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trillium

Amer Picon & Torani Amer

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if anyone has any nice orange peels laying around...

i just did a little analysis of amer picon and found they used a 142g/l as sucrose sugar model with a low twenty something alcohol content.

the goal of picon may have been to synthesize the character of belgium beers like chimay by adding it to simple lagers. serious ingenuity. to get closer to a "chimay concentrate", picon may have used a percentage of beat molasses as a botanical for the sake of creating aromatic intervals akin to a beer experience.

so if you can replicate their sugar ethic (which is the exact same as a few other notable aperitifs), a sweetener of specific aromatic character might be the missing link to a gorgeous easy to assemble replica.

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if anyone has any nice orange peels laying around...

i just did a little analysis of amer picon and found they used a 142g/l as sucrose sugar model with a low twenty something alcohol content.

the goal of picon may have been to synthesize the character of belgium beers like chimay by adding it to simple lagers. serious ingenuity. to get closer to a "chimay concentrate", picon may have used a percentage of beat molasses as a botanical for the sake of creating aromatic intervals akin to a beer experience.

so if you can replicate their sugar ethic (which is the exact same as a few other notable aperitifs), a sweetener of specific aromatic character might be the missing link to a gorgeous easy to assemble replica.

if anyone wants to be further confused by amer picon i measured another bottling and found it to use a significantly different sugar model.

one had a gravity of 1.031 which is a sugar content of about 142g/l and another that i came across had a gravity of 1.066 (same alcohol content) which is a sugar content of about 234 g/l. to give a comparison cynar has a gravity of 1.081 which gives an approx sugar content of 270 g/l.

a problem with the sugar measurements so far is that at the low end of alcohol contents the margin of error seems to increase more. i think the reason being is that chart i have isn't the greatest.

i think i need to buy two more special hydrometers so i can replicate low alcohol test solutions and translate alcohol by volume to gravity. this will improve figuring out alcohol's influence on the over all specific gravity of these liqueurs.

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CiaCiaro + Angostura Orange + a Neutral Grain Spirit (to thin it down and increase the proof) give a pretty amazing Picon recplica.

John, I now have all of these things (CioCiaro, Angostura Orange and Everclear) -- any thoughts on ratios to bring it as close as possible to Picon? I'd love to give this a go and see how it comes out. An ABV calculator (there are several on the web) should tell me how much Everclear to add to bring the 60-proof CioCiaro up to Picon's original 78-proof, but how much Angostura Orange?

Anybody ever work out a recipe for turning these three ingredients into an Amer Picon substitute? Any thoughts on using a standard issue vodka or overproof rum in place of the Everclear?

Thanks.

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Not that I've heard or seen. I'd sill love to know the answer (if there is a definitive one). I now have two unopened bottles of CiaCiaro and I'm willing to donate one to this project!

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I've got my hands on two liters of the 18% Picon Biere product. Reading through the thread I realize that it isn't just lower proof but has a different flavor profile than the original. That said, would combining the 18% product with rectified spirit to bump it up to the original 39% be worthwhile? Or, is the currently marketed product dissimilar enough from the original that it shouldn't even be used as a starting point towards a recreation?

I also have a Seville orange peel tincture (at 50%) that's been sitting while I was away and should be ready to use. CioCiaro, Ramazzotti or Angostura Orange can be donated if they'd help things as well...


Edited by KD1191 (log)

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I too have a tiny supply of Picon Biere. The person who hand-imported it said that, contrary to the wikipedia article, it is different from Picon (as she had both, and wasn't parting with any Picon). I too would be interested in knowing how these various things compare (to say the current Picon and to the historic one).

I just sipped the Biere and it has a savory mild bitter flavor with a fairly subtle orange flavor. Not spicy like, say, Ramazzotti.

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I too have a tiny supply of Picon Biere. The person who hand-imported it said that, contrary to the wikipedia article, it is different from Picon (as she had both, and wasn't parting with any Picon).

That doesn't entirely surprise me. While I didn't see anything but the 18% Picon Biere product throughout France (and, these bottles do say 'Amer Picon' in small font toward the bottom of the label), I did come across a 21% product labeled Picon Amer in Brussels. At that point in the trip there was no more room in the suitcase. Now I'm wondering if I should have forgone one of the bottles of Biere...

I just sipped the Biere and it has a savory mild bitter flavor with a fairly subtle orange flavor. Not spicy like, say, Ramazzotti.

Yes, not spicy at all. That's the main difference between it and the various Picon substitutes I've tried.

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Anybody ever work out a recipe for turning these three ingredients into an Amer Picon substitute? Any thoughts on using a standard issue vodka or overproof rum in place of the Everclear?

My proportions are 15 ml Everclear and 1 ml Angostura orange bitters for every 100 ml Amaro Ciociaro. Very, very close, and easy.

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We've had a few wine-beer license accounts wanting to do Amer/Beer drinks, and (so they say) have had some success mixing Angostura Orange and Bonal Gentiane-Quina (in disclosure my team represents). As you may know from up-thread and or the old bottle label, the old Picon was built on gentian, quinine and citrus. To build to old-school Amer you could add proof vodka and more sugar to taste.

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We have a new contender for the old Picon: Bittermens just released their new lineup of liquors, one of which is a bitter orange/gentian aperitif very much in the style of Amer Picon called, appropriately, Amer Nouvelle. I had a chance to taste it and talk with Avery and Janet of Bittermens yesterday: Avery says they wanted to make a classic Alsatian-style amer, and that, contrary to the website description, the final formula does NOT include caramelized sugar, so the liquor is dark straw-colored rather than dark brown. I think this will do very nicely as a sub for original Picon, with perhaps a lighter, less sweet profile (I have no commercial interest in Bittermens, BTW, I just like their stuff!)

Curious to hear from folks who are in the position to compare old and new.

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Avery says they wanted to make a classic Alsatian-style amer, and that, contrary to the website description, the final formula does NOT include caramelized sugar, so the liquor is dark straw-colored rather than dark brown. I think this will do very nicely as a sub for original Picon, with perhaps a lighter, less sweet profile (I have no commercial interest in Bittermens, BTW, I just like their stuff!)

Curious to hear from folks who are in the position to compare old and new.

i wonder why they ditched the color? in my interpretation, the color is supposed to correspond to the tonality of the aromas. picon exhibits a dark shade of orange. the tonal effect is probably achieved by combining the orange peels which an aromatic sugar source (raw sugar or malt). when you add picon to a lager you should also stain the beer with a color that compares to a belgium like chimay rouge. picon & beer is a poor man's chimay.

regardless, i really look forward to their version.

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We have a new contender for the old Picon: Bittermens just released their new lineup of liquors, one of which is a bitter orange/gentian aperitif very much in the style of Amer Picon called, appropriately, Amer Nouvelle.

I was initially going to be irked that they got the gender agreement wrong (it should be "amer nouveau", not "nouvelle"), but upon further inspection, it appears I should be irked that they're making up words, since it's actually "Amère nouvelle". At least they got the gender agreement right, and I suppose you could argue, à la limite, that it's a "nouvelle liqueur amère".

Anyway, I look forward to picking up a bottle if I come across one in my travels.


Edited by mkayahara (log)

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I was initially going to be irked that they got the gender agreement wrong (it should be "amer nouveau", not "nouvelle"), but upon further inspection, it appears I should be irked that they're making up words, since it's actually "Amère nouvelle". At least they got the gender agreement right, and I suppose you could argue, à la limite, that it's a "nouvelle liqueur amère".

Sorry to sound a bit defensive, but I have no idea what point you're trying to make here. The product name is "Amère Nouvelle" - looking at the bottle sitting right next to me. It wasn't just pulled out of our asses - we worked with industry folks and journalists that are native Francophones, as well as our Parisian importers before deciding on a name and they all agreed that it was grammatically correct and preferred the name in the feminine instead of the masculine "Amer Nouveau".

And for those asking why we killed the burnt caramel from the recipe, we aren't making a Picon clone. We are exploring the Alsatian orange/gentian flavor profile and worked to create a complex bitter liqueur that is designed to work in cocktails as well as on its own (or simply added to beer). Our take after many prototypes (some with burnt caramel, some without) was that, though it may result in a more familiar color, caramelized sugar made for a less interesting and useful product.

I know I may sound a bit harsh here - maybe it's just fatigue from the regulatory issues of launching a liqueur line. I really do want to get feedback from folks that have tried the products, and I promise not to be defensive then!

