emptiness: noted

As is evident from this week’s Time Out Chicago, my latest obsession is amaro. It’s everywhere in Chicago right now — including my home bar.

Thinking back, I’m guessing my first introduction to the stuff was with Cynar a few years back. I’d seen it with increasing frequency at bars and restaurants, but had no idea how to pronounce it (“chee-nar,” btw) and no idea why anyone would want to sip booze whose primary ingredient, as indicated by its label, is artichoke.

Until I tried it.

Now, I’m a total convert. I’ve taken to sipping Cynar in proper Italian fashion: after dinner, chilled or with an ice cube, as a digestif.

Perhaps all this amari is the reason I’ve been dying to return to Italy ASAP. How amazing would it be to sip a little glass of amaro at some little corner cafe in Venice this summer? For now, it’ll have to be the front porch.