Chinotto: a fully Italian vintage soda

Chinotto is a citrus fruit originally from China, exclusively grown on the Ligurian coast

Chinotto is a citrus fruit originally from China, exclusively grown on the Ligurian coast, in the Savona area since the end of the 19th century.   

Chinotto is a citrus fruit originally from China, exclusively grown on the Ligurian coast

These small, uniquely fragrant fruits, used to be sold candied and preserved in maraschino, after having been kept under a sea water brine for some time. At the beginning of the 1930s, the first chinotto soda appeared: it was produced by San Pellegrino, but its real inventor remains a mystery.   

Chinotto enjoyed great popularity until the 1960s, only to be almost forgotten until the dawn of the new Millenium, when he had a new lease of life and found its way into many a popular cocktail. Chinotto’s bottles are usually pleasantly retro in style, and we all pretty much remember them behind the counter of our dairy shops and local café, more than behind that of some fancy bar.  

Chinotto’s bottles are usually pleasantly retro in style. Photo: flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/

Thirst-quenching and mildly sparkling, delicately bitter and, above all, impossible to copy, in 2012 chinotto risked to be taxed by the Italian Government, which wanted to classify it as a “sparkling soda with sugar.” Luckily common sense, or even better, good flavor, won in this occasion!

Since 2004, chinotto fruits are protected by a Presidio Slow Food

Since 2004, chinotto fruits are protected by a Presidio Slow Food. The only company producing chinotto sodas with the real citrus fruits protected by the Presidio is Piedmontese Lurisia, which makes its chinotto with thermal waters.

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox

SPONSORED

Recommended

The Bells of Agnone: Marinelli’s family handcrafting papal bells since 1339

There is a special sound that speaks of Italy, the same for thousands of years, a sound that becomes one with the country’s landscape, dotted with...

Venice’s pali da casada and the history they hide

Every year hundreds of trees are cut down. They’re trimmed, sanded and hand-painted, then pile-driven into the dense mud of the Venetian lagoon. It’s...

Bringing you back to your roots: la Farnesina promotes Italy’s “turismo delle radici”

It is a special year for L’Italo Americano, which celebrates its 110th anniversary. One hundred and ten years dedicated to keeping the Italian...

Rome’s Colosseum: there’s more than meets the eye

When in Rome … it’s a no-brainer that the famed Colosseum is at the top of most visitors’ list of “must see” attractions. In fact, this forerunner to...

Tuscany in red and white: following the Wine Trail’ s treasures

Among the reasons that make the Tuscan region one of the most beloved of the whole Bel Paese, the fine arts, its unique landscapes and its delicious...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues