1 12 oz Rye (or bourbon)
12 oz Sweet vermouth
14 oz Amer Picon
1 ds Orange bitters
Stir, strain, straight up, cocktail glass
Original ratio is 1:1:1, a very sweet drink with a dash of absinthe. Ted Haigh (Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails) suggests 3/4oz bourbon, 3/4 oz sweet vermouth, 3 dashes Amer, 1 dash orange bitters.
From other users
  • Decent, but didn't find it to be any great improvement over a Manhattan when using Picon Biere. — ☆☆☆
  • Try with 1.5oz bourbon, 1oz sweet vermouth, .5oz amaro, 2ds orange bitters
  • I liked it. Delicate little drink. I went with the 1.5/1/.5 ratio, and I also added a dash of grapefruit bitters and I also thought it benefited from the oils of a lemon twist. — ☆☆☆☆
  • Using 1.5/1/.25 ratio
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Zachary Pearson's picture

This may have originated in

This may have originated in Thomas Stuart's "Stuart's Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them" from 1904. His Liberal is 1/3 each Pecon Bitters (sic), 1/3 whiskey, and 1/3 Italian (sweet) vermouth, with 3-4 dashes of absinthe.

christina in tacoma's picture

Been meaning to try this for

Been meaning to try this for probably a yr- finally did, and not a fan as it is too sweet and the orange flavor is overwhelming. I did use Bittermens Amere Nouvelle so I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes. I'd much prefer a Brooklyn cocktail.

I have seen this in Modern

I have seen this in Modern American Drinks by George J Kappeler (1900) as
Liberal Cocktail
1/2 large bar glass ice
1 dash simple syrup
1/2 jigger Amer Picon
1/2 jigger whiskey
1 piece lemon peel
Fill a mixing-​glass half-​full fine ice, add one dash syrup, half a jigger Amer Picon bitters, half a jigger whiskey. Mix, strain into cocktail-​glass. A small piece of lemon peel on top. Serve.

I have also seen this cocktail attributed to Joseph Santini of New Orleans' City Exchange c. 1850 but I have not seen an original publication.