Picture it: Italy. Small local bar. Late afternoon. Old men playing cards, discussing politics, and arguing over who-knows-what, all while sipping a ruby red Bicicletta.
I won’t be going to Italy this summer, so I’ve been enjoying my aperitivo time at home, having my share of Negroni, Aperol Spritz, Vermouth & Soda… and then there is this interesting drink called the Bicicletta.
Created some time in the twenties, the bicicletta became synonymous with old men playing cards in late afternoons at the local bar, as I’ve described above.
This simple concoction originated in Northern Italy but is typically served at bars all around the country. Made with dry white wine and Campari, spritzed up with club soda, the bicicletta is a light, smooth and simple drink that goes down easy; so, a few of them pack quite a punch.
The name sounds like a title to a foreign film. La Bicicletta translates to the Bicycle. It is so called because after a few biciclette, one would typically be riding their bicycles criss-crossed and wobbly along the road back home; most of the time, in fact, they end up having to walk their bike home.
Note: Bars typically serve this drink topped with club soda, allowing for a long refreshing sipping experience. Restaurants, on the other hand, tend to serve it without the club soda as a pre-dinner drink.
- 1.5 oz. Campari
- 2.5 oz. dry white wine
- club soda
- 1 lemon wheel (or peel)
- Fill highball glass with ice.
- Add Campari and dry white wine.
- Top with club soda.
- Garnish with lemon wheel (or peel).