Chinotto are citrus fruits that resemble small oranges known for their sour and bitter taste. This same fruit also flavours a quintessentially Italian carbonated soft drink called chinotto. The soft drink is found bottled in IGAs or in cans like this Sanpellegrino Chinotto in some stores of major supermarkets.
The soft drink is a translucent deep brown colour with a spicy citrus nose and moderate carbonation. Served chilled, sweet citrus notes — recalling a sharper blood orange — come through with a hint of cinnamon before a prominent bitterness develops in the body with a gentle sweetness to leave a bittersweet finish and lingering aftertaste.
Chinotto, by all accounts, is an acquired taste for those that aren’t sensitive to bitterness. For D who is very sensitive to bitter flavours, he describes it as one of the worst drinks he’s encountered during his childhood and again more recently. He cannot get the bitter flavour off his palate fast enough. For me, though, I enjoy a hint of bitterness and find that chinotto grows on me over time, although it’s still not something I can guzzle.
This can of Sanpellegrino Chinotto contained 330 ml. It was bottled in Italy and purchased in Sydney, Australia in 2017.