Patriotic Cocktails, Part 3: The Americano

This Independence Day, set yourself free from garish red-white-and-blue cocktails by mixing up some patriotic drinks whose taste as well as appearance honors the spirit of the holiday. In this series, I will explore some off-the-beaten-path adult beverages for your July 4th party.

Though invented in Milan at Garspare Campari's bar, the Americano (originally dubbed the "Milano Torino") came to be known by its current name because tourists from the United States seemed particularly drawn to its spritely herbal flavor.

Readers of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale may also remember the Americano as the very first cocktail ordered by James Bond. I wouldn't know, having never read any Bond books or seen any Bond movie in its entirety. For shame, I know.

I like to imagine sweaty 1920s U.S. expats slurping down this drink after a long day of not working on their unfinished novels. I'm sure the bittersweet flavor nicely complemented their jaded existences as disgruntled Americans living off trust funds. Sound like your life? Here' how to make your own Americano:

The Americano

  • 1.5 ounces Campari
  • 1.5 ounces sweet vermouth
  • soda water
  • orange slice

In a highball (or any tall, thin glass) filled with ice, pour Campari, then vermouth. Top with soda water and garnish with orange slice.

The Americano is less potent than your average cocktail; however, don't mistake that feeling of refreshment you feel after downing one in less than ten minutes as sober rejuvenation. These babies sneak up on you, so let someone else set off the fireworks if you've had more than two.