10 Iconic Italian Cocktails

By: Ivano Martignetti / Last updated: March 20, 2024

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

It’s a world away from the tacky bartenders and plastic glasses we sometimes encounter, but fortunately, the cocktail myth lives on.

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 ideally suited to the ritual of cocktail preparation, the service in uniquely shaped glasses. Italians welcomed the latest drink trends that had 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 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)


Ivano Martignetti

Further Reading: Discover More Related Blog Content

17 thoughts on “10 Iconic Italian Cocktails


October 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm

very nice very nice!


November 22, 2019 at 7:06 am

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?


February 3, 2019 at 1:09 am

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

Suman sharmasays:

October 1, 2018 at 12:14 pm


Mike Ormsbysays:

July 24, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Grazie! Nice recipes, great photos. Chin-chin!

Philip Richsays:

January 24, 2014 at 4:25 am

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?


January 1, 2014 at 9:50 pm

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!!


May 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm



December 13, 2012 at 6:42 am

It is deffinetly the God Father for me:)


June 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm

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.

Jason Phelpssays:

August 7, 2010 at 5:50 pm

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


August 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm

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.

Spice Sherpasays:

August 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm

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


August 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm

.. 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!


August 5, 2010 at 4:13 am

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.


August 4, 2010 at 7:19 pm

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

Carol Egbertsays:

August 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm

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.

More information

If you would like us to customize an exclusive luxury tour, contact us and let us know your travel plans. We offer luxury food and wine tours for private groups of a mininium two guests. In addition, all of our private, chauffeured tours are available year-round upon request.

Cellar Tours Private Luxury Food & Wine Tours

Cellar Tours

Welcome to Cellar Tours, the premier Luxury Travel Specialist since 2003. Our goal is to provide you with the ultimate food and wine vacation experience, with exclusive Mercedes chauffeured tours that showcase the best of local cuisine and wines.

Our team specializes in crafting bespoke, custom-designed vacations, events, and incentives tailored to your unique tastes and preferences. Travel is not just about seeing new places - it's about creating unforgettable memories and indulging in the finer things in life.

As members of Slow Food, OTAVA (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), we promote sustainable tourism and support local communities. We work closely with top-rated hotels, restaurants, and wineries to provide you with the highest level of service and attention to detail.

Whether you're planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a corporate retreat, let Cellar Tours be your guide. With our passion for food and wine, extensive knowledge of local culture, and dedication to exceptional customer service, we're confident we can exceed your expectations.

Contact us today to start planning your dream vacation – we can't wait to hear from you!

Recommended by