How to Make an Americano
An Americano cocktail is a Negroni that soaked up a little too much Italian sunshine, and now, woozy and contented, would like to cool off with something not stiff, just rejuvenating. It's a Negroni that decided to take it easy this weekend. Which is to say, it's a Negroni sans hard liquor.
The Americano is made with equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth, and a splash of club soda—just liqueur, no gin. If you like Campari, then it's a dependable drink choice, because while the vermouth adds sweetness and the club soda makes it sippable, the Americano leans heavily on Campari's bitterly fruity flavors. And to clarify, there is no coffee involved in an Americano cocktail. This is how you make one.
A Little Background
The very first drink that James Bond ever ordered wasn't a Vesper Martini. It was an Americano. In Casino Royale, the original Bond book written by Ian Fleming in 1953, he orders "excellent" Americanos to cut the tedium of traveling. In a later short story, From a View to a Kill, Bond orders Americanos at cafes—"One cannot drink seriously in French cafés. Out of doors on a pavement in the sun is no place for vodka or whisky or gin," Fleming wrote—stipulating that Perrier was the best soda water to improve a "poor" drink. Bond may have liked an Americano, but it seems as if he didn't exactly respect it.
But the Americano dates back much further than Bond's European romps. It is said that it was first invented in the 1860s by a Milanese bartender names Gaspare Campari, who also, you guessed, created the aperitif Campari. Back then, it was called the Milano-Torino (or "Mi-To"), and it didn't have soda water. The name credited its ingredients' native Italian cities: Campari from Milan and vermouth from Turin. But at Campari's bar, the "Mi-To" soon evolved into the more bubbly Americano, or so they say.
If You Like This, Try These
The Negroni was created after the Americano, because an Italian count wanted his traditional Americano with a kick. If you can relate, then by all means, drink a Negroni. The Rosita is an update on the Negroni, with two kinds of vermouth and mezcal instead of gin. Or get to know your other bitter apertifs and digestifs beyond Campari; many taste good on the rocks or with a splash of soda.
What You Need
Here’s what you need to do an Americano justice, beyond what you might be able to dig out of the fridge or cupboard:
- Vermouth Rojo
- Club Soda
- Highball Glasses
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.