The very first drink ever ordered by James Bond in an Ian Fleming novel wasn’t a martini. It was an Americano, in Casino Royale.
This American Bartenders Association “unforgettable” is a close relative of the Negroni, Italy’s most famous cocktail. Soda replaces the gin, but it is still a drink for those who like a bitter brew.
Campari is an Italian liqueur, originally manufactured in Milan. It was invented in 1860 and was first given its distinctive red colour by using crushed cochineal insects to make the dye. They stopped doing that in 2006, but the flavour remains unaffected.
Vermouth is a fortified wine, also from Italy. It’s an aperitif, flavoured with a variety of botanicals including bark, seeds, herbs and spices. The Americano was first called a Milano-Turino after the two cities which sourced its ingredients. The name was changed at the beginning of the last century, presumably in tribute to the Americans among whom the cocktail was gaining popularity.
Campari isn’t particularly well known on the American side of the Atlantic, but has long been enjoyed with soda in Europe. In Italy, it’s sold in individual bottles, mixed with soda, with a 10% alcohol content. Perfect with a summer picnic, it’s the Italian equivalent of an American cooler.
Here’s how to make your own refreshing Americano:
- 30ml Campari
- 30ml Sweet Vermouth
- Soda water
- Orange slice to garnish
- Fill a highball glass with ice
- Add Campari
- Add Sweet Vermouth
- Top with soda water
- Garnish with a slice of orange
- High ball glass