Monday, May 5, 2008

Amer Picon Packs a Punch

With May comes the fruition of the many potions I embarked on in April. You'll hear about my homemade limoncello and orange bitters attempts in days to come. But for now, let's return to that version of Amer Picon I began in early April. As you may recall, it is based on the well-known recipe devised by bartender Jamie Boudreau.

I could have whipped this baby up in a day if it weren't for Boudreau's insistence that an orange tincture of 40 days of age was required. I dutifully waited the 40 days, shaking the damn thing up every morning. I then mixed it up with the required amounts the Italian amaro Ramazzotti (easy to find), Fee Brothers Orange bitters (ditto) and Stirring Blood Orange Bitters (not easy to find at all!). The resultant potion was a deep tobacco-juice brown. But damn if it didn't taste authentic, and close to what I've heard Amer Picon should taste like.

I set about making myself a Liberal. (The cocktail, I'm mean; I'm already a liberal.) Rye, sweet vermouth, Amer Picon, orange twist. Very nice. I was happy to know I could now make these on a regular basis. Then I tried one more recipe I had been eyeballing for some time: the Amer Picon Punch. This required a whopping two ounces of the sacred stuff, plus 1/4 ounce of lemon juice and 1/4 ounce of Grenadine, served in a high ball over iced and topped with soda water and "seasonal fruit."

As loathe as I was to dispense in one go with so much of my new elixir, which was so hard won, I went for it. And wow! What a drink! I didn't really believe a drink so heavily based on an amaro could be that fantastic, but it was amazing. Potent and layered, yet light and refreshing, with the juice and fruit (I used an orange slice) drawing out hidden flavors in the Amer Picon. I could drink these things all day, particularly during the summer.

I must get to work on my next batch to ensure I can.

1 comment:

Mike S. said...

I, too, have become obsessed with Amer Picon (can't really say why). I've made several batches and haven't really been satisfied with them, although my latest is pretty good. I cut the infusion time for the tincture down to about 2 weeks and used distilled water in place of the Evian Jamie calls for. Not bad.

You mention adding Fee Bros. Orange Bitters in your post. I didn't notice that in Jamie's recipe. How much did you use?