Picon Punch Strong- Improved Classic Picon Punch

History Of The Picon Punch

If you have not heard of this it’s not surprising. It’s mostly made in the western side of the United States and is popular in parts of California and Nevada with large Basque immigrant populations. If you go to Basque areas in northern Spain they will have no idea what this is. Most of the histories I have found on this credit its creation to the Noriega Hotel in Bakersfield California. Although I think that was more just a cool story used by the hotel and I don’t think that’s the case. The earliest printed reference I can find of the Picon Punch is from the 1900 book “Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender” by William Boothby of San Francisco, California. Its the first recipe listed in “miscellaneous and unclassified drinks” and is simply called an Amer Picon. The drink is labeled as already being a popular beverage in France, and that makes a lot more sense to me than it being invented in Bakersfield California during the end of the 19th century. The part I personally find most difficult to imagine was that a small hotel in Bakersfield was using grenadine before 1900.

The most popular red fruit syrup in the US prior to 1900 was raspberry syrup. William Boothby was actually the first American bartender to print recipes using grenadine. Grenadine first started being used in France and England around 1890, and in fact in his 1891 edition of the book, the Amer Picon cocktail does not use grenadine but orgeat instead. The change from orgeat to grenadine makes sense too with grenadines explosive popularity in France during that decade. Check out my grenadine article for its history and use in cocktails.

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, but I don’t buy that it was invented there. The use of grenadine, and references to its recipe many years before its origin story says it was invented point to it being traditionally a French cocktail.

This is not the classic Picon Punch but a strong variation served without ice in a cocktail glass. Both the classic and this version are very good but they have different intents. This strong version transforms the refreshing Picon Punch into a classic style cocktail.

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Picon Punch Strong- Improved Classic Picon Punch

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

227

kcal
ABV

23%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Picon Punch Strong.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Grenadine

  • 2 oz Amer Picon

  • 2/3 oz Brandy

  • 1 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • 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.

Notes

    u003cliu003eTools Used: u003ca data-eafl-id=u002213289u0022 data-eafl-text=u0022Mixing Glassu0022 href=u0022https://amzn.to/3Dv2Kgfu0022 class=u0022eafl-linku0022u003eMixing Glassu003c/au003e, u003ca data-eafl-id=u002213188u0022 data-eafl-text=u0022Jiggeru0022 href=u0022https://amzn.to/3sAaUhuu0022 class=u0022eafl-linku0022u003eJiggeru003c/au003e, u003ca href=u0022https://amzn.to/3cUnHWcu0022 data-eafl-id=u002213481u0022 data-eafl-text=u0022Straineru0022 class=u0022eafl-linku0022u003eStraineru003c/au003eu003c/liu003eu003cliu003eServing Glass: u003ca data-eafl-id=u002213191u0022 data-eafl-text=u0022Coupe Glassu0022 href=u0022https://amzn.to/3wVnBXNu0022 class=u0022eafl-linku0022u003eCoupe Glassu003c/au003eu003c/liu003e

Grenadine | Rich Pomegranate Syrup

What is Grenadine

Grenadine is pomegranate simple syrup and it originated in Persia (modern day Iran) where it is called Rob-e-anar and is a traditional ingredient in some Persian dishes. Also in Persian cooking it is boiled down to more of a molasses like thickness, but when used in cocktails the thinner syrup viscosity mixes easier. The word grenadine comes from the French word for pomegranate, grenade. During the 19th century, pomegranate syrup was mostly unknown in the United States yet and syrups made from raspberries and strawberries were much more common in drinks. Grenadine starts to get popular as a cocktail ingredient in the US around the turn of the 20th century. Some of the first grenadine cocktails appear in George Kappeler’s (Of the New York’s Holland House Hotel) 1895 Modern American Drinks and Louis Fouquet’s 1896 Bariana. Grenadine most likely started out as a European syrup that very quickly made its way to the United States and by the 1910s became a much more common syrup in mixed drinks. It’s around this time that cocktails like the Jack rose and ward 8 come about. Regional variations of some drinks still exist though that are a result of Americans having a longer history with using raspberry or strawberry syrups. For example the rose cocktail in American cocktail books often used raspberry syrup and English cocktail books used grenadine. Another example is the clover club cocktail, where in the United States it is made with raspberry syrup but in English books like the savoy it’s made with grenadine.

Should You Buy It Or Make It

Always, always, always make your own syrups. Unless its gum syrup, tonic syrup, or orgeat. Gum and orgeat you can make its just kinda a pain in the butt, and tonic I would never make from scratch. Grenadine is super easy to make, is cheap to make too, and results in a much better product. The recipe below is a standard grenadine recipe but an ounce of pomegranate molasses adds a nice richness to the syrup.

