Delicious Sicilian drinks made with local blood oranges
Delicious Sicilian drinks made with local blood oranges

Sipping in Sicily: Our Guide To Sicilian Drinks

If you're looking for a refreshing treat, there's no better place to look to for inspiration than Sicily. From delicious aperitifs to full-bodied red wines produced on this glorious Italian island, there is something to quench every kind of thirst here. Without further ado, bottoms up! Or, as the Sicilians say, a saluti!

  • Espresso: These islanders like their coffee strong, so start your day Sicilian style and knock back a robust, steaming espresso at a busy bar in Palermo – standing up, of course!
  • Fresh blood orange juice: Sicily is the world's largest producer of this juicy crimson-coloured friot, so it'd be a shame not to gulp some down while you're staying on the island. Not a morning person? Well, why not add a splash of prosecco for a sensational sparkling drink to enjoy after five?
  • Sicilian craft beers: To wash down your lunchtime pizza, why not try one of Sicily’s new breed of craft beers? You’ll be following in some historic footsteps as research indicates that the Phoenicians were trading and consuming beer here as long ago as the 7th century BC. Modern craft breweries, such as the Catanian company Birrificio Timilia, use strong Sicilian infusions such as honey and lemon, to give their brews a characteristic flavour.
  • Nero D'Avola: This popular red wine is considered by many to be the characteristic wine of Sicily. Thought to have originated near Syracuse, the “black grapes of Avola” are now grown throughout the region. A fruity, peppery flavour that pairs well with rich meat dishes awaits. 
  • Marsala: The western town of Marsala is very much worth a visit for its Carthaginian port and ancient warship, but the area is, of course, also known for its eponymous dessert wine. A blend of white grape varietals, Marsala comes in three colours – golden, amber and ruby – and is thought to have been introduced to the area by English trader, John Woodhouse, at the end of the 18th century. Why not bring some home and stir into a pan of mushrooms as they cook down or add to a risotto?
  • Zibbibo: Lastly, while we’re on the subject of foreign introductions, let’s talk about Zibbibo. Apparently introduced by Saracen Arabs in around the 9th century AD, these white grapes grow throughout Sicily, and are used to make both fortified and non-fortified wines. On the tiny Sicilian outpost of Pantelleria, less than 40 miles east of Tunisia, the traditional production of two sweet Zibbibo moscatos has even earned local vintners a place on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list

Tempted by the tastes of this sun-soaked island? Treat yourself to a place on our flagship Classical Sicily tour, which departs multiple times throughout the year, and experience its flavours and history for yourself.