A Neon Drink’s Ode to Elvis

Neon Pink Cocktail in Collins glass with Neon Background
Photo by Tom Arena

This bubbly, low-alcohol riff on a classic Americano comes courtesy¬†of¬†Brian Bartels, owner of Settle Down Tavern¬†in Madison, Wisconsin¬†and¬†author of¬†The United States of Cocktails, which¬†recounts¬†drinking traditions¬†from every corner of the nation.¬†For Nevada,¬†Bartels¬†focused¬†on the legacy of Elvis Presley‚Äôs Las Vegas performances. While some might expect this drink to be ‚Äúall shook up,‚ÄĚ it doesn‚Äôt require a¬†shaker at all. Rather, it‚Äôs built directly in the glass and garnished with a duo of colorful peels. Bartels‚Äô advice: ‚ÄúDouble down. You‚Äôre in Vegas, baby!‚ÄĚ ¬†

Americano Presley

Adapted from The United States of Cocktails: Recipes, Tales and Traditions from All 50 States (and the District of Columbia) (Abrams Image, 2020), by Brian Bartels

  • 1¬† ounce Campari¬†¬†
  • ¬Ĺ¬† ounce sweet vermouth¬†¬†
  • 2¬† ounces fresh grapefruit juice¬†¬†
  • 2‚Äď3 ounces chilled club soda¬†¬†
  • 2¬† dashes orange bitters¬†¬†
  • Grapefruit peel, for garnish¬†¬†
  • Orange peel, for garnish¬†

In chilled Collins glass, combine Campari, vermouth, grapefruit juice and club soda with ice. Top with bitters. Garnish with grapefruit and orange peels. 

Compare & Contrast

For a fun tastetest, sip this drink sidebyside with a classic Americano: In a highball glass filled with ice, combine 1¬Ĺ ounces¬†each of¬†Campari¬†and¬†sweet vermouth. Top with plenty of¬†club soda. Garnish with an¬†orange slice.¬†

Published on March 13, 2021