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In this article, I’m sharing the recipes of some delicious Italian cocktails to make at home to recreate your little corner of Italy. Take a sip, close your eyes, and daydream of your future trip to my beautiful country!

We talk a lot about Italian wines, but let’s not forget that here in Italy we are specialists in the art of cocktail making. We drink them at aperitivo time, which is a notable feature of our Italian food culture and is typically enjoyed before dinner. However, pre-lunch aperitivos are also common over the weekend.  

With summer fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to share some easy-to-make Italian drinks that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. The great news is that you only need a few simple ingredients to prepare these great Italian cocktails at home. What’s more, there’s no need to buy any fancy shakers or tools, as you can easily build the drinks directly in the glass or with some simple tricks when a shaker is required.

All the recipes I’m sharing below are for one serving and most have Campari as their main ingredient. Campari is a classic Italian liqueur invented in 1860 and obtained from a top-secret herbal mix infused in alcohol and water. Also, bear in mind that you’ll find dozens of variations of these drinks and these recipes are just how I personally like them.

So, here are 11 Italian cocktails you can prepare at home and pair with some crisps and nibbles for the ultimate Italian aperitivo… Cin Cin!

Aperol Spritz

Ingredients

  • 60ml (2oz) chilled Prosecco
  • 40ml (1.4oz) Aperol
  • A splash of soda water 
  • Ice
  • A wedge of orange

Serve in

  • A wine glass

Make it

  • Pour the Prosecco, the Aperol, and the soda (I usually follow this order) in a glass filled with ice
  • Stir with a teaspoon
  • Garnish with an orange slice

Aperol Spritz is Italy’s most famous cocktail, one that oozes summertime and aperitivos by the beach – you can even find it pre-bottled in some supermarkets! When traveling around Italy, you’ll find countless local versions of Spritz but this is the original one. Spritz comes from the Veneto region and its story can be divided into three chapters.

It all started in the 19th century during the Austro-Hungarian domination of northern Italy when the soldiers used to add a splash (“spritz” in German) of water to the local wine, which was a bit too strong for them – that’s how this cocktail got its name. A century later, in the city of Padua the Barbieri brothers invented the Aperol, a liqueur made with a top-secret blend of herbs that they officially presented at the Padua International Fair in 1919. Aperol quickly gained popularity throughout Italy and in the ’20s and early ’30s bartenders celebrated the marriage between Spritz and Aperol (Prosecco was introduced later, in the ’90s, to give the cocktail some extra bubbles).

A delicious Aperol SpritzCampari Spritz

Ingredients

  • 60ml (2oz) chilled Prosecco 
  • 40ml (1.4oz) Campari
  • A splash of soda water
  • Ice cubes
  • A wedge of orange

Serve in

  • A wine glass

Make it

  • Pour the Prosecco, the Campari, and the soda (I usually follow this order) in a glass filled with ice cubes
  • Stir with a teaspoon
  • Garnish with an orange wedge

This is a variant of the Aperol Spritz, where Aperol is replaced by Campari. I personally prefer this one because it’s a bit more bitter, as opposed to the Aperol Spritz, which is rather sweet.

Americano

Ingredients

  • 30ml (1oz) Campari
  • 30ml (1oz) Red Vermouth (e.g. Red Martini)
  • A splash of soda water
  • A wedge of orange

Serve in

  • A rock tumbler glass

Make it

  • Pour the Campari and the red Vermouth in a glass filled with ice
  • Add a splash of soda water and stir with a teaspoon
  • Garnish with an orange slice

Although the name may be misleading, the Americano is a classic Italian cocktail. It is said that it was invented in Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan back in 1860, but it was nicknamed “americano” only in the 1930s following the victory of the Italian boxer Primo Carnera at Madison Square Garden that crowned him World Heavyweight Champion.

The Americano is one of James Bond’s favorite cocktails, as seen in various movies from the 007 saga, from Casino Royale to From Russia With Love.

Negroni

Ingredients

  • 30ml (1oz) Gin
  • 30ml (1oz) Campari
  • 30ml (1oz) Red Vermouth (e.g. Red Martini)
  • Ice
  • A wedge of orange

Serve in

  • A rock tumbler glass

Make it

  • Pour all ingredients directly into a glass filled with ice
  • Mix well with a teaspoon
  • Garnish with a slice of orange

The Negroni was invented in 1919 at Caffè Casoni, a stylish bar located in Via de’ Tornabuoni in Florence. Here, Count Camillo Negroni once asked his trusted barman Fosco Scarselli to swipe soda with gin in his Americano after returning from a trip to England. Long story short, the Count adored it and since then the cocktail was named after the count. The bar was still there up until a couple of years ago with the name of Caffè Giocosa, but sadly it’s now closed.

A delicious Negroni cocktail with some crispsNegroni Sbagliato 

Ingredients

  • 3oml (1oz) Campari
  • 30ml (1oz) Red Vermouth (e.g. Red Martini)
  • 30ml (1oz) Extra dry Spumante wine 
  • 1 slice of orange

Serve in

  • A rock tumbler glass

Make it

  • build in a double rocks glass with ice
  • Garnish with a slice of orange

Sbagliato literally means “mistaken” and that’s exactly what a Negroni Sbagliato is: a Negroni that went wrong. This cocktail was born at Milan’s Bar Basso in 1972, when the barman Mirko Stocchetto accidentally added Prosecco instead of gin to a Negroni. The rest is history!

Campari Soda

Ingredients

  • 60ml (2oz) Campari
  • Soda water
  • Ice
  • An orange wedge 

Serve with

  • A rock tumbler glass

Make it

  • Pour the Campari into an ice-filled glass
  • Add the soda water and stir for a few seconds
  • Garnish with the orange wedge

Campari Soda is another classic Italian drink, but a lighter choice compared to other cocktails listed here. It was the very first pre-bottled aperitivo to be marketed in 1932. It’s sold in its signature bottle designed in the shape of a cone.

Bellini

Ingredients

  • 100ml (3.5oz) chilled Prosecco
  • 50ml (1.7oz) white peach puree

Serve with

  • A flute glass

Make it

  • Pour the peach puree into a mixing glass with ice (you can also marinate the peaches in some wine beforehand)
  • Add the Prosecco
  • Stir gently and pour in a chilled flute glass, using a sieve to prevent ice from falling into the glass

The Bellini is an iconic Italian cocktail invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, bartender of the Harry’s Bar in Venice, in 1948. He named the cocktail Bellini after a painting by the Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini, where the dress of a saint had a color similar to the pinkish hues of his drink.

At that time, Ernest Hemingway used to hang out at Harry’s Bar when he was in Venice and became a big fan of the Bellini. Today there are numerous variations of the Bellini, including the Rossini that I’m sharing here below.

A Bellini cocktail made with Prosecco and peach puréeRossini

Ingredients

  • 3 strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice
  • 100ml (3.4oz) Prosecco

Serve with

  • A flute glass

Make it

  • Put the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a blender until you create a puree
  • Put the strawberry puree in a mixing glass along with some ice cubes and the Prosecco and stir gently
  • Pour a splash of Prosecco into the flute glass, then pour the content of the mixing glass (use a sieve to prevent ice from falling into the flute)
  • Top it up with a little Prosecco for some extra bubbles at the top
  • Garnish with a little strawberry

Named after the 19th-century Italian composer Gioachino Rossini, the Rossini is a delicious variant of the Bellini where peaches are swapped with strawberries. For a cheekier version, add a splash of vodka.

Martini Cocktail 

Ingredients

  • 60ml (2oz) Gin
  • 30ml (1oz) dry Vermouth (e.g. White Martini)
  • 1 green olive

Serve with

  • A Martini glass

Make it

  • Place the Martini glass into the freezer for a couple of minutes
  • Meanwhile, put the Vermouth and then the Gin in a mixing glass filled with ice and give it a good stir
  • Take the Martini glass from the freezer and pour the drink into it (use a sieve to prevent ice from falling into the glass)
  • Put the olive in a toothpick and drop it into the drink (I read somewhere that for a barman an even number of olives in a cocktail brings bad luck – just saying…)

The Martini Cocktail is probably the most famous drink ever and needs no introduction. There are countless ways to prepare a this cocktail – shaken, stirred, on the rocks, with lemon, etc. – but this is the classic recipe.

