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Amer Picon & Torani Amer


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145 replies to this topic

#1 trillium

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Posted 23 August 2002 - 02:57 PM

So I would have never given away that half empty bottle of Amer Picon before moving the the left coast if I had known that there is no longer a US distributor for this fine amaro. Yes, there are other nice amari out there and I'm ordering some from Sam's Wine & Spirits but I NEED Amer Picon too....however will I have my Picon Punch when the skies grey up and it gets wet and cold if I can't find Amer Picon? I'm hoping someone has seen some in their travels and can pass the info onto me, so I can go hunt it down.

regards,
trillium

#2 Echezeaux

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 01:46 PM

Amer Picon is the property of either Diageo or Remy...no longer imported, though I saw bottles on display at various places in Paris this past year.

Best to have someone bring back a bottle for you from there!

Pity it is so much work!

#3 bacchant036

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 10:59 AM

ok so addicted to that damn vintage spirits etc book i find myself forced to drink my way through it, and i've hit a stumbling block.

amer picon

can anyone point me towards a supply of this in the UK?
'the trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass'

#4 winesonoma

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 11:51 AM

amer picon

can anyone point me towards a supply of this in the UK?

Try here.
Bruce Frigard
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#5 DrinkBoy

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 10:34 AM

Thanks for the link! And they appear to ship to the US as well.

-Robert

#6 slkinsey

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 02:52 PM

Okay... so I just scored three bottles of Torani Amer. Now, as you may well imagine, I have a serious itch for Amer-ish cocktails. Any suggestions are appreciated. I will naturally try a facsimile of Picon Punch and a Brooklyn Cocltail. And I'm dying to try Hoskins Cocktail. After that, I'm open so suggestions.
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#7 winesonoma

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 03:37 PM

Okay... so I just scored three bottles of Torani Amer.  Now, as you may well imagine, I have a serious itch for Amer-ish cocktails.  Any suggestions are appreciated.  I will naturally try a facsimile of Picon Punch and a Brooklyn Cocltail.  And I'm dying to try  Hoskins Cocktail.  After that, I'm open so suggestions.

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One fingers worth in a glass and fill with beer. :biggrin:
Bruce Frigard
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111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

#8 eje

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 04:02 PM

Okay... so I just scored three bottles of Torani Amer....After that, I'm open so suggestions.

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The Liberal Cocktail, which I learned from Mr. Taggert's Blog last year, is another fine drink which uses Torani Amer.

http://cocktaildb.co..._detail?id=1346
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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#9 DrinkBoy

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 09:02 AM

Another good drink is the Brooklyn, although it only uses a dash of Amer:

http://www.drinkboy....s/Brooklyn.html

Brooklyn
1 1/2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1 dash Amer Picon
1 dash maraschino liqueur
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.


And while I currently don't have many Amer Picon recipes on my site, there are 44 of them over on CocktailDB.

I just got back from a trip to SF, and while down there I saw a lonely bottle of Torani Amer on the shelf (This was at the Avalon bar at the Majestic Hotel), the bartender (Tim, a great guy, and definately of a cocktailian nature), said he had ordered it in, but didn't really know anything to use it with... I of cours quickly ordered up a "Hoskins" cocktail, and it was a hit around the bar.

I'm not sure if this is a discussion we've had on this board or not regarding Torani Amer, but I know we discussed this in depth over on my forum when Doc first discovered the existance of Torani brand Amer...

If you do a side-by-side comparison of (modern) Amer Picon, and Torani Amer, they are very different beasts. The modern Amer Picon is only 42 proof, while Torani is 78. Apparently, Amer Picon changed their recipe sometime in the 1940's? Doc has an older bottle of Amer Picon dating from 1939, and it was 78 proof, just like Torani. And he claims the Torani tastes like the older version of Amer Picon as well.

-Robert

#10 slkinsey

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 09:24 AM

Yea, I'd heard that Torani Amer is really the better product in modern times, and closer to the old Amer Picon than today's Amer Picon is. I wonder why the Amer Picon people would decide to change the formula like that? Well, anyway, it makes me feel better about not having any Amer Picon.

The Brooklyn is definitely on my list (see above). The recipe I was planning on using has 1/4 ounce each of maraschino and amer, though, instead of a dash of each. This means I'll have to try both, now. You know... for the sake of science.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#11 DrinkBoy

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 04:34 PM

The Brooklyn is definitely on my list (see above)

...ooops, you're right...

The recipe I was planning on using has 1/4 ounce each of maraschino and amer, though, instead of a dash of each.

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When I was in Barcelona a while back, I noticed that all of the bars I went to had Amer Picon in dasher bottles, and were using it in various cocktails much like normal bitters. It is a pretty intense flavor so it's not too surprising.

-Robert

#12 bacchant036

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 04:23 AM

to all those based in london went to the wolsley on picadilly the other day and low and behold they not only had amer picon behind the bar, but had a picon punch on there menu!
not being the kind of person who usually drinks highballs, although have the 'bitters lime and lemonade' installed in my colonial heritage its definitely my favourite amer drink so far.
i have a new favourite bar.
will be spending some quality bar research there trying to worm out who there supplier is.

shame about the recipe change to the almost syrupy version we have now, it you want a little extra dry in you punch try making it with tonic instead of soda (diet is much dryer)
'the trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass'

#13 bpeikes

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 07:15 PM

Ah, Amer Picon. Great when you can find it. I find that you can get closer to the current version of Amer Picon by mixing Cynar with a splash of Grand Marnier. LeNell scored some for her personal collection, maybe she can help you out.

Edited by bpeikes, 13 March 2006 - 07:16 PM.


#14 jazzyjeff

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 07:01 AM

Hey Bacchant036,

If you are still looking for Amer Picon and based in London then I can probably get you some. Let me know how many bottles you would like and I'll try my best.

Cheers

J

#15 Liz Johnson

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 08:07 AM

The recipe I was planning on using has 1/4 ounce each of maraschino and amer, though, instead of a dash of each.  This means I'll have to try both, now.  You know... for the sake of science.

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Did you try this? I tried a Brooklyn last night with my newly procured bottle of Torani Amer and it did not fit my tastes at all. I used the recipe from Cocktail DB with 1/4 ounce. Was it better with a dash?

I'm looking forward to the Hoskins, tonight!
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#16 M.X.Hassett

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 03:53 PM

Liz it looks like you used 1/4oz measure you might want to cut it to an 1/8oz I have found this to be more to the liking of my less bitter inclined friends.
Matthew Xavier Hassett aka "M.X.Hassett"

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#17 Liz Johnson

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 07:35 AM

Liz it looks like you used 1/4oz measure you might want to cut it to an 1/8oz I have found this to be more to the liking of my less bitter inclined friends.

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Thanks, I'll try that. I usually do like bitter things, but this was too much.
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#18 scratchline

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 12:43 PM

Was in an old LA liquor store yesterday and was stunned to see a couple of old bottles of Amer Picon behind the register. These were pre-metric 78 proof 4/5 quarts. Needless to say I snapped them up. My girlfriend got me a bottle of Torani Amer for Christmas, and we mixed Brooklyns with it. They were very tasty and to my palate, there was a celery flavor to the Torani. I am very interested in comparing the flavor of the older Picon to the newer product.

-Mike

#19 bostonapothecary

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 11:32 PM

i just picked up a bottle of picon....

i was wondering if anyone knew about how it was made....

are the flavors solely gentian, cinchona, and orange?
is the spirit fortified wine or brandy with alot of water?

i really wanted to save it for next years tour du france but was really tempted and opened it. hopefully it is not made of wine and will not oxidize....
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#20 stickyii

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 06:03 AM

There is a recipe for Amer Picon by Jamie Boudreau in the latest issue of Imbibe.
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#21 cramper

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 02:11 PM

Amer Picon is available at BevMo, at least in the Bay Area. I bought a bottle a few weeks ago at the Van Ness store.
Camper English, Alcademics.com

#22 cramper

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 02:32 PM

Amer Picon is available at BevMo, at least in the Bay Area. I bought a bottle a few weeks ago at the Van Ness store.

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Woops- Thanks for the correction eje- That's Torani Amer, not Amer Picon I bought.
Camper English, Alcademics.com

#23 eje

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 02:44 PM

i just picked up a bottle of picon....

i was wondering if anyone knew about how it was made....

are the flavors solely gentian, cinchona, and orange?
is the spirit fortified wine or brandy with alot of water?

i really wanted to save it for next years tour du france but was really tempted and opened it.  hopefully it is not made of wine and will not oxidize....

View Post

Hey...

I found a page about Amer Picon. It's in French.

Amer Picon

Google translates it to:

Aperitif containing mixture of fresh and dried orange peels are macerated in alcohol, then distilled to which dried roots of gentian and quiquina (which macerate separately) are added, of sugar syrup and caramel.
Launched in 1837 per Gaetan Picon to Algeria, it is in 1872, that it will create a factory in Marseilles. In 1995, Picon will be declined in two forms: Picon beer (the original, intended to be mixed with light beers), and Picon club (to be mixed with dry white wines).


---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#24 eje

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 02:52 PM

When I made the Brooklyn Cocktail from the Savoy Cocktail Book, eGullet member Splificator felt inspired to taste his various bitter aperitifs against a vintage bottle of Amer Picon.

Bitter Taste Test

He found one called "Amaro Ciociaro" to be closest in character to the vintage Amer Picon.

As stickii mentions, recently Jamie Boudreau has been working on creating a replica by doctoring another Italian bitter. If I remember correctly, the recipe involves adding a home made bitter orange tincture and Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters to Amaro Razzomoti.

I'm told some folks at Tales of the Cocktail did a comparative tasting of Jamie's Amer Picon substitute against a vintage sample, and found it awfully close as well.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#25 eas

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 03:24 PM

and Picon's home today...

http://www.diageo.co...Z/AmerAperitif/

#26 marty mccabe

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 04:45 PM

If you live in the greater Boston area, a number of stores have it. Apparently, a stash was found at the distributor: Brix Wine Shop and Martignetti's come to mind.

That might be why bostonapothecary has some... :smile:
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#27 Chris Amirault

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:09 PM

After reading this topic a few times, I developed a desire to find Amer Picon somewhere, even if it was doomed to be a shadow of its former self. I also have done a bit of reading elsewhere, including this entry on Amer Picon at cocktaildb.com:

Unfortunately, from the 1970s to present, the House of Picon has lowered the proof of their product repeatedly, creating a situation where traditional recipes calling for it (such as the Picon Punch which was created with the original 78 proof product in mind) did not taste the same. Picon's current iteration has an alcohol content of less than half of the original product.


So when I headed up to Federal Hill to visit Mark Gasbarro at Gasbarro's Wines looking for Aperol and Punt e Mes (found 'em), little did I know what else I'd find:

Posted Image

Yes, that's an ATF label, which means that the bottle dates from before 1979. Sure enough:

Posted Image

Did I say "bottle"? Actually, I bought both of the only two that were on the shelf. Each cost $13.99.

I'm a bit giddy about it, frankly. I don't know what exactly I should or shouldn't do, as I don't want to scream through it. I've definitely had a few Wayne's World-ish "I'm not worthy"s in my brain. I'm thinking to start with a Brooklyn Cocktail, of course, but from there....

Thoughts?
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#28 johnder

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:12 PM

uh

no fair
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#29 Chris Amirault

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:31 PM

I can't disagree.
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#30 johnder

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:39 PM

Brooklyn's are a good start. The liberal cocktail from Zig Zag is another good one: Rye, Picon, Sweet vermouth and orange bitters, as well as the Bushwick from Phil Ward of Death and Company: Rye, Carpano, Picon and Maraschino.
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