Tu vuo fa l'americano

I took a few days off from writing this blog because I didn't have the liquor I needed to make most of the recipes reeled off by my calendar this week. Yesterday I made a trip to one of my favorite liquor marts and bought $75 worth. I could have easily spent that much more, but I figured I really didn't have to have the Napoleon mandarin liqueur.

Last night and again this afternoon I tried the Americano. A few years ago I had a Negroni out at Olive's in Las Vegas, inspired by The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. Not that I was gigoloing an older lady at the time. I was accompanying my sister, who's eight years younger. Anyway, I ordered a Negroni for the first time; she ordered her first martini (I don't remember if it was gin or vodka). I didn't care for the Negroni, and she didn't like the martini. Too much pure alcohol for her, though it was on the rocks. I like pure alcohol; I drank her drink instead of mine with my mussels--which were sublime; she'd been a mussels virgin before then, and loved them.

An Americano (Campari and sweet vermouth) is a Negroni without the gin and topped with club soda. When I brewed one yesterday, I didn't stir the soda up with the liqueur. I got an unsweetened orange soda taste till I hit the booze layer at the bottom, then the kick hit. I was pretty happy when I finished it, though it was a tad bit bitter for my tastes. Campari is officially a bitter, after all, with its quinine and bergamot oil and orange peel and 57 other secret ingredients.

Today I made it again with a couple minor tweaks: I added a shot of limoncello to offset the bitterness. I'm beginning to think that limoncello is good for all that ails you. I shook instead of stirred. That was easier, though I probably bruised the orange peel. And I gave the club soda a stir to mix it with the booze. I liked today's version a lot better, orange pop for adults. It's a better drink for, say, June than January, though.