Americano Cocktail

If you love the taste of Negroni cocktails but are looking for something with a lower ABV, try an Americano. Soda water is swapped in for the gin alongside Campari and sweet vermouth in this cocktail recipe.

Americano Cocktail

Simply Recipes / Elana Lepkowski

Negroni lovers! If you’re looking for a refreshing bittersweet aperitif that’s low on alcohol, try an Americano. This super simple, 3-ingredient cocktail can be adjusted to your tastes and is a flavorful way to wake up your tastebuds before a meal. 

Many think the drink’s name is a reference to the need to water down strong, bitter Italian amaro to make it palatable to Americans. In fact, there is no clear, documented history behind the name. It may simply be a verbal embellishment on “amaro.” 

Regardless of where the name comes from, lovers of the Americano can all agree that this bittersweet aperitif is a delicious way to kick off happy hour or relax with a low ABV, day-drinking sipper.

Americano Cocktail

Simply Recipes / Elana Lepkowski

Campari: A Key Ingredient

The Americano consists of 3 ingredients: Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water. Its iconic bright red hue is thanks to the Campari, effectively making that the star ingredient. 

What is Campari? A member of the amaro family of liqueurs, Campari has been bottled in Italy since the 1800s and has become increasingly popular in the last few decades. This bittersweet Italian aperitif consists of a blend of herbs and spices (proprietary, of course) and tastes of citrus fruits, baking spices, and bitter herbs. 

Originally, the red color was from crushed cochineal—a bug!—but is now made from artificial dyes, making it a safe option for vegan drinkers.

Americano Cocktail with Ingredients in the Background

Simply Recipes / Elana Lepkowski

What Kind of Vermouth Works Best?

Traditionally in Italy, the Americano is made using Punt e Mes, an Italian vermouth that is considerably more bitter than other red, or sweet, vermouths. For this drink, most any sweet vermouth will work. 

I actually go French in my recipe with Dolin Rouge. It’s less bitter and sweeter, balancing out the Campari so that the cocktail is not overwhelmingly bitter.

How to Serve an Americano

While I’ve seen Americanos served in rocks glasses, I prefer to keep this drink “long style.” A highball glass filled with ice gives a little more room to add in the soda water. 

To finish the drink, try an orange slice. It complements the citrus component of the Campari and provides a subtle fresh aroma to the drink. 

Two Glasses of Americano Cocktail (Aerial View)

Simply Recipes / Elana Lepkowski

Low-Alcohol Sippers

Americano Cocktail

Prep Time 3 mins
Total Time 3 mins
Serving 1 serving
Yield 1 cocktail

Chill your soda water (storing it in the fridge is best) before making your cocktail to prevent watering down your drink with fast-melting ice cubes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Campari

  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth

  • 2 to 3 ounces soda water, chilled

  • 1 slice orange, for garnish

Special Equipment

Method

  1. Prepare a glass:

    Fill a highball glass with ice.

  2. Add the ingredients:

    Pour the Campari, sweet vermouth, and 2 ounces soda water into the glass. Stir gently with a long spoon or straw to combine.

    Compari Poured into Two Glasses for Americano Cocktail with the Rest of the Ingredients in the Background

    Simply Recipes / Elana Lepkowski

  3. Garnish and serve: 

    Taste, adding more soda water to taste, if needed. Garnish with the orange slice and serve.

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    Two Glasses of Americano Cocktail Topped with Club Soda

    Simply Recipes / Elana Lepkowski

    Americano Cocktail with Ingredients in the Background

    Simply Recipes / Elana Lepkowski

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
199 Calories
0g Fat
20g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 199
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 16mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 72mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.