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By Antoine du Rocher

NEW YORK, 8 FEBRUARY 2008 — First served in creator Gaspare Campari's bar, Café Campari in the 1860s, it was originally known as the "Milano - Torino" - Campari, the bitters from Milano and Cinzano, the sweet vermouth, from Torino. During Prohibition, the Italians noticed a surge of American tourists who enjoyed this drink. As a compliment to their visitors, the drink became known as the "Americano."

The urbane and unflappable British Secret Service operative James Bond orders an Americano cocktail in Ian Fleming's first novel Casino Royale.

In France, the Americano was a popular cocktail of the Parisian bourgeoisie and professional classes à l'heure de l'apéritif. Moreover, until the early 1980s, it was considered good manners to order "un Américano" as a compliment to American visitors when joining them for drinks at a café, or as an apéritif if they were guests at a favourite restaurant in the French capital.

In view of the current American and European enthusiasm for the distinguished candidacy of Senator Barack Obama for the presidency of the United States, it is probable that this crisp, refreshing and palate-opening apéritif will once again be in vogue throughout the European Union.

Americano Drink Recipe

1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
Splash of Club Soda

Pour Campari and Cinzano Rosso Vermouth over ice in a rocks or highball glass.

Add a splash of club soda.

Garnish with an orange twist.

Antoine du Rocher is managing editor of

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