I have written about it many times – how much i love San Pellegrinos amazing soft drinks containing fruit pulp, and one of my very beloved favorites among the San Pellegrinos is Chinotto. Its just awesome!

It’s a bitter citrus drink, it looks like a dark coca cola.Its made with a small bitter citrus fruit called Chinotto.(You pronounce it kinotto) The tree says to have originated in China and Chinotto is an essential flavor component of most Italian bitter liqueurs.

The non-alcoholic drink produced from the juice of the Chinotto tree – Citrus myrtifolia is called Chinotto and contains the juice from the tree plus other herbal extracts. The flavor is bitters-sweet, citrusy and well,very special almost a bit like Campari and Coke..or maybe rootbeer but it doesn´t taste like coke – more then like a cross between coke and herbal rootbeer.I believe Chinotto is an aquired taste..just like so many others of the bitter Italian inventions –Campari, Fernet Branca etc.

There are many brands of Chinotto apart from San Pellegrino – Chinotto Neri (Italy), Fanta-Chinotto (by Coca-Cola and which i`ve heard isn`t very good) in Malta you can buy Kinnie, in Canada there`s a brand called Brio and there are many others.

I mixed Martin Miller´s gin and topped with Chinotto, stirred with ice and garnished with a orange wedge.It turned out very refreshing and tasty.Another fine drink with Chinotto is mixing it with dark rum. Chinotto is sweetened with natural sugar and not high-fructose-corn-syrup so rum and Chinotto goes very well together and makes a sort of ”old fashioned” style rum and coke – even if its not coke at all.





1.5 oz Martin Miller´s Gin

Ice cubes

Top with San Pellegrino Chinotto

Orange wedge

Stir with ice and top with Chinotto, enjoy!

I also have to add this link because i found it quite amazing, you can make home-made sausages with chinotto too 🙂

Have you tried Chinotto and how do you like it?




  1. How fun! me too have a lonely last Chinotto sitting in the fridge…
    But unlike you I actually can find them here in town, it`s just that you cannot find them just anywhere. You need to either look around quite a bit, or you know where to go, which of course i do 🙂 I hope you can find them soon in your city, all the Sanpellegrino soft drinks are really tasty! apart from the Chinotto I really like the Pompelmo and Limonata.

  2. San Pelligrino Chino is one of our favourite drinks, so much so we brought a tray of about 30 cans back after a drive to Italy, the last one sits alone in the fridge, we can’t bring ourselves to drink it!

    The aweful truth is, you can’t buy it in the uk, someone needs to start importing it, along with Sweppes Agrume!

  3. If Chinotto contains high fructose corn syrup it´s not a good thing…

    Jme – that drink sounds really good! i can imagine chinotto and cognac is nice together, i gonna try it!

  4. I came up with a drink known as ‘incognito’

    basically chinotto, cognac, slice of lemon and a dash of Campari if you crave extra bitterness.

  5. I also love Chinotto. BUT its clear from the label that it DOES contain HIGH FRUCTOSE SYRUP.

  6. I lOVE Chinotto! omg, it’s my favorite thing to drink in life. It’s the perfect mix of bitter with just a little sweet. Heaven!

  7. You found a chinotto tree? that`s just fabulous! i have never seen those here,only kalamansi trees. And when i make my seville orange syrup i simply use the marmalade.

    I`m not sure i agree that chinotto soda (SP) tastes like Ramazotti though..but flavors or how we perceive them is so personally and i`m a non taster(or at least i believe i am, haven`t tested it yet)

  8. I just wanted to follow up to say that I did some research and chinotto and Seville oranges are quite different. Chinotto are smaller and thin skinned. Seville oranges are larger and have a thick skin which is esteemed for making marmalade.

    I also bought a six-pack of Sanpellegrino Chinotto soda (cute little bottles). It was totally like drinking some distant, non-alcoholic cousin of Amaro Ramazotti (which is pretty orangey in my opinion). Goes down very easy. (It did not contain any of chinotto juice however – just an extract.)

    I was in the end intrigued enough by the flavor of the soda to see if I could locate a source for syrup or even the fresh fruit itself. No luck there but, believe it or not, my local plant nursery had live chinotto trees for sale so I bought one. It came with about 2 dozen small green fruit already in place. They should be ripe by next winter. In the meantime I will dream of making chinotto bitters at home.

    Thanks again for the tip. Oh, and I will try your suggested cocktail before I drink up all the bottle of soda I bought.


    Michael (AKA Mr. Manhattan)

  9. Hi, oh no i cannot say..because we don`t get chinotto fruits here or seville oranges either..


  10. Thanks for the interesting post on chinotto. Very intriguing to say the least. I’m wondering if you have any sense for how chinotto fruit compares in taste to Seville oranges. I ask because while I have never seen chinotto fruit for sale in my neck of CA (and I see a lot of exotic produce here), I can find Seville’s when in season.

    Michael (AKA Mr. Manhattan)

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