Picon Amer 1L
Country of origin: France Alcohol content: 21% ABV
A descendant of the historical Amer Picon, Picon Amer is designed for use in cocktails and is more assertive than Picon's other bottlings. Originally conceived as an antimalarial tonic, Picon Amer is now used as a bitter orange aperitif and highly sought after component in classic cocktails. The process for Picon starts with both fresh and dried orange peels macerated in neutral spirit. The orange macerate is then distilled and infused with gentian root and cinchona bark. Finally, sugar and caramel are added to bring sweetness and colour.
This French bitter aperitif has a beautifully balanced, orange forward flavour profile from bitter oranges, followed by delicate herbal characters and balanced bitterness. Famously used in the Brooklyn cocktail, in addition to the added mystique that it’s near total unavailability in the United States has granted it.
Try it in a Brooklyn, a Bushwick, or a Fin de Siècle. Amer Picon appears often in pre prohibition cocktail recipes.
While posted in Algeria with the French Army in 1837, Gaëtan Picon created a liqueur to be drunk as an antimalarial and named it "Amer Africain". After moving from Philippeville (modern day Skikda) to Marseille in 1872, Gaëtan renamed his successful liqueur "Amer Picon". Amer Picon grew in popularity with multiple distilleries operating to meet the demand of a thirsty public who drank it in cocktails, mixed with beer, or simply neat. The company's slogan in 1937 reflected the wide reach of their aperitif: "There is no longer a part of the globe that Picon has not penetrated." In the late 20th century Amer Picon split into three bottlings: Picon Amer, Picon Bière, and Picon Club à l'Orange.
NB: Although made in France for most of its history, Picon Amer is now produced by Diageo Belgium.