In the spirit of Independence Day, I want to remind you of a incredibly simple, delicious and often forgotten cocktail with a patriotic name: the Americano. Now, it's not so much a Born-in-the-USA kind of thing, as it doesn't actually use any American ingredients. Rather, it's Italian in conception and components, joining equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth. Originally, the drink was known as the Milano-Torino, since Campari is from the former and Cinzano vermouth is from the latter. But it got renamed when locals noticed that visiting Americans seemed particularly smitten by the cocktail.

I think it's nice to sip on one of these on a warm, sunny evening before dinner. It's a Negroni without the gin, making it  a perfect aperitif--low in alcohol and a compromise between bitter and sweet. Garnish with a slice of orange, lemon or lime, and let the patriotism roll!