Cinzano is an Italian brand of vermouth, a brand owned since 1999 by Gruppo Campari.
Cinzano comes in four versions:
- Cinzano Rosso, the original, which is amber-coloured, with a "delicate yet persistent and characteristic aftertaste"
- Cinzano Bianco, which is white and drier than Rosso, and a sweet vermouth served chilled and enjoyed straight as an apéritif or as an ingredient in a cocktail
- Cinzano Extra Dry, a delicately flavoured dry vermouth
- Cinzano Rosé, the newest of the four, rosy-coloured with orange highlights and a flavour of roses
Cinzano vermouths date back to 1757, in the Turin herbal shop of two brothers, Giovanni Giacomo and Carlo Stefano Cinzano, who created a new “Vermouth Rosso” (red vermouth) using "aromatic plants from the Italian Alps
in a [still-secret] recipe combining 35 ingredients (including marjoram
and [a species of Achillea
called] musk yarrow
)." What became known as the "vermouth of Turin" proved popular with the bourgeoisie of Turin, and (later), Casanova
Cinzano Bianco followed, based on a different combination of herbs that included artemisia (wormwood), cinnamon, cloves, citrus and gentian; it was followed by an Extra Dry version.
Exports began in the 1890s, to Argentina, Brazil, the USA, among others.
In Paris in 1912, Cinzano was the first product to be advertised with a neon sign.
Cinzano remained a family-run business until 1985. Beginning that year, the Marone family, Turin industrialists, began to sell shares of the business, culminating in 1992 with an agreement to turn Cinzano International S.A. entirely over to International Distillers and
Vintners Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grand Metropolitan. At the time of its sale, Cinzano's share of the vermouth market in Europe was measured in the low single digits, sales that placed it a distant second to Martini.
As a result of a 1997 merger, Grand Metropolitan became Diageo; two years later, Diageo sold Cinzano to the privately-held Gruppo Campari.
In 2000, Cinzano's 1979 "Airliner" advertisement, featuring Joan Collins
and Leonard Rossiter
, was named the 11th best television commercial of all time, in a poll conducted by The Sunday Times
and Channel 4
Cinzano is involved in sponsoring many sporting and racing events, mainly the motogp series.