DIY Amer Picon

Darren Scott, laV | Austin, TX

bitter orange amer picon diy

Amer Picon was created in the early 19th-century by Frenchman Gaétan Picon who—after contracting malaria while stationed in Algeria—infused alcohol with dried orange zest, gentian, quinine, sugar syrup and caramel before distilling it. Today, the bitter orange liqueur—whose recipe has been altered—is only commercially available in France. American bartenders, including Darren Scott of Austin’s laV, have begun to create their own versions, most often using a mild amaro like Ramazzotti combined with an orange bitter base and an orange liqueur.

Ingredients

Yield: 4 cups

  • 2 cups Amaro Ramazzotti
  • 1 cup Combier
  • 1 cup orange bitters (see Editor's note)
  • 1/4 cup bitter orange peels, dried

Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in an airtight container.
  2. Cover, refrigerate and allow to macerate for 1 week.
  3. Strain and rebottle. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Editor's Note

In a bowl, macerate 1 cup of 100-proof vodka with the peels of 5 oranges for 48 hours (or longer depending on desired strength). Strain, bottle and refrigerate until ready to use.

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FROM AROUND THE WEB
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  • John P. Muller

    Should I refrigerate the Orange bitters component while it’s fermenting? I’m going to, just to be safe, but I’d like to know for future reference.

    • James Taylor

      I’m no expert, but I’ll throw in my two cents.
      One Cent: It says in step two above to refrigerate. So yes.
      Two Cents: It’s not fermenting. Fermenting means yeast eats sugar to create alcohol. This is just an letting flavors steep and meld.

Related Punch A-Z

Bitters

(n.) A high-proof alcohol infused with herbs, roots and spices. Invented as a medicinal tonic, they were originally meant to aid digestion and cure a variety of ailments, including colds and coughs. Common ingredients include cloves, dried citrus peel, gentian root, quinine and cardamom... More A-Z →