Amer Picon Cooler -- The Rituals

Amer Picon Cooler


1.5 oz. Amer Picon (substituted Amaro CioCiaro)
1 oz. gin (Bombay Sapphire)
.5 oz. cherry liqueur (Cherry Heering)
1 tsp. sugar syrup
1 tsp. lemon juice
Club soda

Combine with ice; shake well. Strain. Add ice and club soda.

Eric: Amer Picon is no longer available so we’re using a substitute, Amaro CioCiaro. It takes an ounce and a half of CioCiaro—of Charo. That’s half a Charo on the “Love Boat.”

Brian: “Coochie, coohcie, coochie, coochie, coochie!”

Eric: It takes the fake Amer Picon, it takes the Windex (points at a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin). It takes the Cherry Heering, half ounce of Heering. Teaspoon of sugar syrup, otherwise known as simple syrup. Tablespoon of lemon juice, and—

Brian: Teaspoon.

Eric: Teaspoon, sorry. Whew, nice save, that was close!

Lacking a proper highball glass, Brian instead strains the cocktail into a small Hite glass. Hite is Korea’s most popular beer—South Korea, that is.

Eric: Hey look, Hite. Nice choice. Do you think we are the first people ever to drink an Amer Picon Cooler out of a Hite Glass?

Brian: (suddenly defensive) I like Hite.

Eric: I like Hite too. But I prefer Cass because it’s harder to find.

Brian: I’m not a big OB fan. OB is the Budweiser of Korean beer.

Eric: There are these places in Korea, the OB Mart, which are bars run by OB where you can get your dried squid and your cheap drink on. Look, it has started to leak out!

Brian: (defensively) It said “shake well!”

Brian sips. Eric watches closely.

Brian: I like it. I really like that.

Eric: It smells delicious.

Brian: Yeah.

Eric: (drinks) It is delicious, holy moly. I love that.

Brian: Have we ever spoken these words before?

Eric: “Holy moly?”

Brian: No, “It is delicious.”

Eric: It does sound strange to utter these words. It’s as if we are right at the dawn of language itself.

Brian: The Cherry Heering is really subtle.

Eric: But it’s there.

Brian: It’s bitter, it’s sweet, is it sour enough? I don’t really understand what the lemon juice is doing. Then you’re adding sugar syrup when you already have a sweetish amaro. Your sweetening it up a little more, and you’re putting a little bit of sour in. So you’re—

Eric: Do you think it’s too sweet?

Brian: No, I don’t actually. I just didn’t think that would be as good as it was.

Eric: Who knew? I give that an 8.

Brian: Whoa. Just blazing.

Eric: Yeah, 8. What are you going to do about that?

Brian: I was going to say 7.5 because I don’t have Cherry Heering or Amer Picon—

Eric: Sounds like a personal problem. This is delicious.

Eric: This is more dangerous than the Ambrosia for Two because I felt the Ambrosia for Two was slightly hostile.

Brian: Hostile?

Eric: I felt a little bit of pushback from that drink.

Voice From the Other Room: “Pushback.”

Brian: I could see that—

Eric: Wait, did you hear that? Somebody said “pushback.”

Brian: Yes, I heard it too. It’s in the other room now.

Eric: I see, it’s mockery. The peanut gallery is going for mockery.

Brian: Typical.

Eric: There was some pushback, but this… I’m sorry, I can’t concentrate now. By the way, We have a very short list of… I’d say there are only three cocktails that we have scored over a 7—

Brian: Which I love because that’s our entire cocktail book.

Eric: Yeah, three recipes.

Brian: I need to write this down. The Alaska, the A-1 Pick-Me-Up, and now this, the Amer Picon Cooler.

Eric: Why is it a “cooler?”

Brian: Because it’s a refreshing highball with—

Eric: Did you see that movie “The Cooler” with William H. Macy?

Brian: Yeah, it wasn’t that good.

Eric: It was terrible. Did you work on it?

Brian: No I did not.

Eric: That seems like a movie that you would have worked on. I don’t even know what that means.

SCORES: Brian 7.5, Eric 8


Eric D. Anderson


Eric D. Anderson came to appreciate cocktails late in life and is trying to make up for lost time. He finds that crafting drinks involves the same precision, creativity, sociability, and ritual as baking—another passion—and believes that it brings people together in the same way. Eric is the director of Way of the Puck, a feature-length documentary about professional air hockey, and the editor of Stories of Quitting (, an online collection of true stories that celebrate giving up. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Painted Bride Quarterly, Perigee, Giant Robot, and Wild Quarterly, among other publications. In his free time he works as a camera operator on commercials and motion pictures.

Always drink responsibly!