Italians are known for their wine and even their beer, but soda? Not so much. Most people don’t know a lot about non-alcoholic Italian beverages, so we thought we would share some of our favorites. In this article, we will go over all the best Italian soda brands.
The best Italian soda brands overall are San Pellegrino, Chin8neri, Cedrata Tassoni,Cola Baladin and Niasca Lemonade and Gazzosa. Each of these brands makes at least one well-received flavor that is distributed on an international scale. There are, however, a few more brands that we think are worth mentioning.
Top Italian Soda Brands
Chin8neri’s is an Italian soda brand with a silly name, but a serious flavor. One of their most popular beverages is Chinotto. This Italian soda has a strikingly unique flavor that not everyone likes. In fact, there are some people that have gone as to say that Chinotto smells like tarmac or asphalt. Chinotto is made from an orange that can only be found in Italy, Malta, Libya, and the South of France.
When grown in Italy, this Mediterranean fruit is generally grown in the Northeastern part of the country. That’s not the only place, however, as these oranges can also be found growing on the island of Sicily.
Chinotto is known to have a somewhat bitter-sweet taste that is in a class all on its own. You could consider this Italian soda as an acquired taste. It’s not a traditionally sweet beverage like something you would find in Pepsi or Coca-Cola, so if that is the experience you are looking for, Chinotto is not for you!
Like in the United States, there is quite a wide range of sodas that are drank in Italy. So, as a result, there are quite a few Italian soda brands. One of the most difficult parts about wanting to find a great Italian soda is that there are many to choose from, but unless you live in Italy, they can be someone difficult to try.
Italy has a somewhat obscure and unique soda culture, because they drink sodas during different points throughout the day. In one example that comes to mind, Italians will often drink a shot of aperitivo (a carbonated liquor) before a meal to increase the appetite.
2. San Pellegrino
San Pellegrino Blood Orange is a somewhat polarizing blood orange-flavored carbonated drink produced by the Italian soda brand, San Pellegrino. This soda is a blend of standard and blood oranges that are grown locally in Italy.
Unlike orange sodas, San Pellegrino blood orange is 20% fruit juice by volume. So, for this reason, this Italian soda has a much more natural orange flavor than most other orange sodas. San Pellegrino blood orange is called ‘Aranciata Rossa’ in Italy. It Italian, that translates to ‘red-orange juice.’
Water, Orange Juice From Concentrate (17%), Sugar, Blood Orange Juice From Concentrate (3%),Carbon Dioxide, Orange Extract (0.1%),Colors (Anthocyanin, Paprika),Food Acid (Citric), and Stabilizer (Pectin). It’s important to note that this soda contains a little less sugar than most soda brands like SunKist or Coca-Cola.
Check out this comparison of San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa’s sugar content compared to leading soda brands:
More than likely, the reason this soda can get away with adding so little sugar is because it contains a higher-than-usual amount of fruit juice, which brings along its own sugar.
This Italian soda brand is among the oldest soft drink companies in Italy. One of there more remarkable beverages is Tassoni. Created in 1956 by nobleman and pharmacist Nicola Tassoni, this drink was originally marketed as the ‘evolution’ in citron syrup. Back then, it was made Cytrus Medica, which is cultivated on the coast of Lake Garda. Now, Tassoni is made with a variety from Calabria called ‘diamond’ citrus.
While the name of this company may invoke thoughts of Coca-Cola, this Italian soda brand has nothing to do with that. There is a fruit called Cola that is in the same family as cocoa. It can be found growing in its native West-African forests. The Cola species is highly diverse, with over 140 different varieties. One of them is called Cola nitida, which is also known as a Kola nut.
This variety contains caffeine, tannin and theobromine. Cola Baladin is made with kola nuts that are bought from the Kola Slow Food Presidium all the way from Sierra Leone.
