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: