Cocchi Americano is a beloved aperitif that has been extensively used by bartenders to make a wide range of cocktails and delicious recipes.
Its flavor is easily recognizable and possesses the ability to add a new dimension of depth to classic beverages.
But is Cocchi Americano irreplaceable? No!
What are the best substitutes for Cocchi Americano? The best substitute for Cocchi Americano will be any wine that can provide the same sweet, tangy, and slightly bitter flavor. There are plenty of substitutes, such as Amaro Angeleno, Salers Aperitif, St. Germain with Angostura Bitters, and more!
Read below to learn more about the origin of Cocchi Americano, its flavor, its uses, and our top 7 substitutes!
What Is Cocchi Americano?
In the context of its popularity, Cocchi Americano can be called a “sleeper hit”.
The wine was introduced in the 19th century by a pastry chef named Giulio Cocchi, but only received full recognition during the mid-2010s – and that was because of a shortage of another popular liquor (more on this in a bit).
Cocchi Americano is a white wine that is infused with spices, fruits, herbs, and botanicals.
It was initially created to cater to a growing demand for low-alcoholic beverages that could pair well with ingredients and help add a unique flavor.
A 750ml bottle of will typically have an ABV of 16.5%, making it a fantastic addition to all kinds of cocktails and beverage recipes.
The secret of this wine is its inclusion of quinine, which adds a unique and mature bitter flavor. Of course, the rest of the ingredients are a trade secret, but you can easily sniff out the fruity and botanical notes in this aperitif.
The reason for its sudden popularity is owed to the discontinuation of Kina Lillet, a similar-tasting wine that was the default choice for bartenders.
Cocchi Americano also became popular because it is now used to make a Vesper Martini (which previously used Kina Lillet), a famous beverage from the James Bond series.
Check out this video from bestdrinkrecipes on YouTube if you’d like to try this world-renowned drink!
What Does Cocchi Americano Taste Like?
The recipe for Cocchi Americano has remained unchanged for over 130 years, which says a lot about how much people love the original recipe!
Cocchi Americano has several distinct characteristics:
On its own, Cocchi Americano has a distinctly sweet and spicy aroma. It is also infused with fruity notes like orange blossom and orange zest. You will also find hints of elderflower, with just a tad bit of bitterness from the herbs too.
Since this white wine was created by a pastry chef, many people claim to also link some of its aromatic notes to baked apples and pears.
The exact recipe for this aperitif is locked away so there is no way to confirm its exact subtle notes – but you can expect it to bring out the best in many other beverages!
Many people associate Cocchi Americano with bitter wine – but it is so much more than that. Its bitterness is only a small part of the complex and balanced palette that it provides.
You can easily detect flavor notes of cloves and cinnamon that are accentuated with fruity undertones. This wine also carries a refreshing orange and lemon zest flavor that pairs well with a lot of cocktail recipes.
All of these flavor notes are carried on the back of the classic white wine undertones that provide a wide canvas for Cocchi Americano’s fruity, herbal, and spicy flavors!
How To Use Cocchi Americano
This wine is used as an ingredient in several different beverages. In general, you can expect to see Cocchi Americano used in every recipe that calls for Kina Lillet.
Here are some of the most famous beverages flavored using Cocchi Americano:
- The Vesper – James Bond’s favorite martini!
- Mezcal Negroni – A smoky version of a classic Italian aperitivo.
- Citrusy White Negroni – A more floral-tasting classic negroni with the same bitterness.
- Lavender-Infused Cocchi – A lavender-infused cocktail with bitter and floral notes.
Want more variety? Then check out these lesser-known drinks that are made with Cocchi Americano:
- Downhill Darling
- Corpse Reviver No. 2
- Cocchi Spritz
- Clarity With Lavender
- Cocchi Irlandese
- Cocchi & Soda
- One For The Money
- Italian Cocchi And Prosecco
It’s safe to say that as long as mixologists keep experimenting with this aperitif, you’ll keep seeing new recipes!
Best Substitutes For Cocchi Americano
If you are fresh out of Cocchi Americano, then you’re in luck! After extensive (and delicious) research, we have found several substitutes that can mimic the flavor and aromatic notes found in Cocchi Americano.
