Molle. It is a pre- or post-dinner drink and has become a bartender’s favorite for creating cocktails.

Cynar is popular in Italy, Brazil, and Switzerland.

Cynar pronunciation

Pronounce Cynar CHEE-NAR.

How to drink Cynar

Cynar can be drunk neat or mixed with soda, orange juice or tonic water. It is also used to make cocktails.

Cynar vs Cynar 70

Cynar 70 is a stronger version of Cynar developed specifically for cocktails. Being stronger in alcohol, Cynar 70 is also served as shots.

The “70” refers to it being 70 proof, making it twice as strong as regular Cynar.

Campari Spritz

What is Campari?

Campari is an Italian aperitif with a vibrant red color. It has intense orange, herbs and floral aromas and flavors with a bitter aftertaste.

It was invented in Milan, Italy in 1860 by Gaspare Campari.

How to drink Campari

Campari can be drunk neat as pre-dinner drink or enjoyed in a refreshing Campari Spritz. That said, Campari is best known as a key component in many classic Italian cocktails like The Americano and Negroni.

For a twist on a classic Negroni with Campari, see our recipe for Port Negroni.

Can you substitute Cynar for Campari?

Cynar can be a good substitute for Campari in some cases. They are both Italian liqueurs made from herbs and plants, but bear in mind that Cynar is sweeter than Campari.

You will also need to take into account the color – its brown color may not be as appetizing as Campari’s vibrant red.