Italy is famous for its superb wines and unique alcoholic beverages, but the nation’s leading soft drink brands also produce a fantastic range of refreshing and tasty drinks. Italy’s most popular soft drinks include orange sodas, lemon sodas, ice teas, colas, and a whole range of delicious non-alcoholic aperitifs. You’ll also find a good selection of energy drinks and beverages that are made with an active lifestyle in mind.
Founded in 1899, San Pellegrino earned its reputation making top-quality orange sodas and bottled sparkling mineral water. San Pellegrino’s main production facility is located in Bergamo, in Northern Italy, where it continues to operate. San Pellegrino’s mineral waters are usually sold in glass bottles, which helps to keep the water tasting spring-fresh, and is a regular feature at up-market conferences and events.
San Pellegrino’s well-loved orange and lemon sodas are also carbonated and have delicate flavors with a subtle undertone of bitterness. This gives the sparkling drinks a unique taste that refreshes your thirst and is the perfect accompaniment for pasta dishes or a classic Italian sandwich at lunch. The brand is hugely popular in Italy but it’s also exported to distributors in numerous countries, particularly in Asia, the Middle East and other parts of Europe.
Although Campari is best known for its iconic alcoholic liqueur by the same name, the company also produces one of Italy’s favorite soft drinks. After establishing its first production facility in Milan in 1904, Campari enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the industry and in 1995 the brand expanded its portfolio by purchasing the Crodino soft drinks brand.
Crodino soft drinks are made using plant extracts and are inspired by traditional Milanese aperitifs. Crodino drinks are made with a classic blend of herbs and fruits that are all carefully selected to create the ultimate non-alcoholic aperitif. Since Campari moved into the soft drinks industry, it’s continued to enjoy great success both in Italy and abroad.
Ice teas are hugely popular in Italy and Western Europe and Estathé, part of the Ferrero company, is one of Italy’s most successful brands. Initially launching its range of ice teas in 1972, Estathé with lemon was a big hit and was soon followed up in 1994 by Estathé with peach, in 2002 with a decaffeinated ice tea and by Estathé’s green tea in 2008.
Today, Estathé has branched out even further and created a lovely selection of ice teas, including green teas, infusion mixes and variations on its original classic lemon beverage. Another of the brand’s recent hits is the Estathé Ice, a frozen beverage that uses the same formula as the beloved Ferrero ‘Gran Soleil’. So if you’re looking for a beautifully refreshing ice tea, then look no further than Estathé’s iconic range of summer beverages.
San Benedetto is one of Italy’s leading soft drink brands that is best known for its mineral waters and non-carbonated and carbonated soft drinks. Based in Scorze, Venice, the brand is named after a local freshwater spring that has been a famous source of healing waters since the era of the Venetian Republic. San Benedetto was founded in 1956 and has grown significantly over the last 50 years, with 6 production sites in Italy, 2 in Spain, 1 in Hungary and 1 in Poland.
Today, San Benedetto is the 2nd largest distributor of soft drinks in Italy and also exports its beverages throughout Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the USA and Canada. In recent times, San Benedetto has also worked hard to reduce the impact of the company’s production facilities on the environment and has committed to achieving zero impact in the coming years.
NERI was founded by an innovative entrepreneur, Pietro Neri, in 1949, and quickly became famous for his brand’s unique creations in the realm of soft drinks. NERI produced their Chinotto drink, a usual beverage that was based on classic American sodas and was an instant hit with Italians. The drink has a very intense flavor that sets it apart from other sodas on the market.
Following its initial success, NERI went on to launch new soft drinks including Lemoncedro, Aranciosa and Gassosa, all of which were well received by the Italian public. Even so, NERI is most famous for its Chin8 Neri drink. It’s made using the chinotto fruit and a selection of up to 20 herbs, including cinnamon, cloves, thyme, tamarind and sweet and sour orange. Chin8 Neri is both gluten-free and caffeine-free although it will give you a great boost of energy and refreshment.
Tassoni Cedrata began its life in 1793 as an apothecary in Salo. The company changed ownership several times before launching its Cedrata Tassoni syrup in 1921. However, it wasn’t until 1956 that the modern Tassoni carbonated soda emerged as the brand’s premium soft drink. Made with the original syrup recipe and carbonated water, the beverage is super refreshing and versatile.
This delicious non-alcoholic carbonated drink was traditionally made with the Citrus Medica, a special citrus fruit variety that is only cultivated around Lake Garda. However today, Tassoni Cedrata is made using a newer citrus variety, called Diamante. This primarily grows in the warm climates of Calabria and produces an equally impressive flavor to the original Citrus Medica variety. Growing from strength to strength, Tassoni sells more than 25 million bottles per year to a global client base.
With more than 40 years in the industry, Santal creates a delicious range of fruit-based soft drinks that are made in Italy and sold in 130 countries around the world. Santal is well known for its range of dairy fruit drinks but its pure fruit juices and fruit drinks taste great, either in a glass with ice or as part of a cocktail.
Constantly staying at the forefront of modern trends in the beverage industry, Santal also produces a range of non-dairy, plant-based soft drinks that are made using oats, rice, coconuts, almond and soy. As well as being thirst-quenching and tasting great, all of the plant-based drinks are also an excellent source of healthy vitamins.
Headquartered in Portofino, Niasca Portofino aims to showcase the finest products that are typical of the province. The company’s farm produces a wide range of products such as red and white wine, tomato Passata, black olives with herbs, Portofino sauce and delicious lemonade. Although the brand is not widely known outside of Italy, its lemonade is one of the local favorites that only uses regional ingredients that are cultivated and picked using traditional methods.
Niasca Portofino lemonade is sold in clear glass bottles and is a truly delightful beverage. The flavor is simple but boasts a complex bouquet of subtle undertones that reflect the taste of summer in Portofino. The natural sourness of the lemons is softened by the carbonation process and, as fans of the Niasca Portofino will tell you, once you taste its lemonade you’ll never go back to another brand again.
Baladin started as a pub that specialized in serving and selling Belgian and foreign beers in Piozzo, in Piedmont. Later, in collaboration with the Slow Food movement, Baladin launched its Cola Baladin which uses organically grown cola nuts from Africa in the soft drink’s recipe. Baladin’s range of soft drinks expanded with the brand’s increasing success and today you can select from the original Cola Baladin, non-alcoholic ginger beers, Mela Zen, Spuma Nera and Tonica al Pompelmo.
The Baladin brand has fast been gaining popularity in recent years and is one of the most respected small-scale Italian producers of soft drinks. As a result, Baladin looks to have a very bright future ahead of it as it continues to improve and expand its range of non-alcoholic beverages.
Delicious Range Of Italy’s Soft Drinks.
While Italy’s soft drinks are often overlooked by Italophiles, the nation produces some of the highest-quality non-alcoholic beverages in the world. From thirst-quenching orange and lemon sodas to tonic water, chinotto and energy drinks, you’ll find some of the finest soft drinks among Italy’s fantastic offerings. So if you haven’t discovered Italy’s premier soft drink brands, then why not give some of Italy’s favorite non-alcoholic beverages a try?