With a James Bond connection, the Americano is a light drink that’s usually associated with summertime and warm weather. It has a relatively low ABV compared to similar beverages, such as the Negroni, so it can be appropriate for different occasions, both casual and more formal, and it lends itself to daytime drinking. Featuring Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda, the drink delights many cocktail enthusiasts because of its long and interesting history.
History of the Americano
The beverage is famous for being the very first drink James Bond ordered in the initial book of the series, “Casino Royale”. But by that time, it had been around for for nearly 100 years, originating at Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan, Italy in the 1860s. It is actually a variation of the Milano-Torino, a drink that also contains Campari and sweet vermouth, but not water. The new variation was so popular with American tourists that it was named after them.
Some people also believe that this drink inspired the popular Negroni. Allegedly, an Italian Count named Camillo Negroni ordered the cocktail in the early 1900s but asked for the club soda to be replaced with gin. The resulting Negroni was a hit and is now even more famous than the original.
Because there are only three ingredients, it’s important to make sure that they are of high quality. Campari is a brand name and can’t be replaced, so you must buy the original liquor. It’s an acquired taste with its bittersweet flavor, but because of the other two ingredients in this drink, it won’t be overpowering.
When choosing club soda, purchase one with a lot of bite to ensure that your drink effectively quenches thirst and tastes refreshing. And for your final ingredient, it’s best to open a fresh bottle of sweet vermouth or at least use some that’s less than a month old to achieve the original flavor. Once you’ve opened the bottle, sweet vermouth must be stored in the fridge.
- 1 ½ Ounces Campari
- 1 ½ Ounces Sweet vermouth
- Club soda
- 1 Orange twist garnish
- First fill your glass with ice, then add both the Campari and the sweet vermouth
- Add club soda to taste and stir the mixture gently, making sure you don't destroy the soda's bubbles
- Use your orange twist to garnish the drink and serve fresh
Whether you are looking for a light and refreshing daytime alternative to the Negroni or you are getting your first taste of Campari, you can’t go wrong with this simple, historical cocktail. With its beautifully warm color and rich past, this classic is sure to become a go-to summer drink in your household.