This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

One of the things that I like about this cocktail hobby is that I am being introduced to new things. One cannot escape the Negroni. It is an ubiquitous cocktail. That cocktail brings one front and center with Campari.

Campari is an Italian liqueur. It is bitter. Cocktails are built with a base alcohol, a sweet, and a bitter in it’s most basic form. Campari is used as the bitter. My first encounter (and second) in Negronis did not impress me.

Apparently, I am not alone. From what little I have read, I have been encouraged to keep after it. I liken it to Brussels sprouts. As I work my way through the IBA list, I saw this was next up. I did not have high expectations.

The Americano was invented in 1860. It wasn’t called Americano at the time. Nearly 40 years later, American tourists took a liking to this cocktail and was renamed.

While this drink is similar to a Negroni, the absence of gin and the addition of soda water/seltzer made for a more pleasing cocktail, in my opinion. Perhaps Campari is growing on me. 🙂

Rather, I think the seltzer adds effervescence to this, which is definitely to my liking.

The Campari is bitter. It is tempered here, it seems, by the seltzer. At a 1:1 ration with the sweet vermouth, I thought this would be harshaer than the Negroni. Not so.



Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: The Unforgettables


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes

IBA recipe


  • 30 ml Bitter Campari

  • 30 ml Sweet Red Vermouth

  • A splash of Soda Water

  • Garnish: orange and lemon


  • Mix the ingredients directly in an old fashioned glass filled with ice cubes.
  • Add a splash of Soda Water.
  • Stir gently.
  • Garnish with half orange slice and a lemon zest.

007, known for the shaken not stirred martini among the masses and perhaps the Ian Fleming made-up Vesper cocktail, drank the Americano frequently in the books beginning with Casino Royale. So, I am in good company this evening with Mr. Bond.

Also blogged on this date . . .

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