Another simple aperitif that provides spades more enjoyment than a brief look over the ingredients would suggest. Have a longer look at the Campari and Sweet Vermouth that make up the base and you can see why it works so well. A huge amount of botanicals, herbs, fruit peels and bark go into both so when combined, they produce something far greater than the sum of its parts.
Campari, Sweet Vermouth, Soda, Orange.
*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ
The Americano takes its name from its popularity with American tourists and expats but this is a thoroughly Italian cocktail.
The precursor to the Negroni and a stand out aperitif, (or aperitivo) the Americano is a light but complex mixture of bitter Campari, sweet vermouth and refreshing soda water. This would be a great option for those planning a summertime bar hire or anyone wanting to include some tasty low ABV options on their menu.
Aperitifs or aperitivos as they’re known in Italy, are drinks designed specifically to be drunk in the afternoon or early evening. Generally low alcohol cocktails featuring soda or sparkling wine, these cocktails are perfect as a light, fruity pre-dinner libation or great sippers to help while away a lazy afternoon. If you’re interested in featuring some other aperitivo type cocktails on your menu you may want to consider a classic Aperol Spritz; a hugely popular cocktail combining sweet Aperol, dry prosecco and soda, this drink is a great option to serve alongside the bitter Americano.
If you’re a fan of Italian cocktails then there’s no better partner for the Americano than its younger more potent brother, the Negroni; famously created when the Italian aristocrat Count Negroni requested the soda in his Americano be replaced with gin, this cocktail may only change one ingredient but it makes for a vastly different drinking experience. A Negroni is short and strong and would be a great accompaniment to the long and light Americano.
If you’re interested in featuring an Americano on your cocktail menu and want to know more about what drinks could work well with it be sure to speak to your event organiser about your options, or check out some other liqueur based, aperitif and Italian style cocktails from our list.
The Americano is the first cocktail mentioned and ordered by James Bond in From a View to a Kill. Bond mentions that it is right to order a ‘cafe’ style cocktail when in a cafe.
Many see the Americano as the father of the Negroni. It’s said to have been first served in Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan. Originally called the Milano-Torino based on the Campari being from Milan and the sweet vermouth coming from Torino. The name possibly derives from the increasing amounts of Americans coming to Italy during prohibition and their preference for the drink.
Myths & Legends
The alleged precursor to the Negroni, this was served throughout the 1800’s until the invention of the Negroni by Count Negroni.
The Americano was originally named the ‘Milano-Torino’ as Campari came from Milan and sweet vermouth from Turin. Its birth can be traced back to the second half of 1800, in the bar of Gaspare Campari. The name Americano comes from the fact it was a cocktail particularly loved by American expats.
The Americano holds the distinction of being the first cocktail ever mentioned in a James Bond novel.
According to flemingsbond.com “In Casino Royale, while waiting for Mathis and Vesper, Bond enters the Hermitage bar, takes a seat by the windows, and orders an Americano.”
Bond drinks the Americano again in Fleming’s short story From A View To A Kill, here, Fleming offers his thoughts on drinking in France, and states: “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.” after listing some of the drinks he does deem appropriate for a sunny street outside a French cafe, including champagne and Pernod, Fleming goes on to describe the Americano as Bond’s only choice for such an occasion: “in cafes you have to drink the least offensive of the musical comedy drinks that go with them, and Bond always had the same thing – an Americano – Bitter Campari, Cinzano, a large slice of lemon peel and soda”
- From A View To a Kill – For Your Eyes Only, Ian Fleming, 1960
This cocktail is featured among the IBA’s (International Bar Association) list of ‘unforgettables’ this means that the standardised recipe and serve for an Americano is internationally recognised and consistent all over the world.
Ingredients & Equipment
There’s no substituting the Campari in this cocktail, that has to stay. There are a huge variety of sweet vermouths to choose from though; Antica formula is a vermouth with huge amounts of heritage for good reason, it is excellent, big and bold it provides a hefty dose of flavour, but its limited availability and high price can make it a little impractical for home-mixology.
We also like to use Cocchi Torino, a rich, rounded and herbaceous Italian vermouth. Another great alternative is Punt e Mes, this is an inexpensive and widely available vermouth which is still packed with flavour.
- 25ml Campari
- 25ml Sweet Vermouth
- Splash of Soda Water
- Orange Slice to Garnish
- Bar Spoon
- Wine Glass
- Cubed Ice
- Take your wine glass
- Using your jigger to measure, add the Campari and sweet vermouth to the glass
- Fill the glass two thirds with cubed ice
- Stir the ingredients using your bar spoon
- Top with a generous splash of soda and more ice if needed
- Garnish with a slice of orange
- Serve and enjoy!
For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.
Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.