If you don’t have orange blossom water that’s fine but it really adds an amazing flavor and aroma to the syrup. It’s importance shouldn’t be understated, but don’t let not having it keep you from making your own. Pomegranate juice and sugar is good one its own but it is traditional to add the orange blossom water. Remember grenadine originated from the Middle East as a culinary ingredient, and orange blossom water is also a common ingredient in Persian cooking, so if you want to make a grenadine that taste similar to what early French and English mixologist were using, then add a little orange blossom water. If middle eastern markets are not common in your area then just order it online. Its worth it.

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Grenadine | Rich Pomegranate Syrup

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

10

servings
Calories

150

kcal
Total time

10

minutes

A simple easy grenadine recipe for cocktails.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups White Sugar

  • 2 cups Pomegranate Juice

  • 1 oz Orange Blossom Water

Directions

  • Combine sugar, pomegranate juice, and lemon juice in a stove top pot and bring to a light simmer.
  • Stir till the sugar is fully dissolved and let the syrup simmer 10 – 15 minutes or till it has thickened a little. This give the syrup a more velvety texture and lets the flavors caramelize, giving the syrup a deeper more develop flavor.
  • Remove the grenadine from the heat. Let it cool and then stir in orange blossom water. Bottle and refrigerate.

Picon Punch | 1900s Grenadine Variation

History Of The Picon Punch

If you have not heard of this it’s not surprising. It’s mostly made in the western side of the United States and is popular in parts of California and Nevada with large Basque immigrant populations. If you go to Basque areas in northern Spain they will have no idea what this is. Most of the histories I have found on this credit its creation to the Noriega Hotel in Bakersfield California. Although I think that was more just a cool story used by the hotel and I don’t think that’s the case. The earliest printed reference I can find of the Picon Punch is from the 1900 book “Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender” by William Boothby of San Francisco, California. Its the first recipe listed in “miscellaneous and unclassified drinks” and is simply called an Amer Picon. The drink is labeled as already being a popular beverage in France, and that makes a lot more sense to me than it being invented in Bakersfield California during the end of the 19th century. The part I personally find most difficult to imagine was that a small hotel in Bakersfield was using grenadine before 1900.

The most popular red fruit syrup in the US prior to 1900 was raspberry syrup. William Boothby was actually the first American bartender to print recipes using grenadine. Grenadine first started being used in France and England around 1890, and in fact in his 1891 edition of the book, the Amer Picon cocktail does not use grenadine but orgeat instead. The change from orgeat to grenadine makes sense too with grenadines explosive popularity in France during that decade. Check out my grenadine article for its history and use in cocktails.

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, but I don’t buy that it was invented there. The use of grenadine, and references to its recipe many years before its origin story says it was invented point to it being traditionally a French cocktail.

What Does The Picon Punch Taste Like

This is a uniquely refreshing, lightly sweet, fruity and herbal cocktail. It’s a lot of flavors that don’t really sound like they should work together but they do. It’s kinda like an herbal pomegranate flavored soda but it’s hard to describe and is one you really just need to try. While the garnish can be important in cocktails (Some are purely decorative) it is essential in this cocktail. The lemon oil on top took this cocktail from being just ok to being actually really good. Also the Aperitif you use makes a huge difference so get one you like to drink straight. I used Amaro Nonino and it turned out great, but Amaro Nonino is pretty pricey so if there is another one you like then give that a try.

A substitute aperitif has to be used because Amer Picon is not imported into the US, and has not been since prohibition. Also too Amer Picon isn’t made the same today as it was during the turn of the century. The alcohol content is different and so is the flavor. It use to be around 40% abv and today its 18% and the flavor has been updated for modern palates, so basically its a completely different drink other than the name. You’ll never be able to completely recreate this drink in its original form so just find a bittersweet/orange-y aperitif you like.

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Picon Punch – 1900s Grenadine Variation

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

227

kcal
ABV

15%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Picon Punch.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Grenadine

  • 2 oz Amer Picon

  • 2 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water into the serving glass with ice.
  • Stir and combine those ingredients together while also chilling them.
  • Lastly add the soda water.
  • Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

Notes

Planter’s Punch – Original Mid 1800s Planters Inn Recipe

Like many cocktails this one’s history is kinda muddy but I’m going to go with early 1800s Planters Inn in South Carolina. Here’s why. The Planters Inn was opened in 1803, many of these old hotels with attached bars had house cocktails, and there is not other mention of it till 1873 in Fun magazine. The one in Fun also just sounds like a not as good watered down daiquiri. Its dark rum, lime juice, sugar and water. Which leads me to my next issue. Like the Mai Tai, this poor cocktails name is just thrown around and slapped on anything. A quick google search will show you everything from bright pink, yellow and orange drinks. I found one that had red wine in it.

