Cellar Tours Blog

10 Iconic Italian Cocktails

Posted by gen On August - 3 - 2010

10 Iconic Italian Cocktails

by Ivano Martignetti

Mastroianni’s class, Sean Connery’s style, Humphrey Bogart’s charm- these icons always seemed to look their best at the bar counter, where an elegant barman served impeccable cocktails in Martini glasses or in pure crystal tumblers.

Italian Icons

A world away from the tacky barmen and plastic glasses that we sometimes have to deal with these days, but fortunately the cocktail myth lives on..

Italy has done a huge part in reinforcing the appeal and glamor of cocktails.  The cocktail trend really took off in the fifties, and Italy with its deep sense of fashion and design was perfectly suited to the ritual of cocktail preparation, the service in uniquely shaped glasses.  Italians welcomed the latest drink trends freshly arrived from the States. But Italy also innovated with the creation of new cocktail recipes. Barmen and notable drinkers left their legacy to the next generations.

Here are ten of the best Italian cocktails, certainly the most Iconic:

Italian Coctails

1. Americano

Category: Pre-dinner
Ingredients: 5/10 Vermouth rosso, 5/10 Bitter Campari, Soda Water
Preparation: Stir directly in an Old fashioned ice filled glass, top it up with soda water and garnish with a slice of orange

2. Negroni

Category: Pre-dinner

Ingredients: 1/3 Vermouth rosso, 1/3 Bitter Campari, 1/3 Dry Gin.
Preparation: Served on the rocks, you need to use a medium tumbler or a old fashioned glass, stir the ingredients directly in your glass and garnish with a half slice of orange and lemon peel.

Italian Coctails

3. Cardinale

Category: Pre-dinner
Ingredients: 5/10 Gin, 3/10 Vermouth dry, 2/10 Bitter Campari
Preparation: Also Cardinale fancies the Old fashioned ice filled glass, chilled. Stir and serve

4. Bellini

Category: All-day
Ingredients: 3/10 Nettare di pesca (peach juice), 7/10 Spumante Brut (Prosecco is traditional)
Preparation: Build it directly in a Champagne flute, pouring peach juice first and then Spumante Brut. No decorations unless you feel very creative.. .

5. Rossini

Category: All-day
Ingredients: 3/10 Nettare di fragole (strawberry juice), 7/10 Spumante Brut
Preparation: It is a variation of the Bellini. Same preparation. Should you feel like experimenting further variations, we suggest you to try as well Mimosa (orange + brut), il Tiziano (“strawberry grapes” + Brut) ed il Puccini (mandarin + Brut)

6. Gin and It

Category: Pre-meal
Ingredients: 3/10 Vermouth rosso, 7/10 Gin
Preparation: Pour the ingredients in a mixing glass and serve in a cocktail cup with a red cherry.

Italian Cocktails7. Aperol Spritz

Category: Pre-meal
Ingredients: Aperol 2/10, Prosecco 8/10, Seltzer
Preparation: Fill a tumbler or a red wine glass with ice, pour Aperol, Prosecco and top it with Soda water. Garnish with a slice of orange.

8. Martini Cocktail

Category: Aperitivo
Ingredients: 8/10 Gin, 2/10 Vermouth dry.
Preparation: This is a tricky one, Martini lovers get a bit emotional about the way they want it, bartenders sometimes can’t keep up with them.. Anyway the original recipe says you have to pour in an ice filled mixing glass gin and vermouth dry, stir well and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Please don’t forget a green olive and lemon peel. There are many variations of this cocktail, here you can find some of them: Perfect Martini, Sweet Martini, Smoky Martini, Dirty Martini, Vodka Martini, Gibson, Martinez..

9. Angelo Azzurro

Category: After dinner (very…)
Ingredients: 6/10 Gin, 3/10 Triple Sec o Cointrau, 1/10 Blue Curacao
Preparation: Pour the ingredients in shaker, shake well and serve in a ice filled or a cocktail cup. No garnish needed.

10. God Father

Category: After dinner
Ingredients: 3/10 Amaretto di Saronno, 7/10 Scotch Whisky
Preparation: Pour the ingredients in a ice filled Old fashioned glass and stir well. From the States we got the female version of it, God Mother (3/10 Amaretto di Saronno, 7/10 Vodka)

More info on Italian spirits

Why not try these coattails in situ on one of our private tours of Italy? Check out our portfolio of Italian wine tours and culinary tours

Italian Cocktails

12 Responses to “10 Iconic Italian Cocktails”

  1. Carol Egbert says:

    It’s a Bellini for me, an Aperol spritz for my daughter-in-law and a Negroni for my son. thanks for a great post.

  2. Claire says:

    I had never heard of the Rossini, but it’s never too late to try! And it’s a “all day” cocktail, perfect!

  3. Frank says:

    Ah, the almost lost art of cocktails! Reminds me of the TV show “Hemingway” I used to watch on Gambero Rosso channel years ago… I’ve got to try the Godfather, an intriguing mix of flavors.

  4. Giovanni says:

    .. and how about a fresh summery cocktail, Italians love to have as aperitif: The Bicicletta!

    My favourite one is:
    1/2 Aperol Soda
    1/2 Vermentino di Sardengna or Vernaccia di Oristano
    Slice orange

    Enjoy!

  5. Spice Sherpa says:

    Italian + cocktails. No way to go wrong with this combination!

  6. Articut says:

    I am Italian and you really got it those are the most famous cocktail in Italy for sure!!
    My favorite is”Spritz” witch is and aperitif cocktail, i love it

    Articut Simply tasty food.

  7. Jason Phelps says:

    Thanks for info on some cocktails I have never had and now need to try.

    Jason

  8. Franco says:

    in the US we have a cocktail/shooter called a “Sicilian Kiss”. Southern comfort, Amaretto di Saronno and ice. 50/50 shaken/chilled or on the rocks.

  9. Sarah says:

    It is deffinetly the God Father for me:)

  10. Rob says:

    I’m glad we found this list. We were at an upscale Italian
    restaurant for drinks and amazingly they only had the
    usual list of designerartinis but no Italian cocktails. We
    found this list and enjoyed a number of the Top 10′s.
    Wonderful list. Thanks!!

  11. Philip Rich says:

    I so love cocktails, however, i am not so inspired by your ‘top ten iconic Italian cocktails…i’m sure there must be more out there for me to sample?

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