Americano Aperitif Cocktail

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Americano CocktailHosting a gathering or two during the holidays? You might want to add an aperitif cocktail to your menu. Aperitif cocktails can be served to guests before a meal to stimulate their appetite or during a course of appetizers. An aperitif cocktail recipe usually includes gin, vermouth or an aperitif spirit such as Aperol or Campari.

This aperitif cocktail recipe works because of two common characteristics:

    1. Sugar tends to limit the amount of non-sugary foods that we want to eat and that is why aperitifs have a drier, more bitter flavor profile.
    2. Our appetites are also diminished if we have too much alcohol in our system and that is why the aperitif is often low-proof.

And now, the Americano…

A truly classic cocktail, the Americano was first served in the 1860s at Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan, Italy. It was originally named ‘Milano-Torino’ because of the origins of its two primary ingredients: Campari calls Milan home and sweet vermouth is also known as ‘Vermouth di Torino’ or Italian vermouth. The name of the drink was changed in the 1930s to pay homage to Primo Carnera, the first Italian boxer (and the first non-American) to win the world heavyweight championship in the U.S.A. Another story suggests the Americano cocktail recipe was renamed because of its popularity among American tourists around the turn of the 20th century and prior to Prohibition.

Fun facts: The Americano is the first drink ordered by James Bond in the first novel in Ian Fleming’s series, Casino Royale.  The cocktail is also considered the “father” of the Negroni.

The Americano cocktail recipe itself is extremely simple (less stress for the host/hostess). The following Campari recipe makes one cocktail.

Americano Cocktail Recipe Supplies:

  • Jigger
  • Highball glass
  • Stir spoon
  • Ice cubes


Combine equal parts of Campari and vermouth in a highball glass over ice. Top off with club soda. Garnish with orange wedge.