9 Best Substitutes for Amer Picon

Amer Picon Substitute

Amer Picon is the epitome of enigmatic elegance in a bottle; a French aperitif that melds orange bitters with herbal complexity, often used to elevate cocktails to an art form. Known for its elusive blend of sweet and bitter, it adds a nuanced edge to drinks like the classic Picon Bière and the Brooklyn. However, this vintage liqueur is increasingly hard to find, especially outside France, turning it into a highly coveted but rarely acquired asset in mixology. The search for an ideal substitute, therefore, becomes not just an exercise in flavor matching but also in capturing the elusive spirit of the original.

This guide offers meticulously selected substitutes that come closest to replicating Amer Picon’s multifaceted character. Whether you’re an amateur enthusiast or a seasoned bartender, these alternatives can effortlessly imbue your cocktails with the sophistication Amer Picon is known for. Each substitute presented in this article is picked based on its ability to provide both the flavor complexity and the aromatic intensity akin to Amer Picon. Discover substitutes that not only mimic its taste profile but also contribute their own unique flare, ensuring your cocktails remain in a league of their own.

What is Amer Picon?

Amer Picon is an orange-flavored bitters, often used as an aperitif or a complexifying element in cocktails. Originating from France, it’s a dark, aromatic liquid with nuances of herbal and botanical ingredients, woven together by the distinct zestiness of orange peel. Created in the 19th century by Gaétan Picon, it has slowly waned in availability, especially outside of France. Its enigmatic taste—somewhere between bitter and sweet—has made it a beloved, though elusive, addition to various cocktails, most notably the Picon Bière and the Brooklyn.

Quick View of Substitutes For Amer Picon

  • Torani Amer
  • Ramazzotti
  • Bigallet China-China
  • Amaro CioCiaro
  • Amaro Montenegro
  • Suze
  • Aperol
  • Campari
  • Fernet-Branca

Best Substitutes For Amer Picon

Whether you’re a mixologist looking to capture the essence of a vintage cocktail or a home bartender in search of a touch of sophistication, knowing the right substitute can be an absolute game-changer. Below are meticulously analyzed substitutes for Amer Picon:

Torani Amer

Easily confused by name but astoundingly distinct in flavor profile, Torani Amer offers a viable alternative for Amer Picon devotees. This San Francisco-born aperitif brandishes a strong orange character, accented by a sophisticated blend of botanicals.

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Firstly, its robust orange flavor is enveloped in an herbal aura that echoes the complexity of Amer Picon. It’s not just a monolithic experience; it evolves on the palate. The initial burst of citrus gracefully gives way to an herbal tapestry—similar, but not identical, to Amer Picon.

Lastly, it’s a compelling choice due to its availability. While Amer Picon has retreated into the territory of elusive and hard-to-find, Torani Amer is relatively more accessible in specialty liquor stores and online platforms. Incorporate it into cocktails like Picon Punch or even a simple gin and tonic for an authentic flair.


While not an orange bitters, Ramazzotti is an amaro that offers an earthy, complex flavor spectrum, which can serve as an alternative backdrop to Amer Picon. This Italian concoction harbors a labyrinthine array of herbs, roots, and bark, tinged with a touch of orange.

As a multi-faceted ingredient, Ramazzotti entices with its initial sweetness, which then unfolds into a garden of earthy flavors before culminating in a mildly bitter finish. The complexity makes it a dynamic substitute that can stand in for Amer Picon in more robust cocktails, like the Brooklyn, where other layers of flavor are present.

Furthermore, Ramazzotti has its own cultural cache. Often used in Italian cocktails and cuisine, it can add not just flavors but stories to your mixology adventures. Engage your guests with the rich history of this substitute, enhancing the sensory experience of your beverages.

Bigallet China-China

Bigallet China-China—an aromatic dark liqueur from France—comes incredibly close to emulating the flavors of Amer Picon. It offers a balanced amalgam of sweet, bitter, and herbal nuances.

Derived from a twice maceration of sweet and bitter orange peels, its aroma and taste offer a striking yet delightful paradox. The first sip brings forth the sweet citrus notes, which are almost immediately shadowed by a bitter undertone.

Because Bigallet China-China is so similar in taste and origin to Amer Picon, it seamlessly slides into cocktails requiring the latter. Its flavor profile mirrors Amer Picon’s complexity, while its alcohol content—40% compared to Amer Picon’s 18%—introduces a bolder character. Add it sparingly in cocktails to create an exquisite balance.

