A couple weeks ago I was casually perusing the cold beverage case at my local Italian market, looking over the acqua frizzante and Aranciata and I found something I’ve never seen before: Sanbitter. It’s bottled by San Pelligrino but has it’s own very distinctive look, unlike the rest of the S.Pelligrino line of beverages.


It looks a lot like Campari and has “bitter” right there in the name, so I wasted no time in buying a bottle to try out. I served it over ice with an orange slice and wasn’t disappointed — it tastes like a slightly sweeter, carbonated Campari. I thought it was pretty good, but don’t expect to buy it again. I’m not a soda drinker, but it’s worth trying at least once. Sarai, needless to say, didn’t care for it.


Comments 13 Comments So Far

Niki Brown |

I drank that quite a bit in italy :) interesting stuff!

Kenn |

I never actually noticed it in Italy, but then, when I visit I tend to stick to Campari and soda or Campari e arancia.

eli Milchman

Kenn, I believe the Italians quaff this liquid almost exclusively as a palette cleanser, before a meal. Viewed in this context, the stuff may seem slightly less obnoxious.


where did you buy this? my wife loves it and we’ve only been able to buy this on travels abroad… she’s 7 mos pregnant and this is the only ‘cocktail’ drink that tastes worth having. can you let us know the name of your local italia mkt?

Kenn |

Well, I have no idea where you are, so my answer may not mean much to you. At the time I wrote this, I was living in Oakland and could buy Sanbitter at Genova Delicatessen, an Italian market and deli around the corner from my house. I now live in Portland and have found it at Pastaworks.

Hope that helps.


August 2010

You can get it at Italian wholesale groceries, find in the phone book —


We live in the Sacramento, CA area. We bought it at BevMo. We also have found it at Corti Brother’s Market in Sacramento. Corti Bros. is has a lot of Italian goodies. So maybe your best bet is to find it in an Italian Deli or grocery market.


this helps-ish. i’d search by ‘sanbitter/seattle’ when i first found your blog so i thought it made sense to ask the ‘where’ question. well, my tech skills underwelm me once again but this is a start. we’re up in seattle so maybe even a long haul to pdx may be in the cards if we can’t find something up here. thx


Any good Italian deli should stock the stuff. Seattle is fairly cosmopolitan, I’m sure you’ll find it there. I even found some in a little coffee shop along the coast just south of San Francisco.

Marco Conti |

It’s definitely an acquired taste, but if I find it I always buy some. It’s a nice change of page from the usual oversweet American soda.
What I really would like to find here is a San Pellegrino soda called “Aranciata Amara”. It’s an orange pop but with a bitter aftertaste.
I doubt it will even sell in the land of bioengineered oranges (Oranges in the 50’s were far less sweet). As a kid sometimes we had to put sugar in our OJ, it was that bitter (and red, incidentally). In the US it *is* sugar.

But if I have to drink soda, these days is Mexican Coke. Find it at your local Costco “Hecho in Mexico” and using pure cane sugar. Tastes like youth.

Kenn |

Aranciata Amara is available here and there. There’s a specialty food market here in Portland that sells it. Try to find an Italian import shop in your area.


When I went to California for vacation my brothers girlfriend told me about the place called 99cent only deals it’s in Glendora off Foothill on Vermont. Not far off 210 freeway. Anyway we bought a 10 Pack of Sanbitter for 99Cents. My wife enjoyed it. And still have 9 bottles so if you want to try it or already like it alot suggest you go there first to buy can’t beat 99cents for a case of soda!


Just tasted sanbitter and it is quite different. Do not think i would try again, but purchased it at Cortinas Delicatessen in anaheim,ca if you cant find it.