The Bicicletta is a delightful Italian aperitivo that tastes like a leisurely summer breeze captured in a glass. Its simplicity conceals a symphony of flavors—crafted effortlessly with white wine, Campari, and a splash of soda water.
This beverage has gracefully woven itself into the fabric of relaxed evenings and pre-dinner gatherings. Its charm lies not only in its effortless assembly but in its inherent ability to refresh. The taste balances the bitter notes from the Campari softened by the subtle effervescence of soda water and the gentle flavor of white wine.
The Bicicletta cocktail is a classic Italian aperitif that has been enjoyed for decades. Its name, which means “bicycle” in Italian, is said to have originated from the old men who would wobble home on their bikes after an evening of drinking Biciclettas with their friends.
The Bicicletta is similar to other Italian aperitivos like the Negroni and the Americano, but it is lighter and more refreshing. The Bicicletta is one of many examples of regional differences across Italy in the name of what is essentially the same drink. It is a popular drink in the northern regions of Italy, particularly in Milan and Venice.
In recent years, the Bicicletta has gained popularity outside of Italy and has become a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts around the world. It is a perfect drink for warm summer evenings or as an aperitif before a meal.
How to Make It
- 2 oz Campari
- 3 oz Dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
- Sparkling water or club soda, to top
- Orange slice or wheel (for garnish)
- Fill a highball glass generously with ice.
- Pour Campari and dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc) into the glass.
- Top off the mixture with sparkling water or club soda.
- Gently stir the ingredients to blend them together.
- Garnish your creation with an orange slice or wheel.
There are several variations of the Bicicletta cocktail that you can try. Here are a few popular ones:
Instead of Campari, you can use Aperol to make this cocktail. Aperol is a lighter and sweeter alternative to Campari, and it pairs well with soda water and white wine. To make an Aperol Bicicletta, combine 2 oz of Aperol, 4 oz of dry white wine, and 2 oz of soda water in a glass filled with ice. Stir well and garnish with an orange slice.
If you prefer a bubbly version of the Bicicletta, you can use prosecco instead of soda water. Prosecco is a dry and sparkling Italian wine that adds a refreshing fizz to the cocktail. To make a Prosecco Bicicletta, combine 2 oz of Campari, 4 oz of dry white wine, and 2 oz of prosecco in a glass filled with ice. Stir well and garnish with a lemon twist.
If you want a lighter and less alcoholic version of the Bicicletta, you can skip the wine and use only soda water. This variation is perfect for a hot summer day when you want a refreshing and hydrating drink. To make a Soda Water Bicicletta, combine 2 oz of Campari and 4 oz of soda water in a glass filled with ice. Stir well and garnish with a lime wedge.