Not many people know that although technically the Martini Cocktail was invented in New York, the brains behind it was an Italian from Liguria, who proposed it to J.D. Rockfeller in 1910.

A Martini cocktail with three olivesEspresso Martini 

Ingredients

  • 30ml Vodka (better unflavoured, although some use the vanilla-infused version)
  • 30ml freshly brewed espresso coffee
  • Some sugar
  • Ice

Serve in

  • A Martini glass

Make it

  • Put the Martini glass in the freezer to chill, meanwhile prepare the coffee
  • Once the coffee is ready, sweeten it, then pour it into a Mason jar together with some ice and the vodka
  • Close the jar and shake it for a few seconds
  • Take the glass from the freezer and pour the drink into it, using a sieve to prevent ice from falling into the glass
  • You can garnish the cocktail with a couple of coffee beans or some grated dark chocolate

My dear coffee lovers, this one is for you. As you can see from the ingredients, Martini has nothing to do with this delicious coffee drink. The drink’s name simply refers to the type of glass commonly used to serve it. Also, I know that technically speaking the Espresso Martini is no Italian invention since it was created in London in the 1980s, but hey, it uses a beloved Italian ingredient, right?

Legend has it that a supermodel walked into this bar and asked for something that would “wake her up and f**k her up” and the barman came up with the Espresso Martini. If you don’t have an espresso machine at home, you can use soluble coffee like the Nescafè Gold Espresso. Also, many recipes use a coffee liqueur like Kahlua as a sweetener, but that’s really up to you.

Garibaldi

Ingredients

  • 30ml (1oz) Campari
  • 70ml (2oz) freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • Ice
  • A wedge of orange

Serve with

  • A high tumbler

Make it

  • Pour the Campari and the orange juice into an ice-filled glass 
  • Give it a good stir with a spoon
  • Decorate with an orange wedge

The Garibaldi cocktail was born at the beginning of the 20th century to pay homage to Giuseppe Garibaldi, a famous Italian revolutionary general who greatly contributed to the unification of our country. Its two ingredients perfectly represent the union between Italy’s north and south: the Campari symbolizes the north of the country, while the orange juice represents the south – as well as the red shirts worn by Garibaldi’s freedom fighters.

Although little-know, the Garibaldi is a really cool, refreshing drink perfect for those warm summer nights.

READ ALSO: “A wine tasting tour in Oltrepò Pavese” and “Exploring the Langhe wine region in Piedmont”

 

Now it’s your turn! Prepare some of these cocktails, experiment, then come back here to share your favorite in the comments below!

Have fun!

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33 Comments

Anda 15 May 2020 at 03:32

Ah, I love Italian cocktails! My favorite is peach Bellini, but I also like the Aperol sometimes. I’m glad you shared these recipes because I’m going to try them all now.

    Val 17 May 2020 at 21:04

    Aaaaah, fantastic!!

Subhashish Roy 15 May 2020 at 14:42

This is such a wonderful range of cocktails that can be made at home. Due to the lockdown all liquor shops have just opened after almost two months. Hence it is just the perfect time to try some of this. I would try out Campari Sritz, Negroni Sbagliato and Rossini as they look so inviting. I am anyways a huge fan of Italian cocktails.

    Val 17 May 2020 at 21:03

    You picked some of my favorite 😉

Linda (LD Holland) 15 May 2020 at 17:32

I am happy you started with my favourite orange cocktail. We saw everyone drinking these orange drinks in Italy and I had to try one. Once I had an Aperol Spritz, they became one of my favourite drinks. And so easy to make! I tried a Campari Spritz and didn’t like it as well. But I definitely want to try a Bellini next. Peach sounds so refreshing!

    Val 17 May 2020 at 21:03

    Those Spritzes are really addictive, right?! 😀

Shreya Saha 16 May 2020 at 05:40

Wow! Such a nice blog, I am really mesmerized to find the how to make authentic Italian cocktail at home with the simple formula. I already have Prosecco at home. I am a great fan of Rossini and Martini cocktail, and with few more ingredients, I can make these at home. It would really be helpful for cocktail lovers like me because in the lockdown situation all the bars are closed and in few simple steps these can be made at home. Thanks for the lovely blog.

