Table of Contents The Ward Eight cocktail is a blend of rye whiskey, grenadine, lemon juice, and orange juice. Its...
The Picon Punch traces its roots to the Basque immigrants who settled in the western United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These newcomers, primarily hailing from the Basque Country, a region straddling Spain and France, brought with them a rich culinary heritage and a unique aperitif known as Amer Picon. Amer Picon is a bittersweet, aromatic liqueur flavored with bitter orange and a secret blend of herbs, and it is a central component of the Picon Punch. This particular bitter, not widely available in the United States, gives the cocktail its distinctive flavor.
The classic Picon Punch recipe typically calls for Amer Picon, grenadine, soda water, and a twist of lemon. However, there are regional variations and personal touches that have made this cocktail a versatile and beloved drink in the American West. Depending on the bartender’s or the drinker’s preference, you may also find ingredients such as brandy, whiskey, or even absinthe incorporated into the mix. The result is a complex fusion of flavors that is simultaneously sweet, bitter, and refreshing, making it the perfect companion for hot summer days or long, chilly nights.
The preparation of the Picon Punch is an art form in itself. A Picon Punch is traditionally served in a stemmed glass, often referred to as a “Picon glass” which is known for its distinct tulip shape. It begins with adding ice, and afterward, a generous pour of Amer Picon and grenadine followed by a gentle stir to mix the ingredients. soda water is added to the glass, and the mixture is topped off with brandy. The result is a visually striking, crimson-hued cocktail with a tantalizing aroma.
Moreover, the Picon Punch has become an integral part of Basque festivals and gatherings, where the drink is shared among friends and family, creating a sense of community and continuity. Its presence at these events highlights the enduring tradition of Basque culture in the United States and serves as a source of pride for Basque-Americans.
45 ml Amer Picon
15 ml Brandy
7.5 ml Grenadine
30 ml soda water, to top
Garnish: lemon twist
Add the Amer Picon and grenadine into a cocktail glass over ice, and gently stir to combine.
Add the soda water on top and leave some space in the glass for the brandy.
Float the brandy on top.
Garnish with a lemon twist.