top view of marble table scattered with crodino bottles on their side.
Home » Italian Drinks » Crodino – Italy’s Most Popular Non-Alcoholic Beverage

Crodino – Italy’s Most Popular Non-Alcoholic Beverage

Last updated on March 26th, 2024

Whether you are looking to stay dry in January, you can’t stomach another Aperol Spritz or you’re just looking for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage – Italy’s Crodino will fit the bill. 

So… what is Crodino? Crodino is Italy’s non-alcoholic answer to an aperitif made with bitter extracts served over ice.

Although I have been in Italy for over 10 years and am a hard-core Spritz lover myself, I can’t deny my love for a Crodino from time to time. Before moving to Florence, I would have never considered a non-alcoholic Spritz alternative but I soon learned that this classic Italian beverage has its time and place. 

In this article, I’ll explain:

  • Crodino’s ingredients
  • when we drink Crodino in Italy
  • who Crodino’s best for
  • how best to enjoy Crodino
  • and what else it can be used for 

How To Pronounce Crodino 

Crodino is pronounced kroh-dee-noh in Italian

Listen to the pronunciation of Crodino here: 

What Is Crodino?

Six bottles of Crodino laying next to each other.

Crodino is a sparkling non-alcoholic bitter aperitivo drink that’s been made in Italy since 1964.  

Crodino is made from the infusion and distillation of a secret combination of various herbs, fruits and spices, sweetened with sugar. 

The original Crodino Biondo is a light orange color with a zesty aroma. You can find it for purchase in small 100 ml bottles, designed for individual servings. Crodino Rosso is dark red in color and slightly more bitter. 

Looking for more non-alcoholic beverages to try in Italy? Read 10+ Non-Alcoholic Italian Drinks That We Actually Drink In Italy (According To A Local).

What Does Crodino Taste Like?

Crodino is defined by its bitter-sweet flavor with hints of orange, herbal aromas and the faintest taste of vanilla. 

Crodino Biondo is fruitier with hints of grapefruit while Crodino Rosso is slightly more bitter, characterized by blood red orange essence. 

History Of Crodino

Crodino comes from the municipality from where the beverage is bottled in Northern Italy, Crodo in Piedmont

It was originally made as a non-alcoholic substitute for the popular Aperol or Campari aperitif that were invented in the early 20th century. Today, Crodino is still primarily enjoyed as a non-alcoholic substitute but is also used as an ingredient to make alcoholic cocktails as well. 

When To Drink Crodino

People sitting outdoors in a colorful piazza on Lake Garda. They're drinking coffees and cocktails and chatting.
This outdoor piazza on Lake Garda is the perfect place to enjoy a Crodino!

Crodino is most commonly enjoyed in Italy as an aperitivo before dinner

You can order it at any bar or cafe at any time of the day and enjoy it either standing at the bar or sitting at a table. 

Crodino is especially popular in Italy during the summer months when it is extremely hot. Trust me, after far too many brutal experiences in my youth under 105 degree heat with a Spritz in hand, I can assure you Crodino is the better choice. There is nothing worse than being drunk as a skunk literally baking under the Tuscan sun.

Fit In: Learn How to Toast in Italian!

Who Crodino Is For?

Crodino can be enjoyed by anyone of any age although it’s typically enjoyed by young adults or adults as it’s commonly used to take the place of an alcoholic Spritz.

Because Crodino has a bitter flavor, it’s not customary to serve it to children in Italy. Of course, they could drink it since it has no alcohol. 

If you are traveling to Italy with minors, read more about the drinking age The Legal Drinking Age In Italy – Advice From A Local and suggest Crodino to your teen as an non-alcoholic alternative. 

Crodino is perfect for women traveling in Italy who are pregnant. To learn more about how to stay safe while pregnant in Italy, read Eating in Italy While Pregnant – From a Mamma of Four in Italy.

How Best To Enjoy Crodino

Crodino is best enjoyed chilled over ice. It comes pre-prepared and mixed, meaning you do not need to add anything but an orange garnish, if you like. 

Unlike an Aperol spritz, you do not need to mix your Crodino cocktail. Instead, fill a small glass with ice (usually a tumbler glass or a globe glass to mimic a Spritz), pour the Crodino over the ice and enjoy – so easy!

If you are at a bar in Italy and order a Crodino as an aperitivo, they will sometimes serve it to you with a glass of ice and a small opened bottle of Crodino for you to pour yourself. 

What To Serve With Crodino

top view of a table with three soft drinks served on a tray with various small cups filled with snacks and a sack of bread.
Our aperitivo at one of my favorite spots in Santo Spirito in Florence

As any other aperitivo in Italy, Crodino should be enjoyed alongside some small, salty nibbles to better enhance and compliment its bitter flavor. 

Common snacks to serve with crodino include:

For a full rundown of pre-dinner drinking in Italy and what to serve with your aperitif, read Aperitivo In Italy – How Italians Do Pre-dinner Drinks + How To Recreate It At Home.

Drinks Made With Crodino

Close up of Crodino Rosso and Crodino Biondo bottled drinks on a supermarket shelf in Italy.

Crodino was originally made to be enjoyed as is, but it can be also used as an ingredient to make other cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

Sixteen Rum

An alcoholic cocktail from Piedmont made from rum, vermouth, Crodino and a bit of lemon juice. A bottle of Crodino (100 ml) is mixed with ¾ oz (100 ml) each of rum and vermouth and finished with a squeeze of lemon. 

Crodino Spritz

Schweppes bottle, crodino bottle, and halved orange on a white marble surface.

A Crodino Spritz is another way to doctor up your non-alcoholic beverage with the addition of either tonic water or lemon soda and a squeeze of lemon juice to a bottle of Crodino. 

A Crodino Spritz can really be made anyway you like, depending on what you have on hand or how sweet or bitter you want your drink. Consider tonic water to recreate an alcoholic beverage taste but opt for the addition of lemon soda for a sweeter version. 

Make It: Follow my step-by-step instructions for a Crodino Spritz.

Crodino Variations

Hand holding bottle of Crodino (clear with red liquid inside). Other bottles of Crodino on surface behind.

The original Crodino Biondo remains the most popular version in Italy since its debut but since then, the Campari group has also launched various variations of Crodino. 

Alongside the Biondo version the Rosso version is very popular as well, defined by the addition of blood orange juice to the original Crodino recipe.

Both the Crodino Biondo and Rosso are sold in Twist varieties made with a wider range of citrus fruits. 

Where To Buy Crodino

In the USA, you can buy Crodino on Amazon.com and may also find it at some specialty Italian stores or wine and liquor stores. 

Crodino FAQ

Is Crodino gluten-free?

Yes, Crodino is a gluten-free beverage that is also vegan.