I love a good cocktail. Oh boy I do.
However, I don’t claim to be an aficionado. And I dislike appending the label “snob” or even “nerd” after “cocktail”. Although, I am that person who specifies a gin to dry vermouth ratio (3:1) when I order a Martini. Because heck, when we get down to brass tacks, I’ll drink whatever you hand me, if you’re paying and the company is good.
To me, drinking a cocktail is not an exclusive act. I’m crushing a gin & tonic, the sun is just about to set, and the barbecue is about to get scooped off the grill. Croquet is out. The grass is cool beneath my feet as I stroll over to the house to mix one up for a friend.
It’s a feeling. Even if I’m sitting at a bar in the dead of winter, that sense of being carefree during a warm, summer evening is right there, on the tip of my tongue—I can taste it with every sip of my crisp G&T.
While the gin & tonic imbues a feeling of nostalgia. There are some cocktails that make me feel classy as fuck. No matter where or when I order them. The Last Word is one of them. Same with a Vieux Carre.
But this isn’t about them. It’s about the Bicicletta. Because that’s what I’m enjoying right now. And this cocktail makes me feel like a goddamn badass.
When I say badass. I mean like I’m ready to go and fight Xenomorphs on LV-426 and I still find it within me to throw a few jabs at my comrades, just for good measure.
Perhaps it’s the dryness of the white wine cut with the bitterness of the Campari. Or that I simply imagine this would be the cocktail of choice for Don Corleone come Thursday at 5pm when he’s musing over his next power move and planning who’s turn it is to “disappear”. Not to say I condone that behavior. But even the Godfather deserves to enjoy a well balanced cocktail from time to time.
So, as I sit and sip on my own version of a Bicicletta, I share with you what I’ve found to be the general standard for this libation. Mine simply excludes club soda, because fuck that. But I’m not judging if you drink it with the added bubbly. This is your ride. Not mine. Enjoy.
- 2 oz Campari
- 2 oz Pinot Grigio (or similar dry Italian white wine)
- club soda
Pour the Campari and wine into a glass filled with ice cubes and top with club soda. Garnish with a slice of lemon.