This 19th-century sipper hails from Marseilles, France, by way of Bakersfield, Calif., where it was mixed regularly for the local Basque population. The main ingredient, a bitter French digestif called Amer Picon, is no longer commercially available in the U.S. But that didn’t stop the bar team at San Francisco’s 15 Romolo, whose recipe substitutes a trio of Italian amari to fill in the drink’s intense herbal character.
This recipe originally appeared as part of “Picon Punch Is the Winter Drink You Never Knew You Needed.”
- 1 1/2 oz Amer Picon*
- 1/4 oz Grenadine*
- Soda water, to top
- 1/2 oz Brandy
- Garnish: Lemon peel
Pour the Amer Picon and grenadine into a Georgian Irish Coffee glass over ice and stir briefly.
Fill almost to top with the soda water.
Float the brandy on top.
Garnish with a lemon peel.
*Amer Picon: Because it’s not available in the U.S., as a substitute, combine 2 parts Ramazzotti amaro, 2 parts dry curaçao and 1 part gentian liqueur in an airtight bottle and shake. Refrigerate until ready to use.