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Americano Cocktail

One of the few cocktails from the mid-19th-century that has a verifiable provenance, this Americano recipe is a classic drink that has wormed its way through literature.

It was first created in Caffé Campari around 1860, and it celebrates the success of the Italian boxer Primo Carnera, who was the first non-American to win the world heavyweight championship in the United States. It produces a somewhat dry and bitter flavour that's evened out by the splash of soda water and sweet vermouth, yet it's still a drink that's primarily for Campari enthusiasts.

Americano Cocktail


  • An Old Fashioned glass
  • 1 single shot of Campari
  • 1 single shot of Martini Rosso red vermouth
  • Soda water to taste
  • Ice
  • Orange to garnish

How to serve it

  • Fill the Old Fashioned glass with ice.
  • Pour the Campari and red vermouth over the ice.
  • Add a splash of soda water and stir gently.
  • Add the garnish and serve.

If you substitute the soda water for a shot of Gordon's London gin, you get a Negroni, and a Boulevardier substitutes a shot of whisky instead of the soda water. Changing the amount of soda water gives a weaker or stronger drink as required, and pouring it into a cocktail shaker and shaking has a similar effect.