Cynar and Kola

Orlando Franklin McCray | New York

Amaro Cocktail Recipe

A natural curiosity for employing alternative acids in cocktails led New York bartender Orlando Franklin McCray on a self-described “kola nut kick.” This, coupled with his continued desire to “make highballs a little more interesting but not at all complicated,” brought about his inventive take on the Cynar and Cola recipe found the back label of the Cynar bottle, which he spikes with his own version of cola syrup. “I wanted to make it my way,” says McCray, who, like many bartenders, is drawn to amaro for its versatility as a modifier, a base ingredient or simply a cocktail in and of itself, to be enjoyed neat.


Serving: 1

  • 1 1/2 ounces Cynar
  • 1 1/2 ounces Cynar
  • 1/2 ounce Kola Cane Syrup (see Editor's Note)
  • 1/2 ounce Kola Cane Syrup (see Editor's Note)
  • 1/2 ounce Lolo's Mix (see Editor's Note)
  • 1/2 ounce Lolo's Mix (see Editor's Note)
  • soda water, to top
  • soda water, to top

Garnish: lemon twist

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the soda water in a mixing tin filled with ice. Shake until chilled.
  2. Strain into a Collins glass, then add hand-cracked ice.
  3. Top with soda water, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Editor's Note

Kola Cane Syrup
Add 2 heaping barspoons of kola nut powder to six ounces of cane syrup (preferably J.M.). Shake or stir until integrated. Bottle and refrigerate for up to one month.

Lolo's Mix
15 grams powdered citric acid
10 grams powdered malic acid
1/2 liter water
100mL dry Curaçao

Combine all of the ingredients in a large vessel with a sealable lid and stir until powders are incorporated. Bottle and store in a cool, dry place.

Tagged: amari club, Cynar