“I’m a Budweiser, guy,” you say to yourself. “Maybe Bud Light if I’m feeling bloated—but that’s it.” There’s no room for cocktails in your life, no place for fancy glassware and no way you’ll ever drink anything classified as an “amaro.” But if you grew up in France, you’d think differently. In fact, that amaro you’re so averse to would be a part of your identity—something that told the world you’re a tough guy, especially when mixed with beer to make a (gasp!) cocktail.
The Picon Bière is a simple mix of draught beer and Amer Picon (a bitter French aperitif made with oranges, gentian and cinchona), that’s served in French cafes which usually double as bars. “That was a blue collar drink when I was growing up,” says Marie Tribouilloy, co-owner of Brooklyn’s Ops where she serves a take on the drink comprised of CioCiaro Amaro poured into a bottle of Budweiser. “It’s an easy way to get drunk. My friends used to drink it when they wanted to be more masculine. It’s funny for me to make it here where amaro is more elevated and subtle and feminine, and then to put it into Bud, the King of Beers.”