Here are some of the best substitutes for Cocchi Americano:
Originating from Los Angeles, Amaro Angeleno is a fantastic combination of brandy and pinot grigio.
It has hints of high-quality herbs like thyme and gentian yet also provides a smooth, citrusy flavor note.
Unlike Cocchi Americano, this beverage has a darker color but shares more or less the same aromatics and flavor finishes.
You can use equal parts of Amaro Angeleno for a serving of Cocchi Americano!
The Kina L’Avion d’Or is a French aperitif that contains quinine, which gives it a flavor similar to Cocchi Americano.
This beverage is also known for sharing the same versatility as Kina Lillet and Cocchi Americano, which means that you can freely use this aperitif as an easy substitute for either liquor.
Kina L’Avion d’Or is also a popular ingredient in drinks such as the 20th Century, Corpse Reviver #2, and Vesper.
You can also drink this aperitif on its own (either chilled, on ice, or mixed with soda or tonic water) if you’re looking for a low-alcohol refreshment.
Hailing from France, this aperitif was created around the same time as Cocchi Americano, which makes it one of the oldest drinks in France.
Just like Cocchi Americano, Salers Aperitif also contains the same citrusy and bitter notes. It is just the right amount of sweet and has nearly all of the aromatic notes as well.
You can use Salers Aperitif in the same quantity as Cocchi Americano in every drink!
St Germain and Angostura Bitters is a floral and aromatic mixed drink that comes very close to tasting like Cocchi Americano.
While St Germain is a sweet liqueur, you can pair it with bitters to make it taste very close to not just Cocchi Americano, but Kina Lillet too!
This mixture can be used in the same proportions as Cocchi Americano. We encourage you to try it in dry martinis and other cocktails for the best experience.
Want a blend that focuses more on the citrusy, sweet, and bitter flavor of oranges? Then we highly recommend going with Reserve Jean De Lillet as a substitute.
This is the perfect ingredient for adding a complex level of flavor to your cocktails.
Since Reserve Jean De Lillet shares a lot of the aromatic and flavor notes of Cocchi Americano, you can use it in the same proportions to make all your drinks!
6. Kina Lillet/Lillet Blanc
We can’t talk about Cocchi Americano without mentioning its hugely popular predecessor, Kina Lillet. This liquor is credited to have helped create most of the recipes that Cocchi Americano is used in.
The original recipe of Kina Lillet has been discontinued since 1986 due to international pressure, which forced winemakers to remove the quinine in the beverage.
Today, you can find a separate variant of this iconic liquor called Lillet Blanc. We suggest that you add cocktail bitters for a distinct herbal flavor, then substitute for Cocchi Americano with this altered concoction!
Cocchi Americano Rosa has everything that makes Cocchi Americano so great – but with a more bitter flavor.
If you love the bitter notes in the original aperitif, then we highly recommend that you try out this variant. It provides the same floral and herbal flavors with stronger aromatics!
An important distinction to keep in mind is that Cocchi Americano Rosa has a pinkish-red color that may affect the overall look of the beverages you add it to.
We recommend going with a smaller proportion of this variant when substituting for Cocchi Americano unless you want to intentionally focus on the stronger notes, in which case, you can use equal proportions.
Cocchi Americano is just as famous as its predecessor, Kina Lillet, but it’s pretty easy to substitute if you have the right liqueurs.
Now that you know the best substitutes, here are some related questions!
Does Cocchi Americano need to be refrigerated?
Yes. Cocchi Americano must be sealed and kept in the fridge at 40°F after opening, especially if you do not plan to finish it in a few days. The liquor can go bad after a month so it should be consumed before it starts to dip in quality.
If you notice any flavor, aromatic, or color changes then you should assume that the liquor has gone bad!
Are Cocchi Americano and vermouth the same?
No. Even though vermouth shares a lot of the same flavor notes as Cocchi Americano, they are fundamentally different in subtle ways.
Cocchi Americano has a sweet, complex, and citrusy flavor with a bitter finish. It is typically sweeter than dry vermouth because it’s made with Moscato wine.
If you do want to use vermouth, then we suggest that you pair white vermouth with Cocchi Americano for the same great flavor and aromatic notes.