Time for a Drink: Americano

If you read the headline and thought, "Starbucks," you're missing out on something here.

While my knowledge of coffee history is sorely lacking, I'd still wager that this Americano predates the now-familiar mix of espresso and hot water. First served in Milan around 1861, this fizzy aperitif became popular among American tourists and expatriates in the early 20th-century, thus earning its name.

The Americano is sometimes derided as an emasculated Negroni; that overlooks the drink's enduring charms. While less potent in flavor and effect than the Negroni, the Americano is a very agreeable companion on a warm day, especially in the late spring when the barbecue is being brought out of winter storage and the weather invites you to linger outside. Engagingly bitter, slightly sweet, and above all, tall and cold, the Americano suits the season.

About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.

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Time for a Drink: Americano

About This Recipe

Yield:makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Campari
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 2 to 3 ounces club soda
  • Garnish: orange wheel

Procedures

  1. 1

    Pour Campari and vermouth into an ice-filled highball glass; top with club soda. Garnish with an orange wheel.

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