    Val 17 May 2020 at 21:01

    Thanks so much dear x

madhu sharma 16 May 2020 at 12:44

Wow ..awesome cocktails and I would love to try making all of them ..thanks for sharing .lovely pictures

    Val 17 May 2020 at 21:01

    Give it a try Madhu, they are super easy and quick to make 🙂

Deborah Patterson 16 May 2020 at 14:23

Love, love, love an Aperol Spritz – definitely my holiday drink of choice. Tonight’s going to be Martini night at home, but keen to add Red Vermouth to our shopping basket to create a more Italian drink next week.

    Val 17 May 2020 at 21:00

    Well done girl! xx

Dana 16 May 2020 at 14:31

I live off of Aperol Spritz and Negronis when in Italy. I love the story behind each of them as well!

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:59

    Thank you Dana!!

Mayuri Patel 16 May 2020 at 14:32

This is so cool and Lovely read.I didn’t know Italy has such interesting drinks and traditions! I am not regular Drinker but I would like to try Aperol Spritz at home. It is cool post for cocktail lovers.

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:58

    Thanks a lot Mayuri! Some of these cocktails are very light and make for a great “Italian night” at home 🙂

Ophelie 16 May 2020 at 16:58

Thank you for the cocktail ideas Val! I absolutely adore the Aperol Spritz. You also make me wanna try that Bellini cocktail!

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:57

    Ciao Ophelie! Do try a Bellini at home, it’s super easy to make and delicious!

Tyra seguin 16 May 2020 at 19:04

Ahhh love this post! such a great idea! Aperol Spritz are my favourite!!

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:56

    They are good right? Although I must say that I prefer my Spritz with Campari 😀

Paloma Fts 16 May 2020 at 19:04

ok brb I’m going to do all these right now lol, I love cocktails way TOO MUCHHHH <3

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:55

    Yay, enjoy them all! x

Amy Alton 16 May 2020 at 20:13

Bellinis are my favs. I always have to ask how a restaurant is going to make them, because sometimes they are served frozen and its nasty! I will have to try the Rossini, that sounds good too!

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:54

    Oh my gosh, I’ve never had a frozen Bellini and I can only imagine the bad taste!

Jiayi Wang 16 May 2020 at 21:38

You’ve just inspired me to make some Bellini next weekend! 🙂 Thanks so much for these tips, I’m definitely keeping this handy as I’m craving a good cocktail (and miss the ones in Italy a lot!)

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:53

    Bellini is so good!:D

Lauren 16 May 2020 at 21:38

I love this, Italian cocktails are my favourites!

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:52

    Yay!! 😀

Bhushavali N 16 May 2020 at 23:12

To begin with I love Prosecco. I mean, who doesn’t! Its the yummiest drink ever! So the first thing I’m gonna try making is Aperol Spritz, Bellini & Rossini. Bellini would be my first ever try coz I love peaches too! I’m trying to imagine how fruity and yummy the drink would be with peach puree & prosecco….. Yummmmmm….
Americano is definitely a misleading name. For a moment I thought the drink is gonna have a splash of coffee in it! Well….

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:51

    Ahah, you’re so right, I didn’t think of that when I wrote about Americano! x

Lekha C 17 May 2020 at 01:13

I have saved this one. Love your recommendations! Until we can travel, will try to recreate the Italian feel at home 🙂

    Val 17 May 2020 at 20:50

    Yay, keep nurturing your Italian dream 😀

Parnashree Devi 17 May 2020 at 21:38

Wow..You have provided fantastic list of Italian cocktails. I had tasted Aperol Spritz once and absolutely loved it. The best part of the post is that you have given the recipes as well. I am going try making one of them at home. Let’s see how it tastes. Thanks for the recipes

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Ciao! I’m Val

Ciao! I’m Val

Ciao! I'm Valentina, an Italian blogger with a huge passion for my country, its culture and traditions. My Italian Diaries is the online space where I share my expert knowledge of itineraries, activities and off-the-beaten path places to help you experience the best of Italy like a local.

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