Picon Punch – Classic Bakersfield, CA Basque Cocktail

If you have not heard of this it’s not surprising. This is kinda a west coast cocktail and more specifically than that is an old California/Nevada Basque immigrant cocktail. If you go to Basque areas in northern Spain they will have no idea what this is, but northern Nevada and California have a huge Basque population and this is their local cocktail. Most of the histories I have found on this credit its creation to the Noriega Hotel in Bakersfield California but who really knows. The hotel was founded in 1893 so that would have given them plenty of time to use Amer Picon before it stopped being imported to the US in 1920. Amer Picon is still not imported into the US so this is made now with substitutes. Also too Amer Picon isn’t made the same today as it was back then. Back then it was around 40% abv and today its 18% and the recipe is different, so just find one you like that mixes well and don’t worry if its not actual Amer Picon. Even if you got an actual bottle of Amer Picon, it wouldn’t taste the same anyway.

This taste to me like a reversed Manhattan to me. As if the 2 ounce pour was the red vermouth and the 1 ounce pour was the bourbon. I actually liked this drink a lot but I also love the very herbal flavored infusions and I will say that no one else I made this drink for liked it very much.


Picon Punch – Classic Bakersfield CA, Basque cocktail

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American






Total time



Learn how to make the a Picon Punch.


  • 1/2 oz Grenadine

  • 2 oz Amer Picon

  • 2/3 oz Brandy

  • 1 oz Soda Water


  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in a separate mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir and combine those ingredients. Pour into the serving glass.
  • Lastly add the soda water.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *