Amaros (and digestifs)

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I still regret not picking up a bottle of Bitterol (same label design as Aperol, clearly made by same people) - anyone had that?

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:17 (two years ago) link

Ohhh, I am interested in that amaro jefferson, will be on the lookout. Looked like a great trip!

Yerac, Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:31 (two years ago) link

thanks, yeah we had a great time.

the Jefferson was a real standout, I want some! I need to check the local store that carries such things.

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:46 (two years ago) link

your notes on montenegro and lucano are very simpatico with mine.

i’ve only been drinking beer and wine recently. need to sneak some amari back in there.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:49 (two years ago) link

Ugh, I am not drinking the rest of the month. It sucks. I have to live vicariously.

Yerac, Wednesday, 8 May 2019 22:25 (two years ago) link

OK I found a bottle of Vecchio Amaro Del Capo at the local store, it was one of the coolest ones we tried and it's also from Calabria where we spent most of our time (my wife's family is from there). Into the freezer it goes for special occasions.

I also made an impulse buy of something I saw and liked the label of, but didn't get to try - Amaro Ciociaro:

poured a little into a shot glass to taste straight, uhhhh this is the most baffling yet. still some bitter notes but massive, upfront sugar/thick/syrup hits, like bubblegum/toasted coconut/burnt caramel/cotton candy kinda tastes. too sweet!

we diluted the rest of the shot glass with water and it improved a lot, you could start to taste the floral notes. I think their suggestion of "over ice with lemon peel" sounds good, something to balance out that (delicious, fancy) bubble gum madness. note sure how best to use this, time for research.

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:08 (two years ago) link

yeah, usually when I have been tasting these I do it straight first and then with a little bit of seltzer to kind of figure out how I prefer things. I don't like the overly sweet/luscious ones because I am not making cocktails and I don't tend to like sweet things.

Yerac, Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:23 (two years ago) link

That 8 Amaro Sazerac in that link seems crazy. I want to try it.

Yerac, Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:36 (two years ago) link

I would have to buy like five things!

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:38 (two years ago) link

If I can remember I am going to ask a bar to make it for me.

Yerac, Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:40 (two years ago) link

I had that mini of Amaro di Toscana last night on a couple of ice cubes. It's pretty good! It's somewhere between the cola + spices profile of Averna with just the right amount of Fernet-Branca's mentholated bitterness.

WmC, Monday, 13 May 2019 14:59 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Hoodoo chicory liqueur, from Cathead Distillery in Jackson MS. Toffee, coffee, chocolate, hints of pie spices, bitterness obviously. After finishing it and the glass is drying it smells like cinnamon.

I am curious (george) (slight return) (WmC), Thursday, 20 June 2019 23:57 (two years ago) link

That looks really good. If I had a sweet tooth I would make a syrupy reduction and use it to drizzle on pie or ice cream. Or make it into ice cream. Would that be too bitter to put into your coffee?

Yerac, Friday, 21 June 2019 01:48 (two years ago) link

I think it would be perfect in coffee.

I am curious (george) (slight return) (WmC), Friday, 21 June 2019 02:00 (two years ago) link


Ambient Police (sleeve), Friday, 21 June 2019 02:20 (two years 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 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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:

britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 21:36 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year ago) link

still no picon in the u.s. as far as i know

call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:48 (one year 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 (one year ago) link

(CioCiaro is what I've personally used to make Brooklyns and picon bieres.)

jaymc, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:49 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year ago) link

no distro near me but that's awesome!

call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 16:23 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year ago) link

what is the strainer for? for seeds from a lemon for instance?

L'assie (Euler), Friday, 1 November 2019 17:55 (one year ago) link

1. put your ingredients in the pint glass
2. add ice
3. stir until chilled
4. strain into a chilled cocktail glass

call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 17:59 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year ago) link

I've only tried with lighter lager-ish beers though

britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Friday, 1 November 2019 21:18 (one year ago) link

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 (one year 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 (one year 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 (one year ago) link

This thread is akin to the floyd - rules!

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 8 November 2019 02:38 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

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 (one year ago) link

you should make my favorite cocktail that has zucca:

call all destroyer, Sunday, 8 December 2019 04:25 (one year ago) link

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