An Americano is a traditional bitter aperitif from Piemonte. A play on the French amer, or bitter, it is similar to a Vermouth, but usually contains extra bitter components. Mauro’s is based on Grignolino from his niece-in-law, Nadia at Cascina Tavijn. This is blended with raw alcohol steeped in sugar, wormwood, savoury, orange skin, gentiana root and a host of dry Italian pantry herbs. A few cubes of ice, a splash of soda and a little orange zest and you have one of the great aperitifs.