If you enjoy bitter drinks like americanos, negronis, and Aperol spritz, then you’ll LOVE the Bicyclette! This super simple cocktail doesn’t need a cocktail shaker or lots of unusual ingredients, just some Campari, white wine, lemon, and ice.
This incredibly quaffable apéritif dates back to 1930s Italy and can be called the “Bicyclette”or “Bicicletta”, meaning “bicycle” in French and Italian. The name was apparently inspired by the sight of elderly men wobbling home on their bikes after a few afternoon tipples at the café. It also references the fact that unable to drive, many people take a wobbly bike ride home. Despite the boozy story, the Bicyclette is actually quite a light drink. This makes it a very refreshing pre-dinner drink and a great choice for summer picnics.
- 100ml dry white wine
- 50ml Campari
- soda (optional)
- ice cubes
How to Make a Bicyclette Cocktail
- Add 2-3 ice cubes to a glass and pour over Campari and white wine.
- Top up with soda water (if using) to lengthen your drink.
- Add lemon wedges and stir gently.
And there you have a refreshing and light pre-dinner cocktail! Drink with some snacks like crisps, olives, or grissini and you have a wonderful Italian aperitivo.
If you fancy something a little sweeter, substitute Campari with Aperol to make an Aperol Spritz without the spritz.
The traditional ratio for the Bicyclette is equal parts Campari to white wine. In this recipe we’ve added more white wine than Campari, to balance out the bitterness, but feel free to add more Campari for an extra bitter kick!
And if you liked this, you’ll love our recipe for a Negroni Sbagliato!