/Cedrata, A Strange and Refreshing Beverage

Cedrata, A Strange and Refreshing Beverage


Last week I was introduced to a new (to me) and exciting beverage: cedrata, a syrupy sweet bottled drink made from the cedro (citron or etrog). These large yellow citrus fruits are native to the Middle East and were brought to Italy in the 10th century by the Arabs. They continue to thrive here, especially around Diamante in Calabria where they are ritually harvested for Sukkot in the autumn. Tassoni and other industrial producers of cedrata harvest in January and transform the citrons into a sweet beverage with a slight ginger aftertaste. I don’t know how I could have overlooked cedrata all these years. It was hugely popular in the ’70s and ’80s when it spawned some amazingly cheesy commercials (see below) that form a sort of trinity of corniness with Campari and Asti Spumanti spots. Enjoy!

2016-01-07T14:37:56+00:00 May 10th, 2009|Categories: Food & Wine|10 Comments


  1. Rob May 21, 2009 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    That looks magnificent. Can we get it here in Rome?

  2. letizia mattiacci May 26, 2009 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    ah, the memories. The commercial is tacky but the voice of Mina is still sparkingly beautiful!

  3. Katie May 27, 2009 at 1:29 am - Reply

    @Rob They should have it at the supermarket. Ive never looked but ive been told…

    @Letizia the add is pure cheese but I love it!

  4. Jennifer July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    It’s excellent in the Apertass cocktail — as the name suggests, Aperol and Tassini.

  5. roberto February 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Although Cedrata is very common in Italy, it is not usually drink alone, but always with aperol or other alcholic drinks, to make coctails. This is why it is easier to get a bottle in a bar, rather than in a supermarket. Anyway there are many supermarkets that sell it in big bottles, like the Cedrata ARNONE

  6. […] Cedro (left) is quite similar to the lemon (right), but notice the difference in the pulp. Back in 1999, in┬áSouthern Italy, I just thought these were lemon on steroids. A girl picked one off the tree and used it to put in her hair… which is definitely one way to use it; however, I met a local Sicilian fruit vendor at the market this morning, and he told me that cedro is the right fruit for a refreshing drink called cedrata! […]

  7. Duccio – Tassoni Overdose Vol.2 November 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    […] to reconsider such a limited idea. Summer’s here mothafuckas – so uncork the beloved Cedrata and enjoy the […]

  8. Duccio – Tassoni Overdose Vol.1 November 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    […] The effects of a refreshing summer beverage, consumed in eccesive quantities, strikes once again – violently upon the vitals of the common man… and hardest on the selections of a DJ. Introducing the Tassoni Overdose series, Vol. 1 is Duccio’s most recent compilation: mixed in-house, each selection personally digitized from his (vast) vinyl collection. To be sure, this kind of patience and dedication is delivered only through ingesting obscene amounts of Italy’s most curious drink, Cedrata Tassoni (for inquisitive minds, more on that here). […]

  9. […] a couple craft libations such as a barrel aged Milano-Torino (Campari and Punt e Mes), a boozy cedrata along with a thoughtful selection of finger foods. Details: Open to the public, cost per drink […]

  10. bagwis December 6, 2015 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    You can easily get this kind of drink in fruit juice section usually its San Benedetto brand “Cedrata”

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