Chinotto (soft drink)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The fruit of the chinotto tree is the main flavoring agent for several brands of soda.

Chinotto [kiˈnɔtto] is a type of carbonated soft drink produced from the juice of the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree (Citrus myrtifolia). The beverage is dark in color. Its appearance is similar to that of cola, but it is not as sweet as cola, having a bittersweet taste.

The drink was known in antiquity as a dark hued, bitter tasting variant of orange juice, and was considered refreshment. Industrial production of Chinotto soda dates to the 1950s. It is produced in Italy by several companies, and is mostly consumed in Italy and Malta. San Pellegrino, the mineral water company, exports it under the brand name "Chinò." Coca-Cola produces it under the brand name "Fanta Chinotto" in Italy and "Fanta Amara" in Malta.


A bottle of Italian chinotto

The origin of modern chinotto is unclear. San Pellegrino claims to have created it in 1932, and Neri claims to have made and marketed it first in 1949. Another important brand of chinotto was Recoaro, which was the best-selling chinotto soda in the 1950s.

Chinotto is fairly common in the Italian diaspora worldwide. There are local versions of the drink in some communities:


  • The Brio brand of Canada (this is sweeter than Italian brands).
  • The Bisleri brand in Australia (owned by Coca-Cola Amatil).
  • In Venezuela, a popular lemon-lime soda is sold under the brand name "Chinotto"; it is owned by The Coca-Cola Company.
  • Kinnie is a chinotto-like soft drink made in Malta.[1]


  1. ^ Kinnie goes on sale in London Times of Malta, 17 September 2010.