Nonalcoholic beverages are often so cloying and sweet that they don’t make a fit partner for food. Usually, if I’m not drinking wine but want something besides water, I end up with a juice or soda that’s all wrong for my meal. But I’ve recently discovered chinotto, a traditional Italian beverage that gets its characteristic flavor from the unusual citrus fruit for which it’s named. The chinotto fruit — which also lends its bitter flavor profile to Campari — was once found only in Italy, but is now manufactured and shipped to the United States by San Pellegrino. For a non-alcoholic beverage that feels distinctly adult, look for chinotto at your area Italian restaurant — I get mine at Mr. Martino’s Trattoria.
What to Drink Tonight: Chinotto
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, December 2008