lol, a suicide* for grownups. Would try.
― If Your Site Mod Vomits (Do This Every Day) (WmC), Friday, 11 January 2019 17:12 (one year ago) link
Cynar and aperol are staples in my house. Not a huge fernet fan but it's probably because it's everywhere where I am (and because of the licorice/mint). Dell'erborista was actually on my list of ones to try since it's made by the same family as Sibilla. I am putting the sfumato and zucca on my list, that sounds really good.
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:15 (one year ago) link
xpost, ha they should make an amaro solera system with that.
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:16 (one year ago) link
This is a pretty good cheat sheet:https://kindredcocktails.com/info/amaro
So are these posts:https://inuakena.com/spirit-reviews/amaro-101-an-introduction-to-italian-amari/https://inuakena.com/spirit-reviews/amaro-102-beyond-basic-bitters/https://inuakena.com/spirit-reviews/amaro-103-advanced-amari/https://inuakena.com/spirit-reviews/amaro-104-continuing-education/
Also see the book Amaro by Brad Thomas Parsons.
― jaymc, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:17 (one year ago) link
I wonder if everything in Italy now is exported.
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:19 (one year ago) link
Nothing prepared me for the sheer volume of Fernet people manage to get through in Argentina.
I have a bunch of digestifs at home but they tend to be Eastern European. Rigas Balsam is an acquired taste. Unicum remains the second most vile thing I’ve ever drunk, after a Danish bitter liqueur whose name escapes me. If anyone comes across anything particularly good from that part of the world, let me know.
― ShariVari, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:21 (one year ago) link
Becherovka is delicious and tastes like Christmas tbf.
― ShariVari, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:23 (one year ago) link
a Danish bitter liqueur whose name escapes me
― jaymc, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:24 (one year ago) link
Me: You know what Unicum is made from?Wife (sighs, has heard me make this joke a dozen times): WhatMe: Unicorn cum
― jaymc, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:26 (one year ago) link
I can’t imagine Gammel Dansk is that bad but I think I still have the bottle at home so will look.
― ShariVari, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:26 (one year ago) link
Tastes like xmas like speculoos or like pine?
thx for the links jaymc!
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:30 (one year ago) link
Unicum has a bottle that looks like someone graduated from wearing drakkar noir.
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:32 (one year ago) link
We have a bottle of Gammel Dansk in our drinks cabinet as a "gift" from some friends' Danish holiday. Suspect the famed botanicals therein to include dandelion milk, baby shampoo and the stuff my parents painted on my fingernails when I was 5 to stop me biting them. It's a lot worse than Unicum imo.
― a passing spacecadet, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:52 (one year ago) link
"Rigas Balsam is an acquired taste"
Oh, I think I bought a bottle of this from the Baltic shop in my town just to see what it was. Brown bottle, like some kind of Edwardian ceramic, not much bigger than a test tube? Or is there something else in a similar bottle? It was either Latvian or Lithuanian, with apologies to any Baltic readers for mixing them up.
I found it OK-ish although the other half found it disgusting (more than Unicum but not as much as Gammel Dansk) and I wouldn't buy a bigger bottle, put it that way.
(Not quite on-topic itt, but my favourite thing from the Baltic shop is the Ukrainian birch vodka - Nemiroff brand, I think. Perhaps I should take that to a vodka thread...)
― a passing spacecadet, Friday, 11 January 2019 18:05 (one year ago) link
I was at a friend's place on NYE, and he had not only a bottle of Rigas Balsam but also a Chilean amaro I'd never heard of called Araucano. It was pretty good.
― jaymc, Friday, 11 January 2019 18:09 (one year ago) link
jaymc, thanks for those links -- I'll make copious notes before my trip.
― If Your Site Mod Vomits (Do This Every Day) (WmC), Friday, 11 January 2019 18:12 (one year ago) link
xpost Oh I see that araucano in the grocery store. Because of the label I thought it was a fernet or angosturo. How did you drink it?
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 18:19 (one year ago) link
Just sipped on a bit of it, neat
― jaymc, Friday, 11 January 2019 18:22 (one year ago) link
I guess the title should've been Amari. Like I learned about the singular of pasta shapes here.
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 18:50 (one year ago) link
It turns out the offending drink was Piratens Besk, which is neither Danish, nor really an aperitif - it’s a wormwood schnapps kind of thing so apologies both to the Danes and the amaro family.
