Americano – Classic Recipe & History

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American






Total time



Learn how to make a classic 1860s Americano. 


  • 1.5 oz 45 ml Campari

  • 1.5 oz 45 ml Sweet Vermouth

  • 4 oz 120 ml Soda Water


  • Technique: Build In Glass
  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in a glass.
  • Fill the glass with crushed ice.
  • Stir to combine and chill the ingredients.
  • Gently add the soda water and give the drink a couple of last stirs to mix it fully.

Recipe Video

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The History Of The Americano.

The Americano cocktail was invented around the mid-1860s in Milan, Italy, by Gaspare Campari. Gaspare ran around Italy trying to sell his bitter aperitif until he met his wife and settled down in Milan. Settling down in Milan, he opened up Gaspare’s Bar, where he sold his aperitif, which he also named after himself, and began mixing up the house cocktail called the Milano-Torino. Milano because that is where he produced Campari and Torino because that is the town that produced Italian sweet vermouth. As time went on, the drink became a huge hit and the drink of choice for many traveling Americans. By the early 1900s, the Milano-Torino became better known as an Americano. It is considered the predecessor to the Negroni since the Negroni was invented as a strong Americano. The difference between the Americano and its more famous younger brother, the Negroni, is the Negroni Swaps the 120ml (4 oz) of soda water for 30 mls (1 oz) of gin. This changes the cocktail from a refreshing and light highball to a boozy and more bitter lowball cocktail.

What Are Some Variations Of The Americano?

Variations of the Americano include The Negroni, The Boulevardier, The Man About Town, and the Dry Negroni. These cocktails have a similar flavor profile to the americano but are very different in style. They are all short, strong drinks, while the Americano is tall, light, and refreshing. There is nothing quite like the americano, but these four are the most similar.

What Does the Americano Taste Like?

The Americano taste is refreshing since the soda water helps cut the bitter and herbal Aperitifs. The flavor is still very medicinal and not for everyone. If you like medicinal or herbal tastes, you may like this, but if you are someone who sticks to rum and cokes, adioses, or mules, then this may not be for you. If you are curious about trying Campari, this would be the drink to start with.

The Most Important Ingredient.

The essential ingredient in this is the sweet vermouth. There is only one Campari, and soda water is all the same, but the sweet vermouth you use will make a big difference. There are no terrible sweet vermouths, and the cheaper stuff works fine, but there are a few amazing ones. I usually buy smaller 375ml bottles of sweet vermouth because it is wine-based, and like all wines, it doesn’t go well after a while. It has a slightly longer shelf life than regular red wine but not much more. When I buy the larger 750ml bottles, I find half of it spoiled before I finish using them. So instead of spending $7 for a large normal bottle of sweet vermouth that you will end up wasting half off, pay $13 for a fantastic bottle of sweet vermouth that’s half the size, but you will finish. Once you start using excellent sweet vermouth, you will never want to use anything else. It makes a very noticeable difference for not that much more money.

Variations Of This Cocktail.

Popular variations of this kind of cocktail are:

Tools Used:

Download the free Vintage American Cocktail app.

See what you can make with what you have.

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