Much like Ferraris and Neapolitan sauce, the Americano cocktail recipe is a true red-blooded Italian classic. It’s a fusion of Campari’s bitter-sweet orange flavor and the herbaceous character of Rosso vermouth. The Americano is a deep and richly complex cocktail that’s spiked with the effervescence of club soda to create the perfect sipping cocktail. And the best part is it’s low in alcohol, which is perfect for lazy days around the pool. It’s one of the cocktail greats that showcases the beauty of Italian bitters, and it couldn’t be any easier to make at home.
Lemon can also be used as a garnish for a tarter experience.
Vermouth should be kept in the fridge after opening. It will keep for around 3 months.
Chill your glasses for at least 30 minutes in the freezer before serving.
Fill a double rocks glass with ice
Pour in the Campari and vermouth then top it up with club soda
Stir gently to combine
Garnish with orange slice and lemon twist, then serve
History of the Americano cocktail
First poured in Milan, Italy in the 1860s, the Americano was served at Gaspare Campari’s bar to local Italians. It was a riff on the popular Milano-Torino which was equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth on ice. Legend has it that American tourists took a liking to Italian bitters and then club soda was added to turn it into a long drink. Just like that, the Americano cocktail recipe was born, and with it, a legacy that eventually gave us the mighty Negroni.
The Vesper Martini might have been Bond’s order in 2006’s blockbuster Casino Royale, but the Americano was 007’s first-ever drink order in the 1953 novel. According to Bond, it is an appropriate drink when dining at an outdoor café. These days, the Americano is somewhat overshadowed by its predecessor the Negroni, but it is still a cocktail icon. It’s a throwback to a simpler time. An age where simplicity and great ingredients came together to craft an exceptional drink.
The Negroni is the most famous variation of the Campari Americano cocktail recipe. It adds equal measure gin to the party, which further enhances the herbaceous and floral character of the Americano. Another great variation is the Aperol Americano which replaces the Campari with the lighter Aperol. The result is still a complex cocktail, but Aperol is less bitter than Campari, and it has a lower alcohol content.
When to serve
As stated by Mr. Bond, the Americano is a great café cocktail and it’s equally at home at any daytime cocktail occasion. The digestive aperitif qualities of Campari also make it the perfect pre-or post-dinner cocktail. It may be named after American tourists, but the Americano is an Italian cocktail that is still served in cafes and bars all over Italy.