The Italian Job Cocktail Recipe

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The Italian Job 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 16, 2024


The Italian Job is a cocktail that embodies the spirit of Italy with its bold flavors and vibrant colors. It's a modern twist on the classic Negroni, substituting traditional gin with the zesty SKYY Infusions Blood Orange vodka. This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a bitter-sweet symphony and a nod to Italian aperitivo culture.

  • Origins: While not a traditional Italian cocktail, The Italian Job is inspired by Italy's love for bitter aperitifs and citrus flavors.
  • Popularity: It has gained popularity among those who enjoy contemporary cocktails with a classic foundation.
  • Ideal for: This cocktail is ideal for a summer evening or as a pre-dinner drink to stimulate the appetite.

How The Italian Job Tastes?

The Italian Job is a harmonious blend of sweet and bitter, with the blood orange vodka providing a fruity punch that is balanced by the herbal bitterness of Campari. The vermouth adds complexity and a hint of spice, while the grapefruit juice offers a subtle tartness. Overall, it's a robust, refreshing, and slightly bitter cocktail with a citrusy finish.

Interesting facts about The Italian Job

  • Innovative Twist: The Italian Job is a creative take on the Negroni, showcasing how vodka can be used in traditionally gin-based cocktails.
  • Citrus Highlight: The use of SKYY Infusions Blood Orange vodka highlights the trend of flavored spirits in modern mixology.
  • Garnish Importance: The grapefruit peel garnish is not just decorative; it adds aromatic oils to the surface, enhancing the drinking experience.


A few good options for The Italian Job are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

SKYY Infusions Blood Orange Vodka

The Blood Orange Vodka gives the cocktail a fresh citrus twist, making it vibrant and zesty. Too much could overpower the other ingredients, while too little might leave it tasting flat. If you swap it for plain vodka, you'll lose some citrus complexity, but you could make up for it with an extra touch of citrus juice or peel.

Alex Green


This bitter liqueur is the heart of many Italian cocktails, providing a deep, herbal backbone that contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of other ingredients. Omit it, and you'll miss the cocktail's signature bitterness—like a play without its lead actor. A possible alternative could be Aperol, which is sweeter and less bitter.

Mary Mitkina

Cinzano Rosso Vermouth

It's the balancing act in this cocktail, bringing sweetness and aromatic herbs that round out the flavors. Without it, the drink would skew too bitter. If not Cinzano, another sweet vermouth could step in, but each brand comes with its unique botanical mix.

Emma Rose

Grapefruit Juice

Just a splash adds a subtle tartness and freshness, enhancing the overall flavor profile. Overdo it, and the cocktail becomes too sour; skip it, and you’ll miss that refreshing zing. If unavailable, a squeeze of orange or lemon juice could serve as a substitute, though the flavor will be slightly altered.

Alex Green

Grapefruit Peel: Garnish

The garnish isn't just for looks—the oils released from the peel add an aromatic layer to your first sips. No garnish means missing that inviting fragrance. Lemon or orange peels are decent stand-ins but offer a different scent.

Mary Mitkina

Ice Cubes

Ice is the cocktail's silent hero, chilling the drink to perfection. Without it, you'd be sipping on a lukewarm puzzle of flavors rather than a refreshing concoction. No alternatives here, unless you count snow!

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make The Italian Job Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Pour 1 oz of SKYY Infusions Blood Orange Vodka, 1 oz of Campari, 1 oz of Cinzano Rosso Vermouth, and 0.25 oz of grapefruit juice into the shaker.
  3. Shake briefly until the mixture is well-chilled.
  4. Strain the mixture over fresh ice into a highball or Tom Collins glass.
  5. Garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel, expressing the oils over the drink before dropping it in.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the Glass: Before serving, chill the glass to keep the cocktail cold longer.
  • Fresh Juice: Always use fresh grapefruit juice for the best flavor.
  • Garnish Twist: When adding the garnish, twist it over the glass to release the essential oils before dropping it into the drink.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Charcuterie Boards: A selection that includes cured meats, cheeses, and olives complements the herbal and citrus notes of the cocktail.
  • Seafood: Grilled octopus, calamari, or shrimp dishes accentuate the Mediterranean flavors.
  • Spicy Foods: The bitterness of Campari can cut through the heat, pairing nicely with spicy Italian sausages or arrabbiata pasta.

