Chinotto (soft drink)

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. Another additive that is commonly incorporated in chinotto is coca tree

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 the 1950s, 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.


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