13 February 2009

The Americano

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.


MajTJKingKong said...

Great post about a great drink.

I still prefer Campari. If you inclined check out Carpano Punt e Mes as an alternative to the Antica. It is a bit less expensive and in this bitter drink a very good complement. In a Manhattan Antica is magic.

As for soda, my wife gave me a Mr. Fizz Senior for Christmas and it is fantastic. My soda is always perfect. For bottled soda, I love Gerolsteiner but I prefer the Mr. Fizz to all bottled soda. I also admit that it is partially because the Mr Fizz is such a cool old school design.

Enjoy and never forget the Negroni the Americano's harder hitting cousin.



PS. Vermouth deteriorates in about 1-2 weeks losing some pizzaz remember to keep it chilled like wine and drink it quickly. I cry a bit inside when I see a half finished duty old bottle of Cinzano.

John Patrick George said...

There's nothing wrong with being a visual guy when it comes to booze. If you have a glass liquor cabinet like me, a bottle functions as a decoration as much as inebriant.

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Once, at a Very Nice restaurant, I overheard my dashing uncle order a "campari & soda." I thought to myself, "how utterly civilized."
Not so long ago I ordered one myself. The grimace it put on myface made Pierpont say, "send it back if you don't like it." I suffered through that drink all evening. And stayed sober.

longwing said...

Sounds yummy. I'm about to go pick up a bottle of Dewars.

Ben said...

Sam's here in Chicago carries Carpano. They were out of stock when I asked and the clerk rolled his eyes like I wasn't first that had asked for it that afternoon. I'm not saying you're to blame for the run on Carpano, but what are the odds? (and thanks for a drink to offer my in-laws this weekend)

Anonymous said...

Okay, when you say you like "rugs" I'm going to assume it's the kind that go on floors? Just asking. All right...just kidding. Never had an Americano, though, that wasn't the coffee version. Love the name, will have to try it.

But I'm a visual guy, too and I'm just going to have to sacrifice good vermouth to visit the Statue of Liberty. It's easy for you to say, you've already seen her...up close...hundreds of times!


Easy and Elegant Life said...

"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."

Amen; wish I'd written that. (Now if I could only figure out that money part...)

The Americano is a perfect "Sunday drink" here at the manse. There's just enough to get you over last night's excesses and not enough to propel you headlong into Monday without pausing at Sunday evening...

fitz said...

I tried to make this my drink when I was 18. My friend gave me this book "Tipsy in Madras" and I was convinced it would be my favorite. I was at a family party at Tavern on the Green, and the bartender was quite liberal. Several Americanos later, I discovered that aversion therapy does indeed work with alcohol.

Albert said...

If you swap the Seltz-Perrier witha good gin, you have the Negroni, which is much better for me. Or, if you wan to drink a typical italian (actually Milanese) cocktail swap the Seltz-Perrier with a sparkling wine like a spumante or a champagne (a demi-sec is the best choice) and here you go with the Negroni Sbagliato.
But stick with the aperol, please.