Italian Stallion Cocktail Recipe

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Italian Stallion Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Italian Stallion cocktail is inspired by the famous movie character, Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone. This cocktail is a favorite among fans of the movie franchise and those who appreciate Italian flavors. It combines the boldness of Italian spirits with the refreshing taste of citrus fruits, making it a perfect drink for any occasion.

  • Created in the late 20th century
  • Popular among movie enthusiasts and Italian spirit lovers
  • Ideal for parties and gatherings

How Italian Stallion Tastes?

The Italian Stallion cocktail is a well-balanced mix of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. It has a strong and bold taste, with a hint of citrus freshness, making it a delightful and invigorating drink.

Interesting facts about Italian Stallion

  • The name 'Italian Stallion' is a nod to the iconic movie character, Rocky Balboa
  • The cocktail is a fusion of Italian spirits and fresh citrus flavors
  • It is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed during any season


Campari (1 oz)

Why we need it: Campari is the heart of bitterness in our drink, giving it that iconic punch. Why not more or less? Too much can overpower, too little, and you'll miss the essence of the Italian aperitif experience. Remove it, and you lose the soul of the cocktail.

Emma Rose

Aperol (1 oz)

Aperol brings a playful sweetness and lighter bitter notes, acting as Campari's charming sidekick. It softens the bitterness and adds a complexity that's irreplaceable. Without Aperol, the cocktail becomes too one-dimensional.

Alex Green

Lemon juice (0.5 oz)

The tartness from the lemon juice is essential for balance. It cuts through the sweetness and adds a refreshing zing. Less juice, and the drink becomes too sweet; more, and it turns into a sour face-inducer. It's the bright spark in our Italian romance.

Mary Mitkina

Simple syrup (0.5 oz)

We're not making a salad dressing, so the simple syrup is here to harmonize the bitter with the sour. Subtract it, and your pucker might just become a permanent fixture. Trust me, you'll want that bit of sweet.

Emma Rose

Prosecco (2 oz)

Our bubbly friend Prosecco lifts the whole ensemble with its effervescence, cutting through the heaviness and brightening the drink. A different bubbly? Sure, but Prosecco adds Italian authenticity—and who doesn't love that?

Alex Green

Orange wheel (1)

A slice of orange isn't just wheelie decorative; it adds a fruitiness and a hint of sweetness that complements the cocktail's bitterness.

Mary Mitkina

Grapefruit twist (1)

And for the final twist, grapefruit brings a tangy, aromatic garnish that feels like taking a stroll through Sicilian orchards. No twist, no flair—it's that simple!

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Italian Stallion Drink

  1. In a shaker, combine Campari, Aperol, lemon juice, and simple syrup
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well
  3. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice
  4. Top with Prosecco
  5. Garnish with an orange wheel and a grapefruit twist

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh citrus juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer.
  • Shake well to properly mix all the ingredients.

Perfect Pairings


  • Parmigiano-Reggiano: Its nuttiness compliments the bitter and citrus notes of the cocktail.
  • Pecorino Romano: A sharper cheese that can stand up to the strong flavors of the drink.


  • Olives: Their briny flavor pairs well with the bitterness of Campari and Aperol.
  • Bruschetta: The fresh tomatoes and basil balance the sweetness and acidity.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Seafood: Light proteins like shrimp or calamari don't overpower the drink.
  • Pizza Margherita: The simple flavors of tomato, mozzarella, and basil complement the cocktail without competing.


  • Lemon Gelato: Echoes the citrus element of the drink.
  • Dark Chocolate: Contrasts and cuts through the bitterness.

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What you could change in Italian Stallion

  • Campari: Can be replaced with another bitter aperitif.
  • Aperol: Can be substituted with another orange liqueur.
  • Prosecco: Any sparkling wine can be used.

Explore all drinks starting with I here

And of course - twists🍹

Twist #1: Mediterranean Breeze

  • Swap Prosecco for sparkling water for a lighter version.
  • Add a sprig of rosemary. This twist brings a herbal note and is perfect for those wanting a less alcoholic option. The rosemary's aroma is like a whiff of Italian coastlines while lounging on the Amalfi coast.

Twist #2: Bitter Sunset

  • Use blood orange juice instead of lemon.
  • Top with a splash of soda water. The blood orange juice adds a sweet, berry-like tang and deepens the color for a visual and flavorful twist. The soda water inclusion adds sparkle without changing the alcohol content significantly.

Twist #3: Spicy Stallion

  • Muddle a few slices of jalapeño in the shaker before adding ingredients.
  • Use honey syrup in place of simple syrup. The jalapeño's heat adds a kick that makes this stallion truly wild, and the honey syrup smooths the ride. This variant is for the daredevils who enjoy a fiery dimension in their sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make Italian Stallion

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Italian Stallion

What is the alcohol content of the Italian Stallion?

Given the ingredients, the alcohol content can vary; however, it is generally considered to be a relatively strong cocktail due to Campari, Aperol and Prosecco.

What is the best time to consume the Italian Stallion cocktail?

While it can be enjoyed any time of the year, the Italian Stallion, with its vibrant citrus notes, makes it a particularly refreshing choice for summer evenings.

Is the Italian Stallion cocktail suitable for beginners in mixology?

Yes, this cocktail does not require complex bartending skills and can be easily reproduced by beginners in mixology.

What is a good food pairing with this cocktail?

With its robust citrus flavors and bittersweet notes, the Italian Stallion pairs very well with light appetizers like cheese plates or Mediterranean-style tapas.

Can the Italian Stallion be made non-alcoholic?

Altering the original recipe for a non-alcoholic or 'mocktail' version might change the taste significantly. However, non-alcoholic substitutes for Aperol, Campari and Prosecco are available in the market.

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