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

San Leo: soaring fortress, a soothsayer and a saint

Rimini has attracted a crowd in August since time immemorial. The internationally renowned summer holiday destination on la Riviera Romagnola is...

Cinema in Venice: why is the Festival del Cinema di Venezia so different?

When summer passes the torch of seasons to fall and people start getting back into their routines after weeks at the beach, Italy enjoys one last...

Finally… the fall: a trip through Italy, following autumnal traditions

It’s only the 2nd of September, today, yet the sounds and scents of summer seem far. The weather has been helping to get into the mood, treating us...

Meet the Italians: five types of women you’ll find in the Bel Paese

La donna Italiana: timeless like la Loren, mesmerizing like Milva, beautiful like la Bellucci, intelligent like la Montalcini, strong like la Fallaci...

A walk through the streets of a diverse Rome

More than sixty years ago the Italian writer and painter, Carlo Levi, wrote a series of essays about Rome that were published posthumously. These...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues