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Amer Picon & Torani Amer

182 posts in this topic

I finally decided to buy a bottle of Bigallet China-China, something often recommended as a Picon substitute (it was available for a very short time at my local BevMo, gone by the time I decided to buy it, so I had to get it at Hi-Time). $40!!! Not cheap. But I do not regret my purchase. The "hype" was justified! It is amazing.


The first thing I made was the Keen-A On You (Donny Clutterbuck), a drink conceived with Bigallet that I had previously made with Picon. With Picon it was already a delicious drink, but with Bigallet it gained a depth that was amazing. This tasted like an ideal version of a Sidecar to me, actually. Wonderful. I wonder if there are any other cocktails created for it.


Keen-A On You (Donny Clutterbuck via Gaz Regan) with Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, Bigallet China-China amer, lime juice, demerara syrup #cocktail #cocktails #craftcocktails #cognac #101bestnewcocktails



Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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Posted (edited)

I made a rum-based version of Amer Picon using Jamie Boudreau’s recipe, but rather than using 100 proof vodka to make the orange tincture, I substituted a blend of 75% Flor de Cana Anejo Oro 4 and 25% El Dorado 151. The shot glass in the picture below shows the color of the finished product (and the ghetto fabulous storage vessel - an old Benedictine bottle labelled with a sticker and Sharpie).


The cocktail is a riff on the Nirvana cocktail that utilized Amer Boudreau. I wanted to tikify it with my Ron Picon, so I substituted rum and falernum for the rye and Benedictine. At 98 proof, the Scarlet Ibis retains the punch of the Rittenhouse from the original and the falernum adds a nice ginger note on the nose and in the swallow.


2.00oz Scarlet Ibis Rum
1.00oz Ron Picon
0.25oz Falernum
0.25oz Luxardo Maraschino


Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Express an orange twist over the drink and discard. Garnish with a housemade maraschino cherry.




Edited by JPG4040 (log)
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17 hours ago, JPG4040 said:

rum-based version of Amer [Boudreau]

Brilliant. Sort of a cross with Creole Shrubb!

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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On ‎2‎/‎27‎/‎2016 at 1:00 AM, lesliec said:

It appears Amer Picon has changed its label:



Left = old one; right = new, just purchased.


It's tempting to say it's a different product, but the new label has 'Amer Picon' in tiny letters.  There are differences, though:

  • The new bottle is lower alcohol (18 vs. 21%)
  • The old is lighter in colour.  The new one seems a distinctly darker brown
  • I get orange and gentian in both, but I feel the new one is slightly less bitter.

Anybody know anything?


On ‎2‎/‎27‎/‎2016 at 1:30 AM, FrogPrincesse said:

@lesliecPretty sure these are two different products. The Whisky Exchange, for example, sells both.





I am traveling through London and Paris briefly next week so I have been trying to figure this out as well. As best I can tell the Picon Biere with the orange label (which I often see used to replace the original Amer Picon in a Brooklyn and other cocktails) is really a French bitters intended for flavoring a lighter beer. Whisky Exchange also lists a Picon biere with lemon added but doesn't seem to have any regular Picon Biere in stock at present. The Picon Club is more similar to the Picon Biere but intended to be a bitters aimed at flavoring wine according to the blurb about it on Whisky Exchange.






What I think I want is the black label bottle pictured above called simply Amer Picon, which I think is the vestige (perhaps recently revived?) of the once much higher proof Amer Picon that was used in many prohibition era cocktails and was cut down in proof in the 1970's to the current 42 proof. It is slightly higher proof at 42 pf compared to biere and club at 36 pf but a far cry from the former proof of pre prohibition era Picon that was at one time apparently as much as 78 proof.


All speculation on my part. But going with a bit more proof, even 42 versus 36, always seems like the best option!




In any case the Black Label is the one I am going to try to find if I get a chance. I can always slip in a dash of Everclear to boost the proof if need be! :D


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