Amer Picon

When you write a book, it goes through several editing phases. The first is the developmental edit, which happens when you’re sort of on your way there, and your editor wants to see it. (And make sure you haven’t been sitting around watching Netflix all day.) Once that is read, you get pages of suggestions for what you should change, what should be kept, what…

When you write a book, it goes through several editing phases. The first is the developmental edit, which happens when you’re sort of on your way there, and your editor wants to see it. (And make sure you haven’t been sitting around watching Netflix all day.) Once that is read, you get pages of suggestions for what you should change, what should be kept, what needs to be modified, and perhaps suggestions on how to do those things. Then, you go back to work.

The next few steps are more edits, including a pass for grammar and spelling, and someone to check to make sure you said when there is “1 teaspoon of lemon juice” in the ingredient list, that it’s sure to be in the instructions for making the cake or cocktail. When you’re looking at the same words for two years, an errant keystroke or a reviewing a three-hundred-plus-page document filled with digital notes, comments, and directions laid over the text, can have unintended consequences.

Drinking French

Every step of the way, every editor (the main editor…as well as the copy editor, production editor, and proofreader) questioned the same thing in Drinking French: It was about Amer Picon. What would an amer be called in English? Is it Amer Picon or Picon Amer? (Or is that moot, since the most recent bottles now are labeled Picon Bière?). But most of all, the editors were inquiring why was I including a liquor in the book that had an ingredient that wasn’t available in the United States. What was I thinking?

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Gentian Fizz

Gentian is a root unearthed in volcanic soil in France. Its bittersweet flavor is very popular in France, sold as liqueurs and apéritifs; Suze, Salers, and Avèze are the most well-known. If you’re in France, Distillerie de Grandmont makes an excellent artisan gentian liqueur that I like very much, but isn’t widely available. (Google it to track a bottle down from online sellers.) Also in…

Gentian is a root unearthed in volcanic soil in France. Its bittersweet flavor is very popular in France, sold as liqueurs and apéritifs; Suze, Salers, and Avèze are the most well-known. If you’re in France, Distillerie de Grandmont makes an excellent artisan gentian liqueur that I like very much, but isn’t widely available. (Google it to track a bottle down from online sellers.) Also in France is Ziane, a non-alcoholic gentian apéritif, and another one made by Couderc distillery, whose website I can’t figure out how to navigate. Both would work if you’d like to make this a mocktail.

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What to Buy When Starting a French Bar at Home

Weeks before Drinking French came out, people were asking me what liquors and spirits to buy in anticipation of the book’s release. Skimming through the 160 recipes in the book, many of which are for cocktails and apéritifs, I offered up tips here and there, suggesting a few essential bottles that could be used for a number of recipes in the book. I also added…

Weeks before Drinking French came out, people were asking me what liquors and spirits to buy in anticipation of the book’s release. Skimming through the 160 recipes in the book, many of which are for cocktails and apéritifs, I offered up tips here and there, suggesting a few essential bottles that could be used for a number of recipes in the book. I also added a few extras (at the end of this post) to those suggestions, that aren’t vital to have, but are some of my favorites in case they wanted to branch out a little into some other French drinks, and spirits.

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Jumpin’ Genepy Cocktail

I’m always on the lookout for a cocktail that has an herbaceous quality, a touch of bitterness, and some fruity undertones courtesy of a dose of Cap Corse or Lillet, two French apéritifs that feature citrus flavors. And this Jumpin’ Genepy…

I’m always on the lookout for a cocktail that has an herbaceous quality, a touch of bitterness, and some fruity undertones courtesy of a dose of Cap Corse or Lillet, two French apéritifs that feature citrus flavors. And this Jumpin’ Genepy cocktail fits that bill.

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