It’s cocktail royalty, the first born which created so many variations. Why? That’s easy. It’s refreshing, sessionable but still with a sense of gravitas. It’s a serious cocktail, but one that you can consume a few of, because it has less alcohol in it.
It was first served in the 1860’s at Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan, Italy. We owe a great debt to Campari- not only did he develop and produce a great aperitivo, he created the concept of aperitivo hour and was a business innovator. He understood that getting people to drink Campari would mean teaching them how to use it.
The original name of the cocktail was Milano- Torino- a marriage of Campari from Milan and sweet vermouth from Turin – Vermouth di Torino. It was renamed at the turn of the century, allegedly because it was adored by American tourists.
We’re going to pause for a moment to make you thirsty. That ice! The color! The lemon slice! It’s all delicious.
Americans weren’t the only ones with a fascination with the Americano. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond also referenced it. It is the first cocktail ordered by James Bond in Casino Royale, the first place the legendary spy appears. The Vesper overtook the Americano in James’ orders, but the Americano remained in his heart.
Fleming writes in Bond’s voice ” One cannot seriously drink in French cafes. Gin, whiskey, and vodka have no place on sunny sidewalks. To put it in modern day terms, the Americano was his go to drink for patios and backyards.
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