Traditional & Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Recipe
The original recipe contains alcohol, but scroll to the bottom for some ideas about how to make it without.
The Club Americano is inspired by the Americano, a classic Italian aperitivo cocktail and precursor to the Negroni. It's made with equal parts Campari, Vermouth, and (instead of gin) plain soda water. It's the kind of easy, refreshing, fizzy drink that inspired me to start Casamara Club in the first place.
The Club Americano is based on the Americano, which is about as foundational to Italian aperitivo culture as you can get. If you ever have the privilege of enjoying "aperitivo" in Italy (imagine happy hour, but the food is free) and you don't see anyone drinking an Americano, you're likely at the wrong bar.
The Americano is also the inspiration for our Alta club soda, which means that both this cocktail recipe and one of its ingredients take inspiration from the same place. I think that creates a bit of a feedback loop, an unsolvable math problem, but I hope it doesn't keep you up at night wondering "which came first." It tastes good, and I believe that's where the inquiry ought to end.
I like to drink the Club Americano outside, with a book or a social companion, preferably in the late afternoon before the sun has set. If I have to drink it inside, I'll take it by the window, please.
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 ounce bitter red, like Campari or Forthave Red
- Alta club soda, to top
Combine vermouth and bitter red in a large wine glass filled with ice. Top with Alta and stir gently to combine. Garnish with orange wheel or twist.
If you enjoy drinks like the Aperol spritz, replace about half of the Alta with prosecco or another sparkling wine. (I really like Scarpetta Prosecco here, but their tiny cans of Frico Frizzante are better to serve one or two.)
Some folks swear by adding an ounce of gin, turning this Club Americano into a Club Negroni. I haven't tried this variation, because I nearly always prefer lower-ABV drinks, but I wholeheartedly support anyone who wants to see the top of this particular mountain.
To make this drink without alcohol, I would suggest using Ghia's Bitter Aperitif and Proteau Ludlow Red. These aren't going to be exact substitutes for the bitter red or sweet vermouth, and they're not supposed to be.
The magic of the Americano is that it combines two complex, aromatic drinks, and while each delicious on its own, they balance one another in a way that is truly delightful and sui generis. (Can I use Latin here, or is that too much?)
Questions or comments? Email us at yourfriends[at]casamaraclub.com.