Kid-friendly "Chinotto" Orange Soft Drink Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: "Chinotto" Orange Soft Drink

Recipe: "Chinotto" Orange Soft Drink

"Chinotto" Orange Soft Drink

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by md.alaminrahman/Shutterstock.com
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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"Chinotto" Orange Soft Drink

The Italian soft drink "Chinotto" is crafted from the bitter citrus fruit of the same name, resulting in a beverage known for its distinct dark hue and bitter taste. In our version, we replaced bitterness with sweetness by swapping chinotto fruit for orange and introducing dark cherries' rich essence to achieve the classic color profile. Delizioso!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • smash :

    to break up food into smaller pieces or squash food to flatten or soften it.

Equipment Checklist

  • Pitcher
  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Wooden spoon
  • Strainer
scale
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Ingredients

"Chinotto" Orange Soft Drink

  • 1 orange
  • 3 C sparkling water
  • 2 big pinches granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C frozen pitted cherries
  • ice, optional

Instructions

"Chinotto" Orange Soft Drink

1.
measure + smash

Measure 1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries, 2 big pinches of sugar, and 1 unpeeled orange (sliced in half) and place them in a pitcher. Smash the ingredients together with a wooden spoon. Mix, mash, and smash for about 2 minutes. Count to 10 in Italian while you smash: 1 uno (OO-noh), 2 due (DOO-eh), 3 tre (treh), 4 quattro (KWAHT-troh), 5 cinque (CHEEN-kweh), 6 sei (SEH-ee), 7 sette (SET-teh), 8 otto (OHT-toh), 9 nove (NOH-veh), 10 dieci (dee-EH-chee).

2.
strain + pour

Strain the cherry and orange mixture through a strainer to remove all the pulp and seeds. Divide the cherry and orange syrup into cups. Add ice and sparkling water to fill all the cups. "Salute" or "Cheers'' in Italian!

Surprise Ingredient: Orange!

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Photo by Mariia Korneeva/Shutterstock.com

Hi!  I'm Orange!

“I'm both sweet and tart, and I'm best when I'm very juicy. Be careful when you peel my skin because my juice might squirt you in the eye! I make a refreshing breakfast juice and a tasty, nutritious snack. Since I'm a navel orange, my orange inside matches my orange outside, but my cousin, who's a blood orange, has orange skin and a dark red interior."

History & Etymology

  • The sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) is a citrus fruit and part of the Rutaceae family, also known as the rue or citrus family. It is a hybrid, a cross between the mandarin orange, a small citrus fruit, and the pomelo, the largest of the citrus fruits, similar in flavor to a grapefruit. 
  • Sweet oranges have been grown since ancient times, coming from the region of Southern China, Northeast India, and Myanmar. Chinese literature from 314 BCE mentions them.
  • Christopher Columbus may have planted orange trees in the New World on his second voyage in 1493.
  • Because oranges do not spoil quickly and are full of vitamin C, sailors planted orange and other citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy, which develops from a deficiency of vitamin C.
  • The navel orange is a variety that gets its name from the belly-button formation opposite the stem end. A 1917 USDA study reports that the navel orange may have developed from a mutation of a single orange in Brazil in the early 1800s. Another theory, though, is that it came from a similarly mutated Portuguese orange around the same time. The navel that forms is actually a second orange that begins to develop in the peel of the primary fruit. 
  • Blood oranges are a colorful variety with deep red or crimson flesh. They have been grown in the region of the southern Mediterranean since the 18th century, especially in Italy and Spain. The anthocyanins that cause the crimson color develop when the temperature is low at night. California has a Mediterranean-like climate, so that state grows the most blood oranges in the United States.
  • Valencia oranges are a hybrid developed by William Wolfskill, a man who was born in Kentucky and later became a Mexican citizen. Mexico still owned California when he received a land grant there. In addition to other crops, he grew Valencia oranges, named after the Spanish town known for its sweet oranges. These oranges have seeds and are grown primarily for their juice. 
  • Orange marmalade is a fruit preserve. Marmalades made with quince, lemon, and other fruit may have originated in ancient Rome. The first printed orange marmalade recipe was in a 1714 English cookbook. 
  • Brazil grows one-third of all the world's oranges. California and Florida are the largest producers of oranges in the United States.
  • Around 85 percent of all oranges produced are used for juice.
  • There are more than 400 varieties of oranges worldwide. Varieties are the result of mutations. 
  • The orange is Florida's official state fruit, orange juice its state beverage, and the orange blossom its state flower.
  • The word "orange" comes from late Middle English, from the Old French "orenge," from the Old Provençal "auranja," from the Arabic "nāranj," derived from the Persian "nārang," and based on "nāraṅga," the Sanskrit word for "orange tree," 

Anatomy

  • The orange tree is a citrus evergreen flowering plant. Its average height is 5 to 8 feet, but it can reach about 30 feet. They live 50 to 60 years.
  • Orange tree blossoms are white and have a wonderful fragrance. 
  • The fruit from citrus trees is called a hesperidium, a modified berry with a tough, leathery rind. Oranges have a bright orange outer rind covering the juicy, pulpy fruit. Lining the peel is the pith or white spongy tissue. Then there are the segments or carpels, typically ten of them, with many juice-filled vesicles or citrus kernels in each.
  • Oranges are seasonal citrus fruits. The flowers bloom in spring, and the fruit ripens in fall or winter. 
  • Can Oranges grow in Chicago or Colorado? No, because the ideal conditions for growing oranges are in subtropical areas with good amounts of sunshine yet moderate to warm temperatures (60 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Oranges are round to oval in shape, can be from 2 to 5 inches in diameter, and weigh 2 to 10 ounces.

