The “Americano” at FEED in Venice Beach.
I had this refreshing cocktail the other evening in Venice Beach, expertly made by FEED’s adorably-dread-locked Mikey Santiago. I love this version, which replaces the traditional Campari with Oregon-made Calisaya Liquore. They stir this aromatic and perfectly bitter concoction together with soda water and a bit of house-made sweet red vermouth. The perfect thirst-quencher for these sweltering summer days.
A lot of FEED’s cocktails are similarly playful and fun, using natural, organic ingredients from local, small suppliers as much as possible. Calisaya is a great Campari substiution here, as it’s actually an Italian recipe, re-interpreted by an American company. This in itself makes it a perfect ingredient in a drink called an “Americano”, which makes me think of Renato Carasone’s epic tune “Tu vuò fà l’Americano“, which is indeed a song about the longing of a young Napoletano boy to seem “American”.
There’s always a fascination with the “other“- whether you’re an Italian boy who wants to smoke Camels and wear blue jeans, or your an American girl with dreams of dangling her feet in the Tevere. It’s a wide, beautiful world out there…
If you have 3 minutes to listen to this recording from Renato Carsone, I guarantee it will put a smile on your face- Italians and Americans alike!