Amaro CioCiaro

Venturing into the Italian landscape of aperitifs, Amaro CioCiaro emerges as a compelling substitute for Amer Picon. It boasts an inviting blend of bitterness and citrus notes, achieved through a meticulously guarded blend of herbs and natural flavors.

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The first thing you’ll notice about Amaro CioCiaro is its less-than-subtle sweetness, but don’t be fooled. That initial lushness quickly evolves, making room for more bitter and herbal undertones. It is this shape-shifting quality that makes it a prime candidate for substituting Amer Picon.

Another reason for its suitability lies in its versatility. The richness of its flavor profile allows it to adapt across a range of cocktails, from classic recipes to modern concoctions. Whether you’re recreating the revered Picon Punch or formulating a new signature cocktail, Amaro CioCiaro is an asset.

Amaro Montenegro

Fabled for its intricate recipe comprising over 40 botanicals, Amaro Montenegro offers an array of flavors that is both complex and harmonious. Its profile is an interplay of sweet, bitter, and herbal—qualities that make it a stand-in for Amer Picon.

The initial gust of sweetness is met with a subtle bitterness, which later blooms into a crescendo of herbal and floral notes. It’s a grand orchestra of flavors, demanding attention but rewarding with a rich, nuanced experience.

Given its diverse palette, Amaro Montenegro is ideal for cocktails where Amer Picon would be used to introduce a layer of complexity. Mixologists will find its texture and aroma favorable for cocktails that celebrate multifaceted flavors, enhancing the composition of each sip.


Journeying back to France, Suze offers an aromatic experience, rooted in a bouquet of wild plants and gentian roots. It strikes an admirable balance between bitterness and herbal complexity.

Suze is famed for its distinct bitter profile, which is not overwhelming but noticeably present. However, it’s the nuanced herbal afternotes that lend it a close resemblance to Amer Picon.

Being a classic French aperitif, Suze has an added advantage of historic and cultural richness. Its heritage alone could add another layer of complexity to your cocktail narrative. It’s not just a substitute; it’s a conversation starter.


No list of aperitifs would be complete without the ubiquitous Aperol. This Italian masterpiece is both visually vibrant and flavored vividly. With its orange color and distinctive bittersweet profile, it is a lighter alternative to Amer Picon.

While Aperol certainly leans more toward the sweet side, it also carries a subtle yet lasting bitterness, offering a counterbalance that keeps your palate engaged.

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It may lack some of Amer Picon’s herbal intricacies, but its ready availability and recognizable taste make it an option worth considering, especially for cocktails that don’t require the full depth of Amer Picon’s flavor profile.


Perhaps one of the most iconic Italian aperitifs, Campari offers a robust palette of bitterness accentuated by an undercurrent of sweet and spicy notes. Although its flavor profile is arguably more assertive than Amer Picon, it can serve as a bold substitute.

The immediate hit of bitterness gradually morphs into a more complex profile, revealing subtle hints of fruits and herbs. The bitterness is intense but not overpowering, offering a depth that can be quite rewarding.

Though Campari’s robustness might overshadow some cocktails, in the right combinations, it could become the star of the show. A classic Negroni with a Campari twist could be the conversation piece of your next cocktail gathering.


Last but not least, Fernet-Branca is the wild card in this lineup. A revered name in the world of bitter aperitifs, this Italian classic provides an arresting blend of strong, herbal flavors and a medicinal kick.

It doesn’t shy away from its bitter undertones, making a striking entrance as soon as it hits your palate. However, what follows is a symphony of other notes—mint, saffron, and even a touch of chamomile—that linger long after.

Though not for the faint-hearted, Fernet-Branca can make an intriguing substitute for Amer Picon in cocktails that demand a bold personality. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not give your next Brooklyn cocktail a Fernet-Branca spin?

Substitutes for Amer Picon: Nutritional Profile

IngredientGlutenCalories (per ¼ cup)Fat (g)Carbs (g)Fiber (g)Protein (g)
Torani AmerNo10302500
Bigallet China-ChinaNo10502600
Amaro CioCiaroNo10002500
Amaro MontenegroNo10202500


Navigating the labyrinth of cocktail mixology becomes a smidgen easier when you understand the alchemy of ingredients. Amer Picon, a relic from an age gone by, continues to haunt the corners of cocktail recipes, inviting a daring quest for worthy substitutes. Each substitute explored here offers a unique spin on the elusive profile of Amer Picon—ranging from the sweetness of Amaro CioCiaro to the audacious bitterness of Fernet-Branca. While none can perfectly replicate the enigma that is Amer Picon, each brings its own magic to the table. Cheers to rediscovering your favorite cocktails with newfound layers of complexity!

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