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • When picking oranges from a tree, choose ones that smell sweet and are firm and heavy. Avoid ones that smell moldy. Color does not necessarily indicate ripeness. They will not ripen or get any sweeter once they have been harvested. 
  • When selecting oranges from the store, choose ones heavy for their size, indicating juiciness, and no soft spots on their firm, smooth rinds.
  • Store oranges at room temperature for about one week or in the fridge for four weeks. 
  • Peeled oranges can be eaten as a snack or added to salads, desserts, main dishes, sorbets, and drinks. 
  • Orange marmalade is made with every part of an orange except the seeds, although sometimes the pith is removed. The peel contains pectin, which helps the marmalade to set. The preferred type of orange to use is the Seville or bitter orange, which has more pectin. The fruit is boiled with sugar and water, and often the juice and zest of a lemon.
  • Orange zest is used to flavor dishes. Other uses of an orange peel include making fragrant oils for air freshening or cleaning and using the peels to repel insects and slugs.
  • Orange blossoms are highly fragrant and have long been used for weddings as cake decorations, part of bridal bouquets, and head wreaths. In addition, their essence is a component in some perfumes, and their petals can be used to make orange blossom water.

Nutrition

  • One orange is high in vitamin C—64 percent of the daily value! Vitamin C boosts immunity, lowers your disease risk, and aids in iron absorption and wound healing. 
  • Oranges also have a moderate amount of B-complex vitamins, especially thiamine (B1) and folate (B9). The B-complex vitamins help improve cell function, form red blood cells, and convert carbohydrates into energy.

 

What is Chinotto?

Photo by Tati Liberta/Shutterstock.com
  • The Italian soft drink Chinotto is crafted from small, bitter oranges of the same name, resulting in a beverage known for its distinct dark hue and bitter taste. 
  • The chinotto oranges grow on the myrtle-leaved orange tree in Italy and other Mediterranean countries. 
  • The bittersweet soda began to be produced commercially in Italy in the 1950s. It is consumed primarily in Italy and Malta.

Let's Learn About Italy!

Photo by Marina Andrejchenko/Shutterstock.com
  • Italy became a unified country in 1861, only 150 years ago. It is sometimes called "bel paese" or "beautiful country."  
  • Italians invented the piano and the thermometer! 
  • In ancient Roman mythology, two twin brothers named Romulus and Remus founded Rome, Italy's capital city. The myth says the twins were abandoned and then discovered by a she-wolf before being found and raised by a shepherd and his wife. Eventually (and after many exciting adventures), they found themselves at the location of Palatine Hill, where Romulus built "Roma." The Italian wolf became Italy's unofficial national animal. 
  • In the 1930s and 40s, Mussolini, Italy's prime minister, and dictator tried to eliminate all foreign words from the Italian language. How did he do that? He just changed them! For example, in soccer, "goal" became "meta." Disney character names changed, too: Donald Duck became "Paperino;" Mickey Mouse became "Topolino;" and Goofy became "Pippo." Although they're not banned anymore, these words and names have stuck. So now if you go to the Italian Disneyland, called Gardaland Park, you will see Topolino and Pippo! 
  • About 60 million people call Italy home, and it is 116,350 square miles, slightly larger than the US state of Arizona. If you compare that to the United Kingdom, 67 million people live there, and it is about 94,350 square miles. So, the UK is smaller than Italy but has a bigger population! 
  • The Italian flag is green, white, and red. These colors represent hope, faith, and charity.
  • The average Italian eats close to 55 pounds of pasta annually. If you think about how light pasta is, that is a considerable amount! There are more than 500 different types of pasta eaten in Italy today. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Italy?

  • Kids begin school at 6 years old. They grow up speaking Italian, but they learn English in school, so many become bilingual in Italian and English.
  • The most popular sport for kids is football (soccer). The Italian word for soccer is "calcio," the same word they use for "kick." A favorite of younger kids is "Rody, the bouncing horse," a plastic horse that a small child can hop onto and bounce around the room. Rody was invented in Italy in 1984.  
  • The family ("la famiglia") is a central characteristic of Italian life. Children have great respect for their older relatives. It is traditional to name the first male child after the grandfather and the first female child after the grandmother.
  • If kids live close to school, they can go home and have lunch with their families! Lunch at school might be pasta, meat with vegetables, a sandwich, or a salad with lots of ingredients. Families typically eat dinner later (7 to 8 pm), so kids end up staying up later, too!
  • Between lunch and dinner, kids often enjoy "merenda," which is an afternoon snack that translates to "something that is deserved." It is really a mini-meal that can include both savory and sweet foods. Examples of savory foods are a salami or mortadella sandwich, a slice of rustic bread rubbed with a cut, raw tomato, or "pizza bianca" (white pizza without tomato sauce). Types of sweet foods eaten during merenda are "gelato" (a lower-fat type of ice cream), any kind of cake, or biscotti dipped in warm milk.

THYME for a Laugh

Why did the cherry go to the chocolate factory?

It was cordially invited.

THYME for a Laugh

Why do oranges wear suntan lotion? 

Because they peel.

That's Berry Funny

Why did the orange stop at the top of the hill?

Because it ran out of juice!

THYME for a Laugh

What did the ice cream say to the fruit? 

"You are the Cherry on top!"

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