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 the base spirit. It’s a bitter Italian liqueur made with herbs, aromatic plants, fruit, alcohol, and water. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Giffard Aperitif Syrup in place of the Campari.

Sweet Vermouth: This is a fortified wine that adds sweetness. We used Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth for its spicy notes and fruity flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Apéritif Rosso in place of the sweet vermouth.

Soda Water: This is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. It stretches the drink and adds fizz. We used Topo Chico because it’s light, essentially flavorless, and refreshing.

Orange Wedge: This is the garnish. It adds fresh citrus aroma and flavor when dropped into the drink.

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 this drink and finds himself mixing them up fairly regularly.

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Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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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)
$11.49

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

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

Method
1

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

2

Top with soda water.

3

Garnish with orange wedge.

Ingredients

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

Directions

Method
1

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

2

Top with soda water.

3

Garnish with orange wedge.

Americano

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

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Campari Cocktails

If you like this Campari 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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