Drink Pairings

  • Espresso: To finish the meal, an espresso can reset the palate after enjoying 'The Italian Job'.
  • Prosecco: For those who prefer to continue with cocktails, a crisp glass of Prosecco serves as a light, effervescent follow-up.

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What you could change in The Italian Job

  • Vodka: If SKYY Infusions Blood Orange is unavailable, any quality blood orange-flavored vodka can be used as a substitute.
  • Vermouth: While Cinzano Rosso is recommended, other sweet vermouths like Martini Rosso can be used in a pinch.
  • Campari: For a less bitter alternative, Aperol can be used, though it will result in a sweeter cocktail.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

The Sicilian Job

Replace the Campari with Averna for a less bitter, more caramel-like profile. The vermouth is switched with a dry Marsala wine, adding a nutty complexity. Add a pinch of sea salt to enhance the flavors.

Ingredients: 1oz SKYY Infusions Blood Orange Vodka, 1oz Averna, 1oz Dry Marsala Wine, 0.25oz Grapefruit Juice, Grapefruit Peel, Ice.

Recipe: Follow the original recipe, substituting the Campari with Averna and the Cinzano Rosso Vermouth with dry Marsala.

Taste: The drink will have a smoother, slightly sweet taste with a saline kick that brings out the citrus notes.

The Venetian Twist

Use Prosecco in place of vodka, adding refreshing bubbles. Infuse the grapefruit juice with rosemary for an herby touch. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Ingredients: 1oz Prosecco, 1oz Campari, 1oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth, 0.5oz Rosemary-Infused Grapefruit Juice, Rosemary Sprig, Ice.

Recipe: Build the drink in a glass over ice, topping it with Prosecco last. Use double the grapefruit juice, infused with fresh rosemary.

Taste: Lighter and bubbly, with a fragrant herbal twist that complements the existing flavors brilliantly.

Amalfi Coast Breeze

Substitute the blood orange vodka with limoncello and add a splash of soda water for effervescence. Garnish with a basil leaf for a fresh, herbaceous note.

Ingredients: 1oz Limoncello, 1oz Campari, 1oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth, 0.25oz Grapefruit Juice, Soda Water, Basil Leaf, Ice.

Recipe: Prepare as original, replacing the vodka with limoncello and topping the drink with soda water.

Taste: The limoncello brings a bright lemony flavor that, along with the soda, creates a more uplifted and refreshing cocktail.

In case you forgot basics how to make The Italian Job

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 The Italian Job

What type of glass is best suited for serving 'The Italian Job' cocktail?

A highball or Tom Collins glass is typically used for serving 'The Italian Job' to accommodate the ice and garnish, and to allow the colors of the cocktail to shine through.

Can 'The Italian Job' be batched for parties?

Yes, 'The Italian Job' can be prepared in large quantities for events. Combine the ingredients in a pitcher, refrigerate it, and serve over ice with a garnish. Adjust the ingredient ratios according to the number of servings needed.

Are there any non-alcoholic versions of 'The Italian Job'?

While not traditional, a mocktail version can be created by using non-alcoholic substitutes for the vodka, Campari, and vermouth, such as a blood orange soda and a non-alcoholic aperitif.

How long does it take to make 'The Italian Job' cocktail?

It typically takes just a few minutes to measure the ingredients, shake them with ice, and prepare the garnish, making 'The Italian Job' a quick cocktail option.

Can I use regular vodka if I don't have blood orange-flavored vodka?

Yes, regular vodka can be used in place of blood orange-flavored vodka. To maintain the citrusy profile, consider infusing the vodka with fresh blood orange peels or adding a splash of blood orange juice.

Is 'The Italian Job' suitable as a dessert cocktail?

While traditionally served as an aperitif, the sweetness from the vermouth and citrus notes can make 'The Italian Job' a pleasant post-dinner option, particularly if paired with a light dessert or fruit platter.

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