Cafe Maude's Now You Know: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 36

What can you say about a cocktail that teaches you how to pronounce Cynar and ushers you into a world where ice preparation is a serious endeavor? Not to mention the feel of it sliding down your throat sip by sip and the smooth back of the fino sherry. Or the fact that it was made with real care by none other than Pip Hanson of Cafe Maude.

This, cocktail aficionados, is Now You Know, the cocktail that Maude's La Belle Vie and Japanese-trained bartender is most proud of among his creations. And a little trip to the bar down in Armatage will make you understand the beauty of this beverage.

A mix of aged rum, Cynar (there she is), fino sherry and Licor 43 with grapefruit oil and rind, it's served without ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Sit at the bar, so you can see it being made, with specific hand-chipped pieces of specially made ice used to cool the liquid before it lands in your glass.

A bar full of ingredients...
A bar full of ingredients...

Cynar, a digestif made of 13 herbs and plants with artichoke and the equally complex Licor 43 (named for the number of ingredients), give the rum and sherry flavors of vanilla, citrus, spices and herbs with which to mingle.

The formula is specific and concrete -- there will be no "Cocktail" like stunting involved in the making of your Now You Know. What a relief... when it's this complicated, yet smooth and haunting, then why the heck would you ruin it with cheap theatrics and the worst Beach Boys song ever? This is a libation worth time and attention that can impart much to the drinker about precision, flavor and what a real cocktail can be like. Once you go Now You Know, you'll never go back to that Captain and diet. Or that dry vodka martini either.

Cafe Maude
5411 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 37: Urban Eatery's Asian pork sliders
No. 38: Isles Bun & Coffee's puppy dog tails
No. 39: Surdyk's Flight's chicken báhn mì
No. 40: Sunny Side Up Cafe's Santa Fe Railroad French Toast
No. 41: Szechuan Spice's chicken with double chili pepper
No. 42: Dancing Ganesha's Chicken 65
No. 43: Bradstreet's Black Walnut Old Fashioned
No. 44: Wakame Bistro's Crazy Lobster Roll
No. 45: Brit's Pub Scotch Eggs
No. 46: Peninsula's chili tofu
No. 47: Annona Gourmet's balsamic vinegars
No. 48: Cocina del Barrio's jalapeño poppers
No. 49: Papa's Philly Cheesesteak
No. 50: Swede Hollow Cafe's caramel roll
No. 51: Thomasina's cashew brittle
No. 52: Patisserie 46's Rory Cake
No. 53: Il Gatto's Ravanelli
No. 54: Mandarin Kitchen's seafood and tofu hotpot
No. 55: The Inn's Polish Delight cocktail
No. 56: Gopher Bar's Coney Island dog
No. 57: Holy Land's hummus tahini
No. 58: The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta
No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen Nam Thok
No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo
No. 61: Sea Change's Brioche Pain Perdu
No. 62: Haute Dish's "Steak & Eggs"
No. 63: Tremblay's Sweet Shop salt water taffy
No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar
No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady ZaZa Pizza
No. 66: In Season's fried oysters
No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites
No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes
No. 70: Surly Coffee Bender
No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao
No. 72: YoYo Donuts' maple bacon doughnut
No. 73: Cupcake's mini cupcakes
No. 74: Willy D's ribs
No. 75: Salsa a la Salsa's Fried Chocolate Truffles
No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt
No. 77: Origami's steamed duck
No. 78: B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar
No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello
No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche
No. 81: Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce
No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs
No. 84: Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Seven Stars' Sesame Bagel
No. 86: Hell's Kitchen Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes
No. 87: Blackbird banh mi
No. 88: Tank Goodness chocolate chip cookies
No. 89: Sole Cafe's gal bee
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic Panna Cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery Crawdad Po' Boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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