5.Niasca Lemonade and Gazzosa
Lurisia Lemons have been used in Italy to make glazes, distillates and even liquors for centuries. Now, soft drinks are added to that list. A variety of lemons are used to make a unique brand of lemonade that has what is described as a ‘retro’ flavor. Niasca’s Gazzosa is a blend of sfusato lemons sourced from the Amalfi coast. Its a refreshing, tasty drink produced that is produced in Campania.
What Does Italian Soda Taste Like?
As you would expect from a country that is known for its respect for the culinary arts, Italian sodas generally have flavors that revolve around desserts and spices. That’s not all Italian soda brands are about, though. In fact, you can find Italian soda in many different flavors. Some of the more popular themes for Italian sodas are fruit flavors, colas, cream sodas, and of course, the traditional colas.
Its important to keep in mind that all sodas are made with essentially the same key ingredients. Carbonated water, sugar (or other sweetener), and flavors are all you will find in a soda. So, the areas where different Italian soda brands really differentiate themselves is in their soda’s sugar content and flavor profile. What most people don’t realize, however, is that the level of carbonation also makes a massive impact on any soda’s flavor, and in particular, its sweetness.
This is because the more carbonation a soda is, the less you will be able to taste the sugar in it.
We are not only going to just talk about the best Italian soda brands, we will also take a look at some of these brand’s most popular flavors. Its important to note that while there are sodas that are Italian-made and there are ‘Italian sodas’, those two things are not always going to be the same thing. Here is everything you need to know about the best Italian soda brands:
What Does Blood Orange Soda Taste Like?
If you know what Orange Fanta tastes like, then you have a pretty good idea of Blood orange soda’s tastes. It’s a lot like Orange Fanta, but its a lot more sour. Also, Blood orange soda is often more sweet than a typical fruit-flavored soda. Also, blood orange soda will have elements of cherry, grapefruit, and even raspberry in it.
The blood orange is a tropical citrus fruit that looks very close to an orange on the outside, but there are some subtle differences. Once you open a blood orange, however, it will become quite apparent that you are not dealing with a standard orange. This is because the flesh of a blood orange is lot darker and more red.
There are some types of blood orange that have orange flesh, though. This type of blood orange has patches of the dark purple and red throughout its flesh. Blood oranges can only grow in warm and temperate climates like the Mediterranean sea and the sub-tropical states of the united states.
Who Makes Blood Orange Soda?
The best blood orange soda is called Pellegrino blood orange and is labeled as ‘Aranciata Rossa’. You can find this soda on Amazon, at Walmart, and other national retailers and is also widely available in Italian restaurants. In fact, you can find a handy-dandy store locator on the official San Pellegrino website.
Where Do Blood Oranges Come From?
While no one is exactly sure about the true origins of the blood orange, the general consensus seems to be that blood oranges come from Sicily and Spain.
Who Owns San Pellegrino?
San Pellegrino is owned by the drink and snack food juggernaut, Nestlé. This Italian soda brand is listed as one of their brands on Nestlé’s official website. Don’t let the corporate takeover scare you away, though. Remember, many of the ingredients used to make San Pellegrino soda is still sourced from Italy.
Is S. Pellegrino The Same As San Pellegrino?
Yes. San Pellegrino and S. Pellegrino are the same brand. There are some instances in which this soda is marketed under different labeling, which can lead to a bit of confusion. However, when you go on the official website, you can see that Pellegrino is listed as one of their brands, but if you click that link, it will take you to the global S. Pellegrino website, revealing that they are, indeed, the same company.
Is Italian Soda Better Than Regular Soda?
Well, that really comes down to a matter of opinion. And remember, Italian soda is regular soda, its just not something that you are sued to.
You can find all the normal flavors that you are used to in Italian soda brands such as San Pellegrino. They make all the standard colas that Coke and Pepsi make, they are just more known for their soft drinks that are less-common in the US domestic market.
Things are changing a bit, however. Back in the day, Coca-Cola and Pepsi used to make just one or two different types of drinks. Now, these companies have a wide variety of soft drinks that come in all sorts of wild and exotic flavors. So, domestic soda companies are giving the Italian soda brands a lot more competition in the niche soda sector lately.