What to Try When You Need to Cool Off
Whether you have been hitting the clubs too hard or are just a non-drinker yourself, there comes several times when you want something liquid that doesn’t have alcohol in. Italy is famous among many things for its elaborate and varied wine selection, in fact the only drink just as popular as this that doesn’t have alcohol is coffee. Yet if a hot coffee on a hot day isn’t your (or most peoples) preferred way of cooling down, you will want to reach for a soft drink instead. Although Italy isn’t out of the reach of big American brands which have made their way all around the globe, it does have several interesting and unique drinks for tourists to try. Thanks to the gorgeous fields of trees bursting with fruit, Italy has its own surplus of flavours ready to squeeze into a bottle for you to sip at your leisure. Tough they won’t all be familiar to you, if you want to get authentically Italian around the table without getting authentically drunk, its worth becoming a connoisseur of some of these instead.
Though this one may not be too irregular as many countries have their own brands for this, Italy’s famous San Benedetto brand has been making the stuff since the 50’s. Thanks to the wonders of Italian water that goes into just about everything here from drinks to pizza, and making each item superior, these refreshing drinks will taste a little different than usual. Expect to find varying sized bottles of the stuff in several different flavours including lemon, peach and even aloe vera.
This is a very Italian drink, one that people in the west are not privy to. Chinotto is a beverage made from citrus fruits that grow on the myrtle-leaved orange tree, where they look like petit oranges themselves. However, their taste is less sweet than oranges and is much more sour or bitter which makes for a much different style of drink than say a fanta. This drink is popular enough here to be marketed by several different brands, that all have their own variation. Neri’s Chin8 for example looks black and could easily be mistaken for coke, until you take a sip that is.
Though you may associate glass bottles with beer, in Italy several of these drinks come in bottle capped glasses and Crodino is no different. This highly popular aperitif has been around since the 60’s and could be mistaken for a beer by foreigners. With its bitter taste created from mineral water and herbal extracts, Crodino may be an acquired taste but one that is sought after by Italians around mealtimes.
Another result of having a more diverse range of fruits, the Cedrata or sometimes called a Tassoni soda is a drink made from citrons, which are the original lemons. These big tangy fruits provide the basis for these thirst quenching drinks that have a the same bright essence of a 7up but with less sweetness. Although the products of the US are clearly available here it seems the Italians haven’t lost their unique palate, favoring sharp bitter fruit over sweet ones time and time again