What’s the difference between an Americano and a Negroni?

Answered by Ian Ramirez

As a sommelier and brewer, I am delighted to share my knowledge about the Americano and , both of which prominently feature Campari. While these two drinks share some similarities, they also have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Let's start with the Americano. This classic cocktail dates back to the 1860s and is believed to have been named after American tourists who popularized it in Italy. The Americano is made with equal parts Campari and sweet , both of which contribute to its vibrant red color. The drink is then topped up with , which adds a refreshing effervescence. The result is a lighter and more refreshing compared to its counterpart, the Negroni.

The Negroni, on the other hand, is a bolder and more robust cocktail. It was created in the early 20th century and is said to have been invented by Count Camillo Negroni in Florence, Italy. Like the Americano, the Negroni also contains equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth, giving it a reddish hue. However, the key difference lies in the substitution of soda water with . This addition of gin adds a strong alcoholic kick and a complex botanical flavor profile to the drink. The Negroni is often garnished with an orange peel, which further enhances its citrus notes.

The choice of gin in the Negroni is crucial as it greatly influences the overall taste. Different gins have their own unique botanical blends, which can impact the flavor of the cocktail. For instance, a gin will lend a traditional juniper-forward taste, while a more gin might bring out floral or citrus notes. Experimenting with different gins can lead to exciting variations of the Negroni, allowing you to customize the drink to your personal preference.

The Americano is a lighter and more refreshing cocktail, thanks to the addition of soda water. It showcases Campari's bitterness and sweet vermouth's herbal notes in a harmonious and effervescent way. On the other hand, the Negroni is a stronger and more complex drink, with the gin replacing the soda water. The gin adds a layer of complexity and amplifies the flavors of Campari and sweet vermouth. Whether you prefer the lighter and bubbly Americano or the bold and botanical Negroni, both cocktails offer a delightful experience, showcasing the versatility of Campari as a key ingredient. Cheers!