Different to a reputable source like Wikipedia. The origins of the Americano (not the coffee) was explained to me by a Melbournian bar tender who refused to sell me a Negroni due to some statutory law that refrains small bars from serving hard liquors after a certain hour. So the story goes something along the lines of during WW2 when the Americans were fighting in Italy. Whenever the Americans entered a bar and ordered a drink, the Italian bar tenders by right of their patriotism would serve the American soldiers the cheapest liquids they had, comprising Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and an abundance of San Pellegrino, voila! The Italian bar tender will then raise both hands in a gesture that could only mean one thing and shout “Americano!”
I had my doubts at first, thinking that my favorite drink would be diluted with bubbles, the thought gave me a shear sense of putridness. BUT to my surprise it was a good save by the crafty bar tender from the Croft Institute. The drink retained its bitterness with a splash of freshness. Kind of like when you usually listen to the Phoenix and then being told that they had gone to bed early, so their distant cousins The Local Natives step in. The Americano all in all rings an old flavour with a refreshing surprise.
Small Bar: The Croft Institute