Americano Cocchi is a true intermediary between wine and spirits as it is a wine with a small addition of alcohol bittered by an infusion of valuable spices and herbs.
“It is called Americano (American) not only due to such new features but also because the habit of drinking Vermouths mixed with bitter spirits and gin – thus creating a drink called cocktail – was spreading from the United States.”
The original recipe of the Americano Cocchi played a role in the history of Asti throughout the nineteenth century and is now considered the aperitif par excellence by the citizens of Asti.
The genuine Americano aperitif, it has been in production since 1891. It is based on an all-natural recipe containing white wine, sugar, alcohol-infused herbs and spices, especially Artemisia flowers, gentian roots and peels of bitter orange.
No artificial colors/additives are admitted. It is made by spicing small batches of wine left to age one year minimum.
The classic Americano – the only choice for “purists”– is to be served in a tumbler glass with ice cubes and a slice of orange.
A splash of soda water is mandatory to release a typical array of aromas and flavors. Also the Royale version is very much sought after: pour it in a goblet, then add some dry sparkling wine made by the Classic method – better if Alta Langa DOC.
For a low alcohol content version, just add fizzy water and crumbled ice. You’ll get a refreshing drink. Even much diluted, the Americano keeps its natural bittering features unchanged.
In the late nineteenth century, Giulio Cocchi, a creative and curious pastry chef from Florence, moved to Asti, a small but lively town in the north west of Italy not far from Turin. There he fell in love with the daughter of the town's beloved tavern owner, where Bar Cocchi pours to this day. In Piedmont he became engulfed in the local food and beverage culture, discovering that Asti was the capital of Moscato wines. As it turns out, Guilio was inherently talented in blending wines and herbs. In 1891 Giulio Cocchi opened his own business as a distiller and sparkling wine maker in Asti.
He offered a range of unusual aromatized wines and some of the world's first bottle-fermented sparkling wines, including the now renowned Asti DOCG. Barolo Chinato, his Aperitivo Americano, and a number of now DOC vermouths quickly rose to be the cream of the crop.
Today Cocchi is also synonymous with highly valued sparkling wines from Piemonte. Alta Langa DOCG is a rare appellation that Cocchi produces with a minimum of 60 months on yeasts. Cocchi Asti DOCG is considered one of the best available on the market.