Americano Cocktail & James Bond
James Bond's influence on the drinking culture can not be understated. From his Martinis (shaken but not stirred) to the Vesper. The Americano is Bond’s first drink order in the 1953 Ian Fleming book "Casino Royale" and it also appears in subsequent novels. Although Bond was right to be impressed, the cocktail is almost a century old.
The Americano Origin
In Milan, Italy, Gaspare Campari first served the Americano in the 1860s. This drink is a simple take on the Milano-Torino which had Campari and sweet Vermouth mixed in equal amounts and topped with sparkling water. The name is believed to be due to its popularity with American tourists. It is possible that the name was not affixed to the bar until Prohibition, when Americans fled to Europe in large numbers, thirsty for quality drinks.
It is believed that the Americano was also the precursor of the Negroni. According to legend, the Negroni was created in Florence by Camillo Negroni, an Italian count. He asked a bartender to modify his Americano by substituting club soda with gin.
Because the cocktail only has three ingredients, each ingredient must be of the highest quality. Campari works by itself. Campari is an Italian aperitif made from a proprietary blend of herbs and fruits in alcohol. It gives everything it touches a red-tinged kick of bitterness. While you can choose any sweet vermouth of your choice, it is important that it be fresh. It should be kept in the refrigerator. The vermouth will start to lose its flavor after a month. The water is all that remains. Drinking good sparkling mineral water or club soda with lots of bite will cut through bitter Campari and rich Vermouth and make the drink refreshing.
The Americano is an ideal choice for both daytime and pre-daily activities due to its low alcohol content and ease-of-drink. The Americano is light but flavorful, and with its bittersweet, bubbly flavor, it's easy to see why people love the classic drink.
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Recommended Bar Equipment
- 30 ml Campari
- 30 ml Sweet Vermouth
- 30 ml Soda Water
- Add ice to a whiskey glass.
- Add your ingredients.