Americano

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Cocktail History

The Americano is a classic cocktail that was created in the 1860s at Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan, Italy. The original recipe was called the Milano Torino, and it combined ingredients from both Italian cities—Campari from Milan and sweet vermouth from Turin—before it was eventually lengthened with soda water and became the version we now know as the Americano. Its name translates to “American style,” and it became known as such because expats especially enjoyed drinking them during Prohibition.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Campari: This is a liqueur made in Italy with gentian root, rhubarb, citrus, herbs, aromatic plants, fruit, and alcohol. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Giffard Non-Alcoholic Bitter Syrup in place of the bitter liqueur.

Sweet Vermouth: This is a fortified wine made with grapes, sugar, botanicals, herbs, sugar, and alcohol. We used Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth because it’s a high quality vermouth with dark notes of herbs, figs, licorice, cinnamon, and cocoa. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Rosso in place of the sweet vermouth.

Soda Water: This is a type of water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. We used Topo Chico Sparkling Mineral Water because it’s light, essentially flavorless, and refreshing.

Orange Wedge: This is a slice of an orange that has been cut into a half wheel shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Tasting Notes

The Americano features the aroma of lemony-orange Campari and a taste that’s a touch bitter initially but softens after a second with the sweet vermouth, and it has a subtle sweetness along with a lot of Campari’s signature bittersweet flavor on the aftertaste.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We were pretty split on this drink. Though not a fan of either ingredient, Kendall admitted this was fairly decent to her palate thanks to the soda water. Alex, on the other hand, is a longtime lover of the Americano and finds himself mixing them up fairly regularly.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I absolutely love the Americano, from the first time I tried it even before I really enjoyed Campari the way I do now. My interest in it goes back further than my love of cocktails though. I read about James Bond first drinking it in the novel Casino Royale (which he drank before the Vesper was even conceived, funnily enough), and it made me want to try it. Today, as a firm lover of Campari, sweet vermouth, and the Negroni, the Americano is a go-to when I’m seeking a lower-ABV drink to get me through the day and into the evening.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐
“My palate has not developed enough yet for me to enjoy a Negroni, but I must be getting closer because this Campari drink didn’t make me wince like others have in the past. The vermouth does a really good job of cutting the bitterness of the Italian liqueur. I’m still not a big fan of either ingredient in cocktails though, so ultimately I wouldn’t request this one again.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Campari
 1 ½ oz Sweet Vermouth
 3 oz Soda Water
 1 Orange Wedge

Method
1

Add Campari, sweet vermouth, and cubed ice to a highball glass.

2

Top with soda water.

3

Stir gently for 3-5 seconds.

4

Garnish with orange wedge.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Campari
 1 ½ oz Sweet Vermouth
 3 oz Soda Water
 1 Orange Wedge

Directions

Method
1

Add Campari, sweet vermouth, and cubed ice to a highball glass.

2

Top with soda water.

3

Stir gently for 3-5 seconds.

4

Garnish with orange wedge.

Americano

Make It a Mocktail: Use Giffard Non-Alcoholic Bitter Syrup in place of the bitter liqueur and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Rosso in place of the sweet vermouth to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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More Campari Cocktails

If you like this Campari-flavored cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Jungle Bird Cocktail Recipe

Jungle Bird: A rum cocktail made with Campari, lime juice, simple syrup, pineapple juice, and a lime wheel

Garibaldi Cocktail Recipe

Garibaldi: A Campari cocktail made with orange juice and an orange slice

Old Pal Cocktail Recipe

Old Pal: A whiskey cocktail made with dry vermouth, Campari, and an orange twist

Rhubarb & Gingerbread Negroni Cocktail Recipe

Rhubarb & Gingerbread Negroni: A gin cocktail made with Campari, sweet vermouth, gingerbread syrup, and an orange peel

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