Amer Picon Review And Tasting Notes
Amer Picon is one of the most famous (French) bitters in the history of spirits, a once dominant product, in vogue at the time of Harry Craddock (author of the Savoy cocktail), but which then fell into oblivion.
Today outside the French borders, it is little known, even if the past recipe has not changed much. Amaro Picon keeps its very bitter and citrusy taste intact, with spicy touches, but without falling into the sweetness typical of many industrial bitters.
How it is produced
The peculiarity of Amer Picon is its botanicals and the way it is produced. It was born as a triple sec style orange liqueur, and then the orange peels are left to macerate in alcohol which will be distilled. But then this super citrusy alcohol is flavored with a steeping process with quinine, gentian, and other spices. The process is brilliant and allows to obtain a splendid product for the intensity of aromas and flavors without ever giving up the finesse of the sip.
The history of Amer Picon
Legend has it that Sergeant Gaétan Picon, stationed in Algeria, was wounded in a battle. And during his recovery, he was treated with an orange tea, in which the sagacious sergeant added quinine to treat malaria and brandy to regain his strength and make the boredom of infirmity more bearable.
And so, when he regained his strength, he realized that he had invented an elixir that deserved to be known to the whole world, and he founded his distillery. Legends aside, Amer Picon has its aromatic and historical roots in the grand tradition of Italian amaro and the production of triple sec.
The mythical Gaétan Picon has not discovered the moon, but he only put the pieces of a puzzle together.
The nose is imaginative, dark, splendid for courage: gentian, a thousand alpine herbs, nutmeg, cinchona never finish. All with the fleshy and rich aromas of oranges as a frame. Good variety, excellent cleanliness, and a low tendency to caramel.
On the palate, it flows gracefully, alternating rightly bitter flavors of gentian, rhubarb, and licorice with more velvety tones. Spices add tangy notes. Due to alpine herbs, the mint emerges with delicate, almost camphor tones. The structure is sound. It oscillates between sweet and bitter without ever falling into sugar. The flavors of oranges, citrus marmalade, and burnt sugar chase each other with great naturalness. Outstanding persistence and great aromatic cleanliness. Rare nowadays.
Twenty euros: an honest price for a good (not great) amaro. At least it keeps what it promises.
What cocktails to make with Amer Picon
Brooklyn is one of the few that includes this bitter among the official ingredients, but you can also use it instead of any bitter and do some experiments. Try it with the Amaro Mule.
How to serve Amer Picon
Cold with an ice cube and a lemon zest squeezed on top. Or with a slash ff soda. As a digestive in larger doses, served at 14 degrees.