Living Bond-style: Americano
«Elba passed below them and the plane slid into its fifty-mile glide towards Rome. Half an hour among the jabbering loudspeakers of Ciampino Airport, time to drink two excellent Americanos, and they were on their way again, flying steadily down towards the toe of Italy».
Among the pages of From Russia with Love, before reaching Istanbul via Athens, Bond tastes all the pleasantness of the Americano in Italy, where the cocktail was born and is prepared to perfection. This drink has a record: it’s the first that 007 drinks, and from then on accompanies him, in “For Your Eyes Only” as in “Risico”, in multiple versions - with the Cinzano rosso vermouth and a large lemon zest, with Perrier instead of soda, "the cheapest way to improve a poor drink."
Also Sebastian Faulks, in “The Devil may care”, will talk about it, taking up the recipe of '53:
«He contented himself with buying a suitably risqué postcard for Moneypenny and went to a small pavement café on rue des Bourdonnais to write it. He ordered an Americano – Campari, Cinzano, lemon peel and Perrier – not because he particularly liked it, but because a French café was not a place in his view for a serious drink. It was surprisingly good, the zest of the lemon cutting through the sweetness of the vermouth, and Bond felt almost fully restored as he left some coins on the zinc-topped table and stood up».
The Americano is one of the fundamental drinks of the world cocktelerie: very Italian despite the name, its origins are almost legendary. Some say it was born in 1860 at Gaspare Campari's bar in Milan, others argue that it is instead a legacy of the fascist period and was dedicated to Primo Carnera - dubbed, in fact, "l’americano" - after a resounding victory in New York City.
Father of the equally famous Negroni, it’s also nicknamed "Milano-Torino", from the city of origin of the two main ingredients: the Bitter Campari, born in Milan, the Martini in Turin.
Ingredients and preparation:
3 cl Campari bitter
3 cl red vermouth (Cinzano)
Soda or seltzer
Half a slice of orange.
Pour the Campari and vermouth in an old fashioned filled with ice cubes.
Fill with soda or seltzer and stir briefly.
Garnish with a slice of orange and lemon zest.
Photos were taken at Mon Cafè, Modena.