Anatomy of a Drink: Americano - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Anatomy of a Drink: Americano


The ultimate low-proof quencher.

Though it came to be upstaged by the global popularity of its younger sibling, the Negroni, the Americano still holds its own in the history books, and at the bar. The creation of Gaspare Campari at his bar in Milan in the mid-19th century, the drink was a twist on his Milano-Torino cocktail—an equal mix of Campari and sweet vermouth. When the Milano-Torino received an effervescent splash of soda water, the result was an easy-drinking spritz that was reportedly very popular among American tourists. It would be another half-century before the Negroni (which bolsters the mixture by swapping the soda for gin) was even invented. 

“The Americano is the predecessor of the Negroni. Whether it’s the drink’s long history or its elegant simplicity, both make it enticing,” says Jody Williams, the chef and restaurateur behind Bar Pisellino, an all-day café and Italian bar in New York’s West Village. “Bar Pisellino is dedicated to the art of drinking Italian, so naturally the Americano has a spot on the menu. Its naturally low ABV makes it a perfect aperitivo—the bitterness of Campari and the effervescence of soda is a pure thirst quencher.”


  • 1 1/4 oz. Campari
  • 1 1/4 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 3 1/2 oz. chilled club soda (Bar Pisellino uses Fever-Tree)
  • Tools:barspoon
  • Glass:highball
  • Garnish:orange slice or twist


Add the Campari and vermouth to a glass filled with ice. Slowly top with the club soda, then gently stir one full revolution to combine. Garnish.

TipFor the sweet vermouth, Bar Pisellino uses a blend of equal parts Dolin Rouge and Punt e Mes. Feel free to use your preferred vermouth or experiment with your own mixture to taste.

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