So here is my best mildly informed guess. The Planters Inn opened in the early 1800s and made their own signature cocktail. Different bartenders come in and out and add their own twists until the recipe that sticks and saved is the one I have written down. Writer for Fun magazine comes along and needs to write about some cool Caribbean drinks and asks someone. This guy either gives some other previous bartenders version or doesn’t know and basically gives him a daiquiri recipe with dark rum. The article gets published and confusion spreads. Most sources identify the Planters Inn as the creator of this drink and if you go to their website they give you the recipe right there. So I’m sticking with that. The recipe I have here for you is exactly what you would get if you went to their website of ordered one from their bar. Kinda like how there are tons of Mai Tai recipes but if you just open Trader Vics book and look you can find the real one.

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Planter’s Punch – Original Mid 1800s Planters Inn Recipe

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

147

kcal
ABV

16%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Planter’s Punch.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Orange Juice

  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1 tsp Grenadine

  • 1.5 oz Black Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Shake the ingredients till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour into glass filled with crused ice.

Notes

Jack Rose Cocktail – A Classic All American Cocktail

This drink dates back to the early 1900s and it is one of those drinks that everyone and their mother claimed they invented. The name for it most likely came from the fact that it was pink and made with apple brandy, the most common brand of apple brandy in the United States being Laird’s AppleJack.

Others however say it was named after a gangster from that time period. Think of this as a slightly sweeter and pink version of a Sidecar.

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Jack Rose Cocktail – A Classic All American Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

181

kcal
ABV

25%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a Jack Rose.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Grenadine

  • 2 oz Apple Brandy

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

Tequila Sunrise – Classic 1970s Breakfast Cocktail

The Tequila Sunrise was invented in the 1970s just north of San Francisco in Sausalito, California. This is a cute little drink but don’t mix it or it will end up a weird unappetizing brown color. Pour the grenadine first and float the orange and tequila mix on top by pouring over the back of a spoon slowly.

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Tequila Sunrise – Classic 1970s Breakfast Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

405

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Tequila Sunrise.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Silver Tequila

  • 5 oz Orange Juice

  • 1 oz Grenadine

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass except the grenadine.
  • Stir the ingredients for 15 – 20 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into serving glass and gently pour in the grenadine so it settles on the bottom.

Notes

Scofflaw Cocktail – Original 1934 Harry’s New York Bar Recipe

The Scofflaw was invented in 1920s Paris, France by a man simply known as Jock at Harry’s New York Bar. During prohibition there were a few European and South American bars that modeled themselves after the old American bars and turned up cool drinks like this.

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Scofflaw Cocktail – Original 1934 Harry’s New York Bar Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: French
Servings

1

servings
Calories

244

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Scofflaw.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Lemon Juice

  • 2/3 oz Grenadine

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2 oz Bourbon

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

Rose Cocktail – English Version of the Rose Cocktail

The oldest reference to the Rose cocktail I am able to find is from Robert Vermeire’s 1922 English cocktail book Cocktails and How to Mix Them He credits the invention of it to Sidney Knight in London at the Alhambra theatre (I have no idea who Sidney Knight is, nor could I find anything about him).

What sets the English version of this cocktail apart from the French (currant) and American (raspberry) is grenadine is used as the red fruit sweetener.

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Rose Cocktail – English Version

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Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

156

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Rose cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp

  • Grenadine
  • 2 oz

  • Dry Vermouth
  • 1 oz

  • Kirschwasser

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

Monkey Gland Cocktail – Original 1930 Harry MacElhone Recipe

Invented in the 1920s by Harry MacElhone, this is an iconic Prohibition era cocktail. Most of the great prohibition cocktails were not invented in the United States but in other countries. It was hard to stock a bar in the States then and the booze one did get was usually trash. This one comes from Harry’s New York Bar located in Paris, France. Established by Scottish Bartender Harry MacElhone, Harry’s New York Bar was one of the hot spots in Paris for traveling Americans who wanted to get drunk.

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Monkey Gland Cocktail – Original Harry MacElhone Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

195

kcal
ABV

22

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Monkey Gland Cocktail by Harry MacElhone.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp

  • Absinthe
  • 1 tsp

  • Grenadine
  • 1.5 oz

  • Orange Juice
  • 1.5 oz

  • Dry Gin

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker and add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

Japalac Cocktail – Classic Cocktail Recipe Circa 1930s

This looks kinda like a little tiny tequila sunrise. It kinda taste like one too but just a little stronger. This drink dates back to the 1930s and is named after a brand of super strong, quick dry wood stain.

The name seems to be a play on words, combining the racial slur for a Japanese person and the word lacquer because that brand of wood stain was made with Japan lacquer. But hey, thats the old days for ya.

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Japalac Cocktail – Classic Cocktail Recipe Circa 1930s

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

183

kcal
ABV

16%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Japalac cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz

  • Orange Juice
  • 1 oz

  • Dry Vermouth
  • 1 oz

  • Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz

  • Grenadine

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass except the grenadine.
  • Stir the ingredients for 15 – 20 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into serving glass and gently pour in the grenadine so it settles on the bottom.

Notes