Classic Americano Cocktail Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on October 2, 2023

Delicious and refreshing: The Americano is a three-ingredient aperitif cocktail made of Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and soda water.
Classic Americano cocktail

Hearing the name Americano Cocktail, some immediately draw a connection to the Americano coffee. However, the classic Americano cocktail couldn't be farther away from that. 

Instead, it is a traditional aperitif cocktail based on Campari -and one that James Bond frequently orders in the books and movies - besides the famous Martini

Quick Facts Americano Cocktail

  • Method: built in glass
  • Flavor profile: light, refreshing, bittersweet
  • How to serve it: over ice
  • Best glassware: highball glass, double old fashioned glass
  • Alcohol content: ~ 11%, 16 grams of alcohol per serving

Unlike the Vesper Cocktail, invented by the author of the Bond novels, the classic Americano cocktail existed long before that.

Classic Americano cocktail

Recipe Americano Cocktail

Refreshing & simple cocktail from Italy.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Campari, Sweet vermouth
Servings: 1
Calories: 178kcal
Cost: $2.50


  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Bar spoon


  • 1.5 oz Campari
  • 1.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 oz Club soda - make it 2.5oz for a lighter version
  • 1 twisted orange peel or orange slice - for garnish


  • Use a Highball glass and cool it down with ice.
  • Add the Campari first, then Sweet Vermouth.
    1.5 oz Campari, 1.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Gently stir the mix before filling it up with soda water.
    2 oz Club soda
  • Garnish the cocktail with a twisted orange peel or half a slice of orange.
    1 twisted orange peel or orange slice


Serving: 4.25ozCalories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 7gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 1mgSugar: 7gVitamin A: 8.2IUCalcium: 1.5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Ingredients & Recommendations

As with every cocktail relying on three ingredients only, quality is essential. If you don't have your favorites yet, here are our recommendations:

  • Campari: This one is a complete no-brainer. The deep red bitter, herbal, and fruity liqueur is a fixture and the star of many bitter cocktails. It adds a delicious and intense bitter taste to every drink.
  • Sweet VermouthA fortified wine aromatized with herbs and spices. Our favorite for the Americano is Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth. I also recommend it for making my Negronis. Make sure you use a bottle that has not been open for too long and ideally comes chilled straight out of the fridge. 
  • Soda Water: The same goes for soda water. It should be well chilled with good carbonation to cut through the Vermouth and Campari mix. 
  • Garnish: To give the drink the perfect finish, a slice of orange or orange peel works a treat in an Americano cocktail.

Tips & Tricks For Mixing

The drink is super easy to make, and you don't need special tools as you build it directly in the glass. A long bar spoon is enough.

What can lift your drink to the next level, though, is quality ice: Large, clear ice cubes that keep your drink ice cold without watering it down. Fill up your glass with plenty of crystal-clear ice for the perfect Americano.

You also want to store all ingredients in the fridge before mixing. Since you do not shake or stir them with ice to cool and combine them, you should absolutely keep that in mind.

How Much Alcohol is in an Americano Cocktail?

A bit stronger than a beer, lighter than your average cocktail. The ABV of a classic Americano cocktail is around 9% to 13% ABV or 18 to 26 proof, similar to wine. 

With this relatively low alcohol content, the drink is a beautiful and refreshing summer cocktail. If you should be in the mood for a boozier alternative, the classic Negroni has around 24% ABV.

Americano Cocktail

The difference between an Americano and a Negroni

The difference between the two drinks is the clear component - soda on the one hand and gin on the other. That makes the Negroni a lot more potent and also drier & more bitter. 

Many think the Americano is a softer variation of a Negroni. Easier to drink, less boozy, and therefore a better fit for hot summer days. 

However, in fact, it is the other way around: the Americano is the forerunner of the classic Negroni. -And frankly, we think both are perfect for hot summer days.

The History of the Americano Cocktail

The very first time the Americano cocktail got served was in Gaspare Campari's bar Camparino in Galleria in Milan. There, also the birthplace of the Campari liqueur, this riff on the Milano-Torino has been created.

A Milano-Torino is a simple mixed drink made with only Vermouth and Campari. And to make this cocktail more sippable and refreshing, Gaspare added just a splash of soda water. 

This lighter version was allegedly especially popular with American tourists, hence the name: Americano Cocktail.

Related Recipes

If you look for more light, sparkly summer drinks, try some of these recipes:

Subscribe to Cocktail Society!

Receive our latest recipes, reviews, and insights - straight to your inbox.
Subscription Form

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

ContactAbout usPrivacy PolicyTermsSitemap
Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from

© 2023