Italian Cocktails Italian Cocktails

Italian Cocktails

Looking for an Italian apéritif for your next happy hour? You've come to the right place. From classics (like basic limoncello recipe) to our twists on traditional drinks, you're going to want to bookmark this collection of Italian cocktail recipes.


The story goes that back in 1919 the Count Negroni (yes, that was his real name!) asked a bartender at the Caffe Casoni in Florence to make an Americano cocktail with gin instead of soda water. To this day, a classic Negroni cocktail is equal parts gin, sweet red vermouth, and Campari served on the rocks and garnished with an orange peel. While it's typically stirred and served on the rocks, the Negroni can also be shaken and strained into a cocktail glass. Whether shaken or stirred, it's a great way to start off any meal and sure to impress dinner party guests. Serve with olives and cheese for your most sophisticated beachside happy hour yet.


  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • Orange slice, for garnish

How to Make

STEP 1: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass half-filled with ice.

STEP 2: Stir until ingredients are cold, about 30 seconds.

STEP 3: Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe with a burnt orange twist or into a rocks glass over a single large cube of ice with a slice of orange.


Aperol and Blood Orange-Mint Spritz

The Aperol Spritz is probably one of the most popular drinks in Italy having recently become a sort icon for classic Italian cocktails. But the Spritz is not so much one distinct drink as it is a family of cocktails that are all made with wine, soda water, and some kind of bitter liquor known as amari. This bubbly cocktail showcases blood oranges, which have a tart-sweet flavor. You can also use navel oranges. You can easily scale up the recipe for a crowd.


  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) Prosecco
  •  1/4 cup (2 oz.) Aperol
  •  Ice
  •  1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice (about 3 oranges)
  •  Garnish: fresh mint sprig

How to Make It

Stir together Prosecco and Aperol. Pour over ice with blood orange juice in a tall glass. Garnish, if desired.

Americano (aka Milano-Torino)

The Americano is the perfect introduction to the world of classic Italian cocktails. This simple cocktail is a delightful, fizzy aperitif. Served in a highball glass, the Americano brings together Campari, sweet vermouth and a dash of soda water and is the original Italian cocktail spritz. This simple Italian cocktail couldn't be easier: Just combine vermouth and Aperol in a mixing glass, stir, strain, top with club soda, garnish, and enjoy!


  • 1.5 ounces Campari
  • 1.5 ounces Sweet Vermouth
  • Top with club soda
  • Garnish with an orange twist

How to Make It

Pour into a highball glass and fill with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with orange twist.



Limoncello is good ice-cold on its own, but it's also delicious in a lemon drop martini, mixed with sparkling wine, or splashed over a bowl of fresh fruit. Since it takes two weeks to infuse the bracing citrusy flavor into the vodka, start this gift early and decant it into pretty sterilized glass bottles.


  • 4 cups vodka
  •  1/2 cup lemon rind strips (about 7 lemons)
  •  3 cups water
  •  1 1/2 cups sugar

How to Make It

STEP 1: Combine vodka and rind in a bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 weeks. Strain through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.

STEP 2: Combine 3 cups water and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Add to vodka mixture.

STEP 3: Divide limoncello evenly among 3 sterilized (750-milliliter) bottles, and seal.

Note: Store in the refrigerator up to 1 year.


    Gin and It

    The Gin & It cocktail has been around for more than a century. It was often called the sweet martini and has been reported as a common pub drink, first in New York bars and then in London. The "it" in the Gin & It cocktail is Italian sweet vermouth. This is a very simple and sweet gin martini that is easy to fall for, particularly if you don't like your martinis dry. It is traditionally served un-iced, which is another departure from the classic gin martini. 


    • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
    • 1 1/2 ounces gin
    • Garnish: 1 or 3 maraschino cherries

    How to Make It

    STEP 1: Pour the vermouth directly into a cocktail glass without ice.
    STEP 2: Add the gin.
    STEP 3: Garnish with the cherry. Traditionally, you would use either one or three cherries, never an even number.


    The Bellini

    For something a little lighter and a touch sweeter, give the classic Bellini cocktail a try. The drink's origins lie in Cipriani’s love for the smell and flavor of fresh white peaches, a seasonal delicacy in the Veneto region. Created in the 1940s by bartender Giuseppe Cardini at his famous Harry's Bar in Venice. The barman spent many years trying to work out a way to incorporate the peach's incredible flavor into a drink. Eventually, he came up with the Bellini in which he'd hand squeeze the fruit’s juice and combine it with sparkling wine. A well-made Bellini cocktail is both sweet and satisfying and, since it doesn’t contain any hard alcohol, it’s also a lot easier to drink than many other classic Italian cocktails. 


    • 1 1/2 ounces fresh Peach Puree (chilled)
    • Top with Prosecco (chilled)
    • Garnish with a slice of fresh peach

    How to Make It

    Add the fresh peach puree to the champagne flute before topping with prosecco. Garnish with a slice of fresh peach.



    This is a take on the Bellini typically drunk at Christmas. It’s as simple as the Bellini in its ingredients, except it opts for strawberry puree over peach puree.


    • 1 1/3 ounces fresh Strawberry Puree (chilled)
    • Top with Prosecco (chilled)
    • Garnish with a slice of fresh strawberries.

    How to Make It

    Add the fresh strawberry puree to the champagne flute before topping with prosecco. Garnish with a slice of strawberry..


    The Godfather

    Messing with single malt may sound like sacrilege—but in this case, it's an offer you can't refuse. It's dead-simple to make, with scotch as your base spirit and amaretto liqueur for some nutty sweetness. Now, as you may have noticed, both of these two ingredients are alcoholic, and therefore you'd be right to call this drink a doozy. But stirring well with ice and then serving over ice helps to dilute it to a sippable place. 


    • 2 oz. scotch whisky

    • 1/2 oz. amaretto

    • No Garnish

    How to Make It

    Pour all ingredients into a cocktail mixer. Fill with cracked ice and stir gently until chilled. Strain over fresh ice into an Old Fashioned glass

    Angelo Azzurro

    The sky blue angelo azzurro (blue angel) originated in Italy as a reflection of the blue waters that surround the country. It gets its color from blue curaçao, and the cocktail has become an Italian mainstay.


    • 1½ ounces triple sec

    • ½ ounce blue curaçao

    • 3 ounces dry gin

    • Ice

    • Lemon peel for garnish

    How to Make It

    STEP 1: Chill a martini glass.

    In a mixing glass, combine the triple sec, blue curaçao, and gin.

    STEP 2: Add the ice and stir to chill.

    STEP 3: Strain into the chilled glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.


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