Invented in 1837 by Gaetan Picon, Amer Picon is flavored with oranges, gentian and chinchona. Currently not imported into the United States (as of 1/2011), there are two common types: Picon 'Club' (seen in the picture) and Picon "Biere", meant to be mixed into beer. Amer Picon is famous in the Basque region as the main ingredient in Picon Punch.
Where Amer Picon is unavailable:
- David Wondrich recommends Amaro CioCiaro,
- Bittermens Amere Nouvelle, and
- Jamie Boudreau has concocted “Amer Boudreau” from Ramazzotti, orange tincture, and Stirring Blood Orange Bitters.
Amer Picon is dark brown in color, with a strong topnote of candied sweet orange and a counterbalancing dusty-bitter punch. The bitterness is strongly root-like. Interestingly enough, the empty tasting glass smells strongly of cola, more Pepsi than Coca-Cola. While Amer Picon has some sweetness (it's 36 proof), the citrus and bitter aspects provide a good sense of balance.
Some popular cocktails containing Amer Picon
- Brooklyn Cocktail — Rye, Dry vermouth, Amer Picon, Maraschino Liqueur, Maraschino cherry
- Marais — Calvados, Amer Picon, Herbal liqueur
- The Director — Bourbon, Sweet vermouth, Amer Picon, Ginger Brandy
- Brunswick — Cognac, Dry vermouth, Amer Picon, Bénédictine
- Nirvana — Rye, Amer Picon, Maraschino Liqueur, Bénédictine, Orange peel