― ShariVari, Friday, 11 January 2019 19:06 (one year ago) link
ok so for edification of myself and possibly others i'm going try to taste one amaro a day when i'm home and post a quick tasting note...i mostly use these guys in cocktails and not as sippers so this should be interesting.
first off the shelf is amaro lucano. aroma is more spicy than herbal. distinct menthol note. doesn't taste minty though, tastes more like warm baking spices. lots of cinnamon. fairly sweet, what i'd call light-medium bitterness. pretty think mouthfeel with that syrupy caramel color thing.
― call all destroyer, Friday, 11 January 2019 19:22 (one year ago) link
I'm into it ^^^. I'll do the same when I come across something new (maybe I can get the araucano tomorrow when I go grocery shopping).
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 20:00 (one year ago) link
should have been THICK mouthfeel up there
― call all destroyer, Friday, 11 January 2019 20:06 (one year ago) link
many xposts, jaymc Do you have the Amaro book. I had thought about getting it over the holidays but I thought it might be cocktail recipe heavy which I wasn't so interested in that part of it.
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 20:28 (one year ago) link
In late summer 2017 I was sitting at the nice restaurant my boyfriend was working at, having an after-his-shift drink with him, and there was a gregarious man down the bar who was on a date with his wife. The man bought my bf and me a shot that he thought was really "the best": half smoky mezcal, and half Montenegro. It is a delicious shot. We had another after he left and verified that yes, this is a delicious drink, and the night was really nice and we had a great time and the drink kind of became our go-to romantic celebratory drink.
We didn't know what the drink was called and so we just called it a Harrison (the gregarious man's name was Harrison). Our enjoyment of the drink around the few restaurants we enjoy has caught on and there's a place up the street from me that has a Harrison on the menu. It's a good drink! Hard to get good mezcal in Canada but anyway yeah
― flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 11 January 2019 20:42 (one year ago) link
I really want to try this shot and I don't have either of those things.
― Yerac, Friday, 11 January 2019 21:55 (one year ago) link
not going to drink it as a shot but i'll def try it as a 50/50 cocktail
― call all destroyer, Friday, 11 January 2019 21:57 (one year ago) link
It works well as a sipper with a single cube of ice, can confirm
― flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 11 January 2019 23:20 (one year ago) link
I was going to write "I have the Amaro book" but I realised I don't, I have "Bitterman's Field Guide to Bitters and Amari" which is 90% about bitters and the amari section is just a 10-page list of brands with tasting notes.
― seandalai, Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:18 (one year ago) link
Did you enjoy the book?
― Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:41 (one year ago) link
it's fine - I already had one book on Bitters (the Brad Parsons one), this didn't really add much on top of that one
― seandalai, Saturday, 12 January 2019 01:49 (one year ago) link
lots of "what if Negroni but with Angostura Bitters" type recipes
I got into Amari via Fernet but it turns out the only Fernet I really like is Branca (I have near-full/going-nowhere bottles of Fernet 1882, Fernet Stock and this weird creature). When I left a previous job the leaving gift from my very thoughtful colleagues was a bottle of Rigas Balsam (also going nowhere)...
All-time favourites are probably: Cynar, Meletti, Suze, Fernet Branca. I have some others lying around (Montenegro, Nonino, Campari, Aperol) that only really see cocktail use.
― seandalai, Saturday, 12 January 2019 01:50 (one year ago) link
tbh cocktail use is my main interest here, altho I drink Fernet Branca straight
― sleeve, Saturday, 12 January 2019 02:00 (one year ago) link
hmmm, yeah I am not interested in any cocktail book. I don't really make cocktails at home and usually will just drink things with soda water if anything. Even the aperol I think is too sweet if I do it with prosecco/spritz so will just use soda water.
― Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 02:03 (one year ago) link
Ha, opposite xpost.
i def buy them for cocktails and pulling off specific recipes, what the heck, they're shelf-stable and have cool-looking bottles. i'm not opposed to drinking them straight and should probably do so more often since the shelving unit i use for liquor is pretty much maxed. need to reorganize it and shift some underutilized stuff to the basement shelves asap.
― call all destroyer, Saturday, 12 January 2019 02:10 (one year ago) link
yeah, I can only focus on so much at once and just don't even want to get into trying to keep a full bar at home. 80% of my space goes to wine with the other 20% basically brown spirits.
― Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 02:19 (one year ago) link
Yep. I did buy it for the cocktail recipes, which make up about half the book, but there's also a substantial section (maybe about a quarter of the book) that just lists and describes various amari.
― jaymc, Saturday, 12 January 2019 03:57 (one year ago) link
this weird creature
Ha, I bought that (Salmiakki Dala) for my brother for Christmas a couple of years ago (though I don't think I realized it was produced by Bittermens).
― jaymc, Saturday, 12 January 2019 03:59 (one year ago) link
I had Nardini Tagliatella, which the seller said was a mix of a lot of different tap drippings. It was good, but sweeter than I normally like.
I am doing dry January so no amaro for me this month.
― Virginia Plain, Saturday, 12 January 2019 05:58 (one year ago) link
VP we will be around all Feb. so we can have an amari tasting then.
― Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 13:06 (one year ago) link
At the grocery store today I also found this other chilean amaro (I did not buy) that was an alpenkrauter? For some reason I can only find a pic on a flickr. The label was cute. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nirvinochile/7423596160
― Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 15:53 (one year ago) link
Yes, Yerac, I am down for February amaro tasting! I love Amaros so much. One thing I really like is having it for the last drink of the night, as it calms me down and teaches my brain to stop drinking, unlike most liquors.
― Virginia Plain, Sunday, 13 January 2019 03:04 (one year ago) link
Yeah, I don't really know if they help digestion but I drink them too instead of opening a bottle of wine. I mixed the sibilla and the araucano i got last night together.
― Yerac, Sunday, 13 January 2019 12:36 (one year ago) link
are we in a trendy amaro moment? overheard a friend-of-friends talking about them on friday night and got some tips on where to buy locally and some recommendations
― mh, Sunday, 13 January 2019 16:45 (one year ago) link
Hmm maybe. I was shocked when I learned several years ago how popular negronis were in the US and maybe it's a natural side effect of that, going away from fruity/sweet drinks to more savory/bitter. I noticed a lot of US artisanal amari when I was in the wine/spirits stores last year.
― Yerac, Sunday, 13 January 2019 17:03 (one year ago) link
they've been bubbling under for a couple years but yeah i think they might be hitting another level based on my own very anecdotal experiences
― call all destroyer, Sunday, 13 January 2019 17:04 (one year ago) link
I've never done tasting notes on an amaro before and I don't have benchmarks here to start from but I went based upon other alcohols.
Araucano ~$10USD in chileMedium amber brown, clear. On the nose it's very cola, sassafras, clove, cinnamon bark, cocoa powder, vanilla, orange oil, a little bit of menthol. Palate is cinnamon cola, sassafras, allspice, orange peel, woody. Medium+ sugar, medium+ acidity, medium+ bitterness. Medium finish.
― Yerac, Sunday, 13 January 2019 19:47 (one year ago) link
next up we got amaro ciociaro. mine is an old bottle i actually i made a special trip to astor wines & spirits for back before this stuff was in wider distribution. back in the day it was a preferred substitute for amer picon for people in the u.s.a. who were trying to make the brooklyn cocktail, though i think there are several more options now.
smells like orange and cloves to me. that holds in the taste as well though there's some brown sugar and another flavor i'd describe as "granulated white sugar" which is interesting. i think of ciociaro as one of the more fruit-forward (well really orange-forward) amari at least among the basic brown ones. there's another one on my shelf coming up that blows it away in that regard but it's still pleasant, with moderate sweetness, light bitterness, and a less gloopy mouthfeel.
― call all destroyer, Monday, 14 January 2019 19:44 (one year ago) link
I have not tried anything new but I re-tried this badass local calisaya, still delicious, golden spicy chinchona
― Ambient Police (sleeve), Friday, 21 June 2019 02:24 (seven months ago) link
I bought some Picon today, based on hype that I've seen about it. It's readily available here (I bought it at an Asian supermarket that I frequent, but it's not a speciality item). It tastes great! But I gather from this thread that it's a cocktail thing. Do any of you have particular recommendations on things to make with it?
