Americano

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Americano made with Campari, club soda, red vermouth, and orange peel. Photo courtesy of the blog nightcapped.

As a young kid, I used to marvel at how sophisticated our Genoa-born neighbor Amelia used to appear as she sipped her pre-dinner drink on the back porch.  Amelia would often put together a bitter aperitif (usually red vermouth and Campari), along with a few toasted pieces of bread and Italian cheese, and sit elegantly waiting for her pasta water to boil (not a bad way to spend your retirement years).

Amelia has since moved from my childhood block in New Jersey, but I’ve kept her pre-dinner cocktail ritual alive and well!  Recently, I’ve fallen in love with the Americano (especially during the hot summer months) which combines a refreshing, yet bitter, taste with just the right amount of alcohol (don’t get me wrong I enjoy the occasional Martini, but I’d like to be sober after a cocktail so I can enjoy dinner with a glass of wine).  Here’s a super easy Americano recipe (which originated prior to the Negroni); first, the ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces Campari
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet, red, vermouth
  • Cold club soda
  • Slice of orange (you can also use lemon)
  • Fresh ice

Pour the Campari and vermouth over ice in a glass, then fill with club soda. Garnish with a slice of orange (or lemon).

Here’s a video of the drink being prepared by a master bartender:

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