Today, let’s plan ahead for a Friday night or the weekend with good company and an Americano cocktail (or simply an Americano). The Americano is originally from Italy. In the late 1880’s, it was called the “Milano-Torino” simply because of where the ingredients used in the cocktail came from. The Campari is a bitter liqueur from Milan (Milano in Italian) and the Cinzano (sweet vermouth used) is from Turin (Torino in Italian) — hence the mixed name Milano-Torino. Soda water was added later to please American tourists and the popular cocktail was renamed “Americano” in their honor. You may have also heard that before martinis, James Bond was drinking Americanos. The first Fleming’s book “Casino Royale” describes James Bond making a special request to have Perrier instead of soda water in his Americano — and we can’t agree more, Art of the Home Americano are also made with Perrier! An Americano cocktail is enjoyed as a pre-dinner drink (apéritif) and is not too strong but definitely more of a bitter cocktail than a sweet one. Enjoy in moderation!
INGREDIENTS (for 1 old fashion glass)
- 1 part of Campari: about 2 TBSP
- 1 part sweet vermouth (Cinzano Rosso, Martini Rosso/Martini Rouge): about 2 TBSP
- Perrier (or soda water): about 2 TBSP
- Ice cubes
- Slice of orange
- Fill up your old fashion glass with ice cubes.
- Add Campari and sweet vermouth.
- Top with Perrier (we like to add Perrier but any soda water will do)
- Garnish with an orange wedge (you can use lemon too or both)
- Enjoy chilled and in moderation!
A FEW SUGGESTIONS
- Turino or Milano? The Americano is more of a bitter tasting cocktail so some of your guests may prefer more “Turino” than “Milano” in their Americanos. To decrease the bitterness, we recommend increasing the ratio of sweet vermouth to Campari (1 part Campari/1.5 or 2 parts vermouth). May not work for James Bond but it does for us.
- Orange Squeeze: squeezing the orange wedge before putting it in the glass will add an orange touch to your Americano and complement the Campari nicely. You can also gently crush the orange for added orange flavor.
To accompany your Americano cocktail, you may want to serve olives or prosciutto on slices of fresh baguette as part of your appetizers selection. And how about a Tarantella (Tarantelle Italienne) to get us into the spirit? The following video shows pictures of Italy as this traditional Italian folk music plays — enjoy!