A sheer variety of digestive beverages are available in Italy. These digestives (digestivos), are either aquavite such as grappa, or liqueurs, alcohols infused with herbs or other aromas, such as amari. Each of the latter has a proprietary formula that generally includes various herbs, roots, leaves, barks, flowers and spices.

Limoncello (also called Limoncino) is a traditional lemon liqueur produced  in the region around the Gulf of Naples. See: limoncello and other Italian liqueurs.

Fragolino (strawberry liquor), Maraschino (cherry liquor) and Nocino (nut liquor) are similar Italian liqueurs made of strawberries, cherries and nuts respectively. See: Italian liqueurs

Limoncello and other Italian liqueurs

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Aperitifs
Famous Italian brands of aperitifs include Martini, Cinzano, Campari and Aperol.

Martini exists as white, sweet or dry, and red vermouth, and is originally from Turin. There are many variations of martinis. The three most popular are dry, sweet and medium.

For Martini cocktails, see further.

Cinzano, which also originated in Turin, is a sweet or dry vermouth (bitterer than Martini).

Campari (a sweet-bitter, red vermouth) was created in Milan. It was named after its inventor, Davide Campari who invented his drink in a Caffè at Piazza del Duomo in 1860. It can be served undiluted or mixed with mineral water, soda or white wine.

Aperol is another Italian brand of aperitif from the Campari company, which is made of bitter orange, gentian and rhubarb.

Prosecco is also served for aperitif as a local equivalent to champagne.

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Italian Cocktails
(invented in Italy or by Italians)
Italy >
Italian Drinks
Typcial (alcoholic) drinks of Italy, including: Italian Liquors,
Aperitifs, Cocktails, Digestives and Sweet Dessert Wines


Bellini, a glamorous long-drink cocktail invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, bartender at Harry's bar, Venice in 1934, and made of sparkling wine (prosecco or champagne) and peach puree. Apparently, it were the vivid paintings with pink hues by Giovanni Bellini that inspired Giuseppe Cipriani to name his invention after the artist. It was Hemingway's favorite aperitif when in Venice.
The Harry's Bar Cookbook
by Harry Cipriani
Harry's Bar in Venice is one of those places that everyone needs to visit at least once when in Italy. Cipriani, second-generation owner of the eponymous Venice institution, provides one of the most inviting Italian cookbooks with the recipes of the famous Bellini and appetizers as well as dishes served at Harry's bar.
More information
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Bellini cocktail
The Harry's Bar Cookbook
Italian Cocktails
(invented in Italy or by Italians)

Bellini, a glamorous long-drink cocktail invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, bartender at Harry's bar, Venice in 1934, and made of sparkling wine (prosecco or champagne) and peach puree. Apparently, it were the vivid paintings with pink hues by Giovanni Bellini that inspired Giuseppe Cipriani to name his invention after the artist. It was Hemingway's favorite aperitif when in Venice.


Negroni cocktail
Negroni, a popular Italian cocktail made of equal parts of Gin, Bitter Campari and Red Martini (purists prefer 1:1:0.75 proportions of each respectively) shaken with ice and strained into a cocktail glass. The glass is garnished with a "burnt" orange twist (the typical campari garnish). The twist is burnt by holding a flame above the glass, squeezing the orange peel firmly which causes the oils of the peel to be released by the flames and adds a burnt orange flavor to the drink.

According to a popular story, the drink was invented by Count Camillo Negroni, at Caffè Casoni, in Florence in 1919, but the true origin remains uncertain. The Count presumably wanted to stiffen up his favorite drink, the Americano, by adding some Gin to it. See: Top 9 historic cafés in Florence.
A lot of variations exists, but the original recipe of the Martini cocktail consists of 8/10 of gin and 2/10 of vermouth dry, garnished with olives.

Garibaldi.
This highballs, low-alcohol cocktail was invented in the sixties. It consists of 3/10 of bitter Campari and 7/10 of orange juice. It was created in memory of the hero of the Due Mondi with the red oranges of Sicily and the red colored Campari base like the Garibaldi shirts.

Martini Cocktail
The Martini cocktail was invented in 1910 by an Italian originary of Arma di Taggia in Liguria who worked as bartender at the Knickerbokcer Hotel in New York and happened to go by the name of Martini, but was completely unrelated to the Martini family.

A variation of the Negroni is the Camparinette which consists of two parts of Gin to one part each of Martini and Campari. Campari may be replaced by Aperol for a stronger taste.
Garibaldi cocktail
Three different Martini cocktails
Perfect Martini
8/10 of gin
1/10 of dry vermouth
1/10 of sweet red vermouth

Martini Vodka
8/10 of vodka
2/10 of vermouth dry

Sweet Martini
8/10 of gin
2/10 sweet red vermouth
garnished with a cherry


Strega Liquor
Popular Italian digestifs and liqueurs are the grappa, amaro and amaretto, centerba, strega, genepi and sambuca.

Grappa is a liquor made from fermented peels, seeds and stems of grapes. It has a high alcoholic percentage and is transparent as water. It can be found natural or with various flavors (pears, prunes, and herbs).

Genepi is a liquor produced in the Alps and the Aoste Valley.

Strega is a yellow, sweet liqueur with a slight after taste of anice. It contains aromatic herbs, sugar and safran.



Medium martini is made with both dry and sweet martini and can be garnished with cocktail onion, or lemon twist.
8/10 of gin
1/10 of sweet red vermouth
1/10 of dry vermouth
Strega liquor
Digestives, Liqueurs and Liquors

Sweet and port-like wines are also served as digestifs in certain parts of Italy. Typical sweet wines served as digestifs are marsala and vinsanto or other passito wines, such as Sciachetrà from Cinque Terre and Passito di Pantelleria. Passito wine was presumably invented by the Punicians, who invented the recipe for the passum. Passito is made from dried grapes, which gives it its characteristic taste and concentration. More about sweet dessert wines and other Italian sweet wines.



Sweet dessert wines and port-like wines
See also:
Italian wines
Italian Craft Beers
Major red and white wines of Italy
Italian dessert wines
Italian gourmet foods and delicacies
Italian cuisine
REGIONS OF ITALY
Regions of Italy
RECOMMENDED READING
International Bartender's Guide
International Bartender's Guide:
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101 Martinis
101 Martinis
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The Professional Bartender's Handbook
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