― L'assie (Euler), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 15:55 (three months ago) link
picon is mostly famous in america at least for being a key ingredient in the brooklyn cocktail, itself mostly famous imo for being named after brooklyn. the brooklyn formulation you'll see most is 2 oz. of rye with a 1-oz. mix of dry vermouth, picon, and maraschino. this results in an *extremely* dry cocktail that is more bracing than it is tasty.
jim meehan proposed a revision to the brooklyn in one of his books, basing his case on the fact that instead of dry vermouth, cocktails developed in the early 20th century might have been using blanc vermouth. you could make his formulation with 2 oz. rye, .75 oz. blanc vermouth, and a quarter oz. each of picon and maraschino. we still don't have picon here but there are several alternate options--i've made meehan's version with one of them and i think it's great.
in general, picon and picon-like formulations will do well with any spicy rye or herbacious gin formula you want to come up with. also, it's been years since i had a picon bier in paris but i wouldn't turn one down right now.
― call all destroyer, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 17:30 (three months ago) link
yeah the one I bought says "Picon bière" and the recipe on the back is to add it to a beer. I'm not averse to that, but I'm more interested in cocktails. I read about Picon punch, and I'm going to make some tonight. An herbaceous gin combo sounds good though.
― L'assie (Euler), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 17:55 (three months ago) link
Its heyday has passed but eGullet is a good place to check for discussion of exotic drinks going back to the 00s when craft cocktail ppl were discovering them afresh and trying to work out what to do with them. There's an Amer Picon thread: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/9916-amer-picon-torani-amer
― britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 21:36 (three months ago) link
oh i posted this in a cocktail thread a couple of weeks ago but if anyone is idle there are so many wonderful vintage cocktail books archived online here.
― Yerac, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 21:44 (three months ago) link
that egullet thread brings me back. they were at the tail end of their prime when i found the place but there's a wealth of info on there. some really incredible science of shaking and stirring posts that still inform how i mix drinks. sincere 2000s message boarding at its best.
― call all destroyer, Thursday, 31 October 2019 01:07 (three months ago) link
holy crap Yerac that website is nuts. i love perusing stuff like that. thx
― one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 1 November 2019 15:27 (three months ago) link
I love Picon biere, and I thought it was one of the few remaining things that you still can't easily buy in the U.S. (a friend brings back a bottle from Paris every few years). Has that changed?
Last night we had some of the Nocino (walnut liqueur) that I brought back from Switzerland in like '06, it's still delicious.
― change display name (Jordan), Friday, 1 November 2019 15:34 (three months ago) link
still no picon in the u.s. as far as i know
― call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:48 (three months ago) link
Yeah, you still can't get the original Amer Picon in the U.S., as far as I know. Where are you, Euler?
There are a couple of substitutes that I'm aware of -- the most common is Torani Amer. Also, some people just use other amari, like CioCiaro or Ramazzotti, for recipes that call for Amer Picon.
― jaymc, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:48 (three months ago) link
(CioCiaro is what I've personally used to make Brooklyns and picon bieres.)
― jaymc, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:49 (three months ago) link
ah, thanks, I was struggling with how to use CioCiaro upthread, never thought of using amari boilermaker style
― Book Doula (sleeve), Friday, 1 November 2019 15:52 (three months ago) link
euler is in paris iirc
bigallet china-china is another good substitute--even more pronounced orange flavors than ciociaro.
― call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:53 (three months ago) link
Yeah, I get the impression that the orange notes are key. Jamie Boudreau (of Canon in Seattle) uses Ramazzotti but mixed with orange bitters and orange tincture.
― jaymc, Friday, 1 November 2019 16:04 (three months ago) link
Golden Moon Distillery in Colorado makes a Picon they claim is faithful to the original recipe:
Golden Moon Amer dit Picon is produced using the finest hand-selected herbs, spices and botanicals available. We have recreated the original processes and acquired the original type of ingredients used by legendary distiller Gaetan Picon to create his amer (bitters) in the 1830’s. Bottled at 78 Proof, Golden Moon Amer dit Picon is the perfect ingredient for the legendary Picon Punch, the Brittany cocktail, and a host of other classic cocktails. It can also be enjoyed by itself.
Looks like they've got distribution local to me, going to see who stocks it.
― by the light of the burning Citroën, Friday, 1 November 2019 16:18 (three months ago) link
no distro near me but that's awesome!
