Torani Amer is an American replacement for Amer Picon, a French orange-flavored bitter liqueur called for in some classic cocktail recipes. Amer Picon hasn't been available for a long time in America DESPITE HAVING AMER RIGHT IN THE GODDAMN NAME. Additionally to not actually being available, now no one wants it because as time marched on the proof dropped and dropped, from nearly 80 proof down to something pathetic like 36 proof. Cue nerd carping that nothing is as good as it used to be. All of this history is sort of meaningless because
Pros1. It is dirt cheap. $11.99 for a 750 of 39% abv? Fine. All the cocktail cognoscenti attempting to recreate Amer Picon from mysterious infusions and combinations of other expensive liqueurs must shit gold bricks in the morning or be employed...
2. If you sink a charge of it into beer, it tastes pretty alright. It isn't intensely orange, nor intensely sweet, nor intensely anything really except maybe bitter but its not really that bitter compared to all the really bitter things out there. That gives it some flexibility in cocktails but also there is usually something that works better for whatever you are trying to do. Sort of the Honda Civic of proprietary orange aperitif liquers. We don't know anything about cars so we hope that metaphor works. We are getting tired of referring to ourselves as we...Also this started out as a Pro but sort of morphed into a Con as I went on.
3. The packaging is appealingly shitty looking, enough to trick you into thinking it is Foreign.
Cons1. This con should really count as two cons. This is made in America. Have some goddamn pride. Instead of Torani Amer, they should have called it AMERICAN PICON. They could have put a picture of Captain America juicing an orange into Batroc The Leapers mouth (people might read Batroc as a snooty barista which would also work for me) . Juicing Aggressively, not like in a romantic way.
2. It has a piercing Neutral Grain Spirit nose (vapory, rubbing alcohol). The flavor is fairly muted (also I have a head cold and I stayed up late drinking baijiu all night...), the orange is not very bright or compelling and tastes quite hot (also nothing in life seems that bright or compelling right now). There is a sort of alkaline/aspirin note to the bitter finish.
Whether this works for you depends on where your sweet spot is in the Price VS Horrible graph for liquor. As a dutiful American, I will gleefully chocked down a huge amount of Horrible if it is cheap enough, so I'm a big fan of Torani Amer. It also works as a great example in my drunken late-night tirades about how 'America is the new China, man...'
A drink then, from the North American Basque Association (naBASQUE)
"Why The Basque?"
2 oz Torani Amer
1/2 oz Pomegranate Molasses
1/2 oz lemon
Just go to the website and do what they say, I am tired of talking about Torani Amer. The drink is O.K.