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 pure crystal tumblers.

Italian Icons

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

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

Italy has played a massive part in reinforcing the appeal and glamor of cocktails. The cocktail trend 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. As a result, Barmen and notable drinkers left their legacy to the next generations.

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


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 an old-fashioned glass, stir the ingredients directly in your glass and garnish with a half slice of orange and lemon peel.


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 with further variations, we suggest you try as well Mimosa (orange + brut), il Tiziano (“strawberry grapes” + Brut), ed il Puccini (mandarin + Brut)

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


6. Gin and It



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


7. Aperol Spritz


Apersol Spritz Coctail

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


8. Martini Cocktail

Martini Cocktail

Category: Aperitivo
Ingredients: 8/10 Gin, 2/10 Vermouth dry.
Preparation: This is tricky; Martini lovers get a bit emotional about how they want it, and bartenders sometimes can’t keep up with them. The original recipe says you must 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, and Martinez.


9. Angelo Azzurro


Angelo Azzurro Cocktail

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


10. God Father


Godfather Cocktail

Category: After dinner
Ingredients: 3/10 Amaretto di Saronno, 7/10 Scotch Whisky
Preparation: Pour the ingredients into an 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)

Related Posts:


17 thoughts on “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. Ramesh says:

  11. 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!!
  12. 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?
  13. Mike Ormsby says:

    Grazie! Nice recipes, great photos. Chin-chin!
  14. Suman sharma says:

  15. Corrine says:

    Is there anywhere in Rome that does a ‘Pornstar Martini’ cocktail- Passionfruit liqueur, vanilla vodka, a passionfruit sitting on the top with a side shot of Prosecco. It is my favourite! And I’m going to Rome in a week
  16. amelia says:

    am looking for the drink gotten in italy called “Tiroler” my mother misses it- some kind of white wine, vermouth of some kind, lemon slice- any light to shed on details?
  17. Pakashit says:

    very nice very nice!

Leave a reply

More information

If you would like us to customize an exclusive, luxury tour for you, get in touch with us and let us know your travel plans. We offer luxury food and wine tours for private groups of minimum 2 guests. All of our private, chauffeured tours are available year round upon request.

Contact us for your personalized quote!
Cellar Tours Private Luxury Food & Wine Tours

Cellar Tours

Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

Recommended by