Amer Picon Fizz

Some Charles Baker drinks are more suspect than others. Some seem completely wrong from the get-go, while others are mere curiosities, things that catch your eye but fail to incite action. But like the Alamagoozlum, just because it looks strange on paper doesn't mean it isn't a tasty libation. Whenever I flip through Jigger, Beaker, and Glass, I inevitably pause on the Amer Picon Fizz, smile and then move on. It is a curiosity, without a doubt. The combination of Amer Picon and grenadine is not novel; they go well together with brandy in the Picon Punch, though the proportions are astoundingly different. But with the fizz the lack of base spirit always gave me pause. Could the grenadine possibly balance out the amaro without the help of the brandy? Also, the drink has an entire ounce of grenadine in it. Would it be overwhelmingly sweet? So even though I adore Amer Picon, there were too many ways the drink could go wrong for me to make it. Until now.

Amer Picon Fizz

1 1/2 ounces amer Boudreau
1 ounce grenadine
1 egg white
1/4 tsp Angostura bitters
Club soda

Dry shake amer, grenadine and the egg white. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled goblet over a lump of ice. Top with club soda, add bitters and stir gently.

Notes on Ingredients/Procedure: I used Jeffrey Morgenthaler's recipe for homemade grenadine. For the club soda, I used about 2 ounces.

What a lovely drink.The combination of the egg white and angostura created a pinkish foam above the dark reddish brown liquid. Using the bitters as an aromatic garnish ensured that cloves and cinnamon wafted from up from the froth. And somehow, the tart smell of pomegranate found its way through as well. This drink had a truly creamy texture, donated by the egg white, but it still had that refreshing zing from the club soda that brightened each sip. But how does it taste? The initial taste was full of the spices of the Angostura coupled with the herbal notes of the amer. Each sip ended with the nice bitter orange flavors of the amer and was much drier than I expected. After a while the taste of the grenadine became more apparent, and I could really appreciate the way the Amer and the grenadine played off each other. The full ounce of grenadine did make the drink overly sweet or add a cloying texture as the bitterness of the amer Boudreau helped to balance it all out. Even though the drink worked and tasted balance, in the future I might cut the amount of grenadine to ensure an even drier drink, just because that's how I roll. Also, I would definitely lose the lump of ice. It really didn't add anything to the drink, and it looked weird sitting in the middle of that luscious foam.