The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Over the last month the majority or my alcohol consumption has been in the form of the fermented grape, which, one might say, makes it difficult to refine fine cocktails to be shared with the drinking public, as proof to the contrary I offer you the bicicletta.

The history of this fine mixture continues to elude me despite hours and hours of research. I must admit that my research has been limited to making the drink and lounging on my porch, using the same search terms over and over in Google hoping for different results. For the sake of a refreshing summer beverage, I suggest coming up with your own history, incorporating a beautiful summer day in one of the Cinque Terre, a fantastic trattoria, and stolen glances at a man/woman across the patio.

The base of this drink is white wine, Italian of course, I prefer a crisp Pinot Grigio as it balances well with the second ingredient. The next ingredient is one of my very favorites, and one that no Italian cocktail should be without Campari. This can be constructed in either a glass or a wine goblet, depending on your taste. I typically use the glass because I find ice cubes sloshing around in a goblet awkward. Whatever your choice, fill it with ice and add equal parts of the Campari and wine, two ounces of each is a good amount. Splash enough club soda over the top to add fizz but not dilute the drink; usually just enough to fill the glass after the four ounces of Campari/wine have been added. Stir to mix and garnish with a slice of lemon. This is a very versatile drink that can be served throughout the day.

2 oz campari
2 oz pinot grigio
club soda
Pour the spirits into a glass filled with ice cubes and top with club soda. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

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