The Americhino is a take on the original Americano
While looking through the liquor cabinet, I discovered an unopened bottle of Campari (though the reason for buying it, alludes me). I was on the hunt for a summertime cocktail. Having a lite, delicious drink after a days work appeals to me.
The plan for the evening was to prepare a lite Italian meal. On the menu was saute' chicken, roasted garden vegetables, quinoa, and a lite balsamic vinaigrette (the recipe will follow).
As I was trying to pair a cocktail with the menu, I thought about the Campari and club soda, googled some ideas, and ran across the Americano.
The recipe for the orginal Americano is very simple. All you need to do is pour equal parts of Campari and sweet vermouth over ice and fill the glass with club soda. I had sweet vermouth used previously with martinis.
After first tasting Campari, I noticed a bitter-sweet flavor with some herbal notes and a hint of orange. I'm not quite sure how to describe the Italian aperitif, however, I know I enjoyed the earthiness immensely.
There's a rich history associated with the Americano. Some say it was first served in the 1860s at Gaspare Campari's bar in Milan, Italy (This is where the 'secret' Campari recipe originated). Another story claims the cocktail was named after an Italian boxer Primo Carnera in the 1930s.
My most favorite story behind the cocktail is the introduction into the James Bond movies. Before Sean Connery, Bond was an American actor and the Americano was requested in Casino Royale (the original).
As for me, the Americano was too bitter, so I made some changes. For those that prefer a less bitter, taste, I've achieved a good formula. The Americhino has an extra fruitiness that will cut-down on the bitters and delight the senses.
1 1/2 ounces of Campari
1 1/2 ounces of sweet vermouth
Three ounces of club soda
Squeeze of lemon
Squeeze of orange
1 1/2 teaspoons of maraschino juice
All poured over crushed ice and stirred
Garnished with a twist of orange peel and a maraschino cherry