The Whisky Exchange
Product of: Belgium
Amer Picon is made with fresh and dried orange peel macerated in neutral alcohol and then distilled. Dried gentian roots and quinquina are macerated separately. These two base flavoured spirits are then blended together along with sugar and caramel.
'Amer' is French for bitter and this bittersweet, orange and gentian aperitif was created in 1837 in Philippeville, Algeria by Gaetan Picon, a French cavalry sergeant serving in Algeria. Like other French aperitifs created at the time (including Dubonnet Red and St Raphaël), Amer Picon includes quinine and owed part of its popularity to its perceived health benefits, particularly amongst the military keen to ward off malaria whilst on campaigns in North Africa, hence its nickname 'African Amer'.
Traditionally served over ice with a dash of Grenadine, soda and a slice of orange or with lemon syrup and topped with soda water. However, now more commonly drunk mixed with wine or beer.
Two different styles of Amer Picon are produced to suit different mixers. Amer Picon Bière is usually mixed with beer (one part Picon to five parts beer) while Amer Picon Club is best mixed with white wine, Champagne, tonic or mineral water.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 17/02/2013
Clear, tawny amber with glints of burnished bronze.
Zesty orange and quinine with faint mocha coffee.
Bittersweet, lightly syrupy, bitter orange zest, quinine, orange juice, boiled cabbage and mocha coffee.
Long lingering orange zest with quinine complexity.