I started drinking the Americano in the early 90s. It was the perfect cocktail with the boss or the in-laws. Or when you had to stay sober. Bitter and low in alcohol it was something you sipped unlike a beer-- which I tend to drink very fast. Back then, I started with Campari (1/3) and whatever sweet vermouth (1/3) there was. Topped it off with club soda (1/3) and was it.
By the way, getting older is really a mixed bag. I'm not gonna say it's all good or all bad. Although, I was happy to read in last Sunday's NY Times that Lilly Allen likes older men and is dating one of her father's friends who is in his mid 40s. That warms the heart of dirty old men everywhere. Something else to like with old age is more money and a pursuit of the smallest details when it comes to...just about anything. Art, booze, shoes, news, music, rugs, cars and bars. I do love learning about stuff.
I recently learned of this sweet vermouth mentioned in last weeks "Friday Belts." Carpano Antica Formula is $29 and a buggar to find. Go here for the company web site but good luck with the distribution page. I couldn't get anything out of it. Sherry Lehman is where I get mine. If you're gonna be in NYC anytime soon I suggest you blow off the Statue of Liberty and go get a bottle of this stuff. It's simply mind blowing.
I deep six'ed the Canada Dry Club Soda and now use Perrier or San Pelligrino. Look, there's not a lot of booze in this so you may as well do it right and enjoy it. Kind'a like sex after you're 40. I like Aperol over Campari because...well...because the bottle looks cool. There, I admit it. I'm a visual guy. What can I say.
Once you have the right stuff just pour equal portions over ice and prepare to sip. It's bitter, sweet and tart and a nice way to slide into dinner. It also pairs nicely with that regimental belt.