Classic Italian Cocktails

Some of the world's best loved drinks are classic Italian cocktails. Find out more about these decadent party drinks, including how to make your own at home, with this guide to classic Italian cocktails.

In the mid 1950s Italy moved from a primarily agrarian-based economy to an industrial one, which resulted in an explosion of work from Italian artists in the fields of cinema, music and art. Their efforts were felt worldwide, with people taken by the easy-going lifestyle and glamorous fashion. In the United States, in particular, Italian style began to dictate many of the trends of the day.

Even to this day the elegance of Italy’s style and culture hasn’t lost its allure and what better way to celebrate it than with one of these classic Italian cocktails!


cocktails.jpgThis pre-dinner cocktail was created by Gaspare Campari in the mid 1800s and is a mixture of sweet vermouth, bitter liqueur and club soda. It eventually became known as the Americano due to its popularity among American visitors to Milan in the early 1900s, and it is now a firm favourite among the classic Italian cocktails.

Ingredients: 1 oz Vermouth Rosso, 1 oz Bitter Campari, Soda Water
Preparation: Fill a glass with ice and then stir the ingredients directly in and top with soda water. If you're feeling fancy, garnish with a slice of orange!


The Negroni is the ultimate pre-dinner cocktail! Legend says that it was named after Count Camillo Negroni from Florence, who was fond of a good party. In not feeling the effects of the Americano, the count reportedly asked his bartender to substitute gin for the soda and thus the classic Italian cocktail Negroni was born.

Ingredients: 1/3 Vermouth Rosso, 1/3 Bitter Campari, 1/3 Dry Gin
Preparation: This drink is traditionally served on the rocks in a medium tumbler. Simply stir the ingredients directly in your glass and garnish with a half slice of orange and lemon peel.


If the Negroni is the only way to begin an Italian meal, the Sgroppino is the ideal way to finish it. A blend of Prosecco, lemon sorbet and vodka topped off with chopped mint, its refreshing taste is perfect for cleansing the palate.

Ingredients: 1 oz Vodka, 2 Tbsp Lemon Sorbet, Prosecco, Freshly Chopped Mint
Preparation: Place the sorbet and vodka in a chilled champagne flute and stir gently. Top with Prosecco and garnish with freshly chopped mint.


The Bellini was created in 1948 by Giuseppi Cipriani at Harry’s Bar in Venice in honour of 15th century artist Giovanni Bellini. Cipriani macerated white peaches in wine to create what went on to become one of the classic Italian cocktails at Harry's Bar. If you prefer, you can use Champagne in place of Prosecco for a more decadent version of this cocktail.

Ingredients: 3/10 Peach Juice, 7/10 Prosecco
Preparation: Build this cocktail directly in a Champagne flute by pouring the peach juice in first and then adding Prosecco.

Aperol Spritz

people-aperol-spritz.jpgThe Aperol Spritz is another Italian pre-dinner cocktail and has an impressive luminous orange colour. It made something of a fashionable comeback in the UK last summer as an alternative to Pimm's and is lowish in alcohol, refreshing and great tasting. It has a bitter-sweet taste similar to Campari to get the tastebuds tingling, and is a staff favourite among the classic Italian cocktails.

Ingredients: 2/10 Aperol, 8/10 Prosecco, Soda Water
Preparation: Fill a tumbler with ice, pour in Aperol and Prosecco then top with soda water. If your in the mood, why not garnish with a slice of orange..?


Got the Tastebuds Tingling?

If you would like to sample one of these classic Italian cocktails in their birthplace then why not chat to one of our Italy travel experts about our tailor-made Italy holidays? We can create a customised Italy holiday for you that includes a cocktail class or wine-tasting - call us today on 01223 637331 or click here to send an online enquiry - we typically respond within 24 hours with a personalised quotation.

Search Keywords

Enter keywords below to perform a search within the events to find more relevant posts