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I was initially going to be irked that they got the gender agreement wrong (it should be "amer nouveau", not "nouvelle"), but upon further inspection, it appears I should be irked that they're making up words, since it's actually "Amère nouvelle". At least they got the gender agreement right, and I suppose you could argue, à la limite, that it's a "nouvelle liqueur amère".

Sorry to sound a bit defensive, but I have no idea what point you're trying to make here. The product name is "Amère Nouvelle" - looking at the bottle sitting right next to me. It wasn't just pulled out of our asses - we worked with industry folks and journalists that are native Francophones, as well as our Parisian importers before deciding on a name and they all agreed that it was grammatically correct and preferred the name in the feminine instead of the masculine "Amer Nouveau".

Then presumably I'm the one who's wrong. As far as I can tell, the available nouns for "bitters" in French are "amer" and "liqueur amère", but "amère" all on its own is not a noun; it's a feminine adjective. But I will bow to your native Francophone colleagues. Either way, it won't interfere with my desire to try the product.

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I think this will do very nicely as a sub for original Picon, with perhaps a lighter, less sweet profile...

It definitely registers as lighter and bitterer largely because of the proof (30% ABV compared with 18% for Picon Biere and 21% for Club or Amer). Old-formula Picon is a bit sweeter, but we decided to produce something that was a bit more drinkable by itself (78 proof Picon is pretty syrupy).

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By the way - thanks to the great folks at Astor Wines and DrinkUpNY.com, all of the Bittermens Spirits are now available and shippable around the country! Our CA/NV distributor has an allocation en route to their warehouses, MA will ship shortly (once our state certificate comes in). Next week, we should be ready to ship to our European and Asian distributors as well.

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Are you also selling them at A y A?

You can taste them at AyA and have drinks made with them, but AyA doesn't have liquor store license. I don't think you can actually legally hold a liquor store and a bar/restaurant license at the same physical premises (though you can hold a grocery/beer sale license and a beer store license... very strange). Luckily, Astor is stumbling distance away!

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Oh, and if anybody in Washington or Oregon is looking for our spirits - we can be ordered by special order from any liquor store. We won't be in the state systems until the first order goes through, but then orders will process pretty quickly!

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I can't wait to try Amere Nouvelle. Thanks Avery!

I just made a batch of Amer Boudreau (but "diluted" with vodka to make the final proof more like the original 78*). I immediately made a Brooklyn using the Ted Haigh ratio of 2oz rye, 3/4oz dry vermouth, and 2 tsp each Maraschino and Amer. Sorry, but yuck. tasted like only Maraschino, and too sweet at that. I made it again with half the Maraschino and it was better, but not something that I would make again soon.

Maybe it's just not my thing. I generally find that I need some acid to balance Maraschino, and I guess the dry vermouth wasn't enough for me. I tried both Dolin originally and Sutton Cellars Brown Label the second time. Seems very unbalanced to me. The Maraschino is so much stronger than the Picon in terms of flavor.

I do like the Picon replica and hope to try it to better effect soon.

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Never been a fan of the Amer Boudreau, but I suspect the larger issue is that the Brooklyn (at least for me) is a Noilly Prat or nothin' drink...

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Are you also selling them at A y A?

And more important for those of us out in the sticks but who might venture to the big city on occasion, who or what exactly is A y A?

Not much luck with google.

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Are you also selling them at A y A?

And more important for those of us out in the sticks but who might venture to the big city on occasion, who or what exactly is A y A?

Not much luck with google.

Amor Y Amargo.

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Ah, thanks! Should have made the connection. I think I have been to this website before I think as a result of the recent Bitterman's spirits discussion.

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Anybody ever work out a recipe for turning these three ingredients into an Amer Picon substitute? Any thoughts on using a standard issue vodka or overproof rum in place of the Everclear?

My proportions are 15 ml Everclear and 1 ml Angostura orange bitters for every 100 ml Amaro Ciociaro. Very, very close, and easy.

Thanks for this. I gave it a try last night and very much like the results. One additional question for you Dave or anyone else who can chime in on this: Are you using the 151 Everclear or the 190? 190 is very difficult if not impossible to get in CA.

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