Monday, May 26, 2014

The Americano: The Perfect Summer Cocktail?

Almost exactly one year ago I wrote the following post, and it still holds true. This is one perfect summer cocktail!

There's a reason that summer cocktails are icy, fruity or citrusy concoctions topped off with tonic or soda and served in a frosty tumbler. I mean, on a hot afternoon on the patio or after a long day outdoors, who really needs a big alcohol bomb that'll knock you on your keister?

Summer's only just getting started here in the Northwest, with temperatures edging up into the 70s and even occasionally into the 80s, so here at the house we're finding ourselves thinking of lighter, fresher cocktails when happy hour rolls around. One that's been making a regular appearance on the backyard roster is the classic Americano, which some historians of cocktail-iana say is the predecessor to the Negroni, another house favorite.

Legend has it that in 1919, Count Camillo Negroni invented the eponymous cocktail by asking the bartender, Fosco Scarselli of Caffè Casoni in Florence, Italy, to strengthen his favorite drink, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water. The bartender also added an orange garnish rather than the typical lemon garnish of the Americano to signify that it was a different drink.

Whether true or not, the Americano, with its gorgeous red color and sprightly, refreshing splash, is the perfect capper to a warm summer day.

Americano Cocktail

1 1/2 oz. Campari
1 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
Club soda
Lemon twist

Fill cocktail glass half full of ice. Add Campari and sweet vermouth. Top with club soda and stir to combine. Add lemon twist.

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