Oh America! If there’s one country with which having a love and hate relationship can be justified, it’s gotta be the United States of America. While the world reels with the current American President’s shenanigans, today is a great time to go back to the era of its founding fathers and pick inspiration for two drinks named after the superpower nation.
There are many ways of drinking black coffee but for most of us, it all starts with Cafe Americano. According to one unconfirmed story, American soldiers in Italy during the Second World War would dilute Italian espresso shots to get a taste that they were more familiar with.
A Café Americano is basically one shot of espresso diluted with hot water. The strength of the coffee can be altered by adding an extra shot of espresso or diluting it further with more hot water, depending on how you prefer your coffee. The preparation method also lends itself to different names such as Short Black or Long Black. Finally, pouring cold water turns the drink into an Iced Americano.
Clearly, there’s nothing American about the Café Americano. In fact, many Italian coffee shops are known to look down upon tourists who order the drink as they do not consider it to be the best way to drink coffee. Because there are no set guidelines on how much water can be added to espresso, you will find varying levels of coffee strength at different cafes.
Still, there’s no denying the power of the coffee’s name. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, in fact, half-heartedly tried to change the drink’s name to Russiano in 2016 soon after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
Quick! What’s the first drink that James Bond orders in Casino Royale, the very first novel in which he appears? Nope, not a shaken Martini but an Americano cocktail. Now that we have the superspy’s approval, here’s what you need to know about the cocktail.
You can make an Americano with just two ingredients – Vermouth and Campari. In fact, the cocktail is as un-American as it can get. It was earlier called Milano-Torino as Campari, the bitter liqueur, is from Milan and Punt e Mas vermouth is from Turin – both in Italy. The drink was first created in the 1860s at Italian drink maker Gaspare Campari’s bar called Caffe Campari.
Usually served as an aperitif, Americano cocktail is extremely simple to prepare. Simply pour equal parts of Campari and sweet vermouth over ice. Use a highball glass and fill it with soda and voila, that’s an Americano cocktail right in front of you.
The drink is usually preferred by those who cannot swallow the bitter taste of Campari. Much like Americano coffee, it takes a certain palate to get used to and enjoy this delightful drink.
Happy Independence Day, America. We’re cheering you with both of these drinks today.
Images are for representational purposes only. All images from Unsplash.
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.