― call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 16:23 (three months ago) link
yeah I live in Paris
I really like Picon! I've been mixing it with grenadine and soda water, sort of a Picon Punch but without brandy.
I think I need to buy a shaker if I'm gonna keep making cocktails. Stirring it with a butter knife doesn't work that well.
― L'assie (Euler), Friday, 1 November 2019 17:19 (three months ago) link
to get your start with stirred cocktails (as 99% of picon cocktails would be) just get a nice long barspoon and strainer and use a regular pint glass.
― call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 17:53 (three months ago) link
what is the strainer for? for seeds from a lemon for instance?
― L'assie (Euler), Friday, 1 November 2019 17:55 (three months ago) link
1. put your ingredients in the pint glass2. add ice3. stir until chilled4. strain into a chilled cocktail glass
― call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 17:59 (three months ago) link
yeah, if you google image boston shaker vs cobbler shaker you will see that you usually need a strainer for the boston shaker set up. I much prefer the pint glass method.
― Yerac, Friday, 1 November 2019 18:00 (three months ago) link
oh ice, yeah that would be nice, we don't normally have it here (it's something I like usa fridges for) but I could make some.
― L'assie (Euler), Friday, 1 November 2019 18:03 (three months ago) link
I don't bother straining stirred drinks (beyond removing the ice) but yeah, ice is fundamental to most cocktail recipes (apart from the whole room-temperature scaffa thing)
― britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Friday, 1 November 2019 20:12 (three months ago) link
I had a picon bierre last night, inspired by this thread, the bar I was in just happens to have it on the first page of their menu. It was very nice and took the edge off the overly hoppy beer they made it with.
― American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Friday, 1 November 2019 20:19 (three months ago) link
a picon biere made with a hoppy beer is an interesting idea. i've only ever had it made with, like, kronenbourg.
― call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 20:32 (three months ago) link
I'm sure there's a better name than "beer negroni" but beer + Campari + vermouth is lovely
― britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Friday, 1 November 2019 21:18 (three months ago) link
I've only tried with lighter lager-ish beers though
It would probably be better with kronenbourg. As ever I am a grumpy old bastard who things hops should be in balance with the other flavours.
― American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Friday, 1 November 2019 21:34 (three months ago) link
― britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Friday, 1 November 2019 23:36 (three months ago) link
I was give a bottle of Aromes de Montserrat it’s a on the chartreuse spectrum but tastes more cedary. Definitely not great for drink it on its own, what should I mix it into?
― American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 10:00 (three months ago) link
Reading this thread in a fancy resto just having a couple refreshments. ordered fgti's smokey mezcal Montenegro rec. Am fairly uninitiated in mezcal but this is rly lovely!
― one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 8 November 2019 02:37 (three months ago) link
This thread is akin to the floyd - rules!
― one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 8 November 2019 02:38 (three months ago) link
Picked up bottles of Zucca, CioCiaro, Branca Menta, and Amaro di Angostura in Atlanta this week. The Ango is amazing -- reviews all talk about cinnamon, but what I get is a luscious allspice liqueur. Branca Menta smells like Scope but is rich on the palate. Thumbs up for all four.
― WmC, Sunday, 8 December 2019 04:15 (two months ago) link
you should make my favorite cocktail that has zucca: https://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/2011/05/throw-gun-2.html
― call all destroyer, Sunday, 8 December 2019 04:25 (two months ago) link
Nice, I had a shot of the Amaro di Angostura in Indianapolis a few years ago and was impressed.
CAD: I'm not a huge fan of egg-white cocktails, but that looks good.
One of my favorite Zucca cocktails is the house cocktail at a place in my neighborhood called Sportsman's Club: https://chicagoist.com/2014/03/24/behind_the_stick_familiarity_brings.php
(I use Campari in place of the Luxardo Bitter. And any high-proof bourbon or rye will do.)
― jaymc, Sunday, 8 December 2019 06:03 (two months ago) link
Thanks for those recipes. CAD, that Throw the Gun #2 recipe says 1 egg -- does that mean the whole egg? I thought cocktails just used egg whites.
― WmC, Sunday, 8 December 2019 16:34 (two months ago) link
it is indeed a whole egg. there is an entire category of whole-egg drinks historically known as "flips" from which that drink descends.
― call all destroyer, Sunday, 8 December 2019 16:59 (two months ago) link