The Americano

It’s officially summer! Is it afternoon yet?

With the excitement of summer afternoons comes the overwhelming desire to drink light, refreshing drinks to cool us down — preferably while sitting outside and soaking in the gorgeous weather while it lasts.

You want a badass summer cocktail? You want the summer aperitivo par excellence? You want a refreshing adult beverage?

Beautifully bright and refreshing, the Americano is one of the quintessential low-alcohol drinks! It’s light, delicious on a hot day and glides elegantly on your tongue!

Kick back, grab the bottle of Campari and enjoy!

The roots

Here’s the history of one of the most Italian of Italian cocktails, the Americano.

The story goes that the Americano was first served in Gaspare Campari’s bar, Cafe Campari (yes, that Campari). It was the 1860s. Campari creator Gaspare Campari was from Torino and he settled in Milan, where he created the startling orange Campari – the world’s top-selling bitters. He brought sweet vermouth (Cinzano) with him from Torino and combined the two signature liquors into this drink, stirring them with soda water – hence the original name “Milano-Torino” because Campari is from Milano and sweet vermouth is from Torino. Those days, there were plenty of American expatriates around. The Italians soon noticed that many Americans enjoyed the cocktail. Eventually the cocktail became known as the “Americano”.

Refreshing and light with the orange and bitter from the Campari tempered by the sweetness of the vermouth and carbonation in the soda, the Americano is sure to please fans of Campari.

Also, please meet the “father” of the Negroni: To talk about the Negroni, you have to talk about the Americano. The story of the Negroni goes like this: Count Camilo Negroni, a supposedly flamboyant Italian gentleman who was obsessed with American culture, walked into a bar in Florence one day and ordered an Americano with gin in place of the soda water. But first, the Americano!

The makin’s
1 part Campari
1 part sweet Vermouth
1 part soda water
Orange twist or wedge for garnish

The drill
The Americano is prepared with the “build” technique (built directly in the glass):
Pour some ice cubes (always an odd number) directly into a highball glass to the brim and stir with a bar spoon, so as to cool the glass evenly
Pour the Campari and Martini Rosso, completing everything with soda
Mix well using a simple stirrer or straw
Garnish with an orange twist, or an orange wedge if you like it the way I do


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