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Martini La Classica | 5 Italian-style Cocktails | Cycling around!

Updated: Mar 29



Here at Cocktails For You we spend a lot of time covering numerous events around the globe - there’s bar shows, conferences, products launches, awards ceremonies and competitions. Never before had we been asked to travel somewhere to watch bartenders, generally a pretty unfit bunch, cycle for 2 days in order to raise money for charity. There would be little alcohol, no one is raising awareness for their product and generally everyone is talking bananas, hydration & stamina. We didn’t really think this could be something we would get THAT into ourselves but never have we been proven so wrong before & never have we wanted to get on a bike more than after the MARTINI RACING Ciclismo La Classica!


The premise: MARTINI has been sponsoring numerous sports related activities for over 100 years now and specifically the Martini Racing team has existed for over 50 and we think that’s insane considering the events that happened around the world in the last century! As people we’ve come to become sceptical of big brands sponsoring anything nowadays, especially if you consider that alcohol & sport are two things that can be completely counter-productive to one another.

Yet we at Cocktails For You believe in human beings and behind every brand there are people with emotions, ideas & passion. Every sceptic is just a disappointed optimist and after the La Classica event Cocktails For You had definitely had its spirits lifted!

So the idea behind La Classica was very simple - take 45 bartenders from every corner of the world, help them prepare for 2/3 months before the event & then have them cycle 240 kilometres through vermouth and Asti country in the Piedmonte region of Italy with the finish line being the historical home of Martini in Pessione. All of this was done also to raise money for international charity “Wine to Water” which provides safe drinking water around the world where it is hard to get it.


Our job at Cocktails For You was to follow the riders, cover the event on our Instagram channel & have our own Aperitivo Cocktail Tour to highlight classic Italian cocktails, new twists and an original or two. We were also collaborated earlier in the year with Martini & hosted our own online competition where we picked a winner at random to join us for this event in Italy. Our lucky winner was Mariia Baranets from Ukraine, she was our champion of the La Classica event, an avid biker and it was her dream to come to Italy for many years, so we were proud that her first time was with Cocktails For You!

The Aperitivo Tour:

We had five stops on this trip on our way to the home of Martini & we had to create/re-create five cocktails that were inspired by every location. Interestingly enough, every drink ended up really reflecting the emotional condition of the cyclists on their journey. Let us begin:

Stop No. 1 - The Martini Terraza in Milan. Distance - 0 km

As all the riders gathered for a brief about the road ahead, got to know each other and enjoyed a drink it really felt like the calm before the storm. Situated in the heart of Milan above the beautiful Duomo Cathedral, the cocktail chosen to represent this moment was the classic ‘La Bicicletta’.

‘La Bicicletta’ (twist)

Ingredients:

25ml Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato

25ml Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter

50ml Dry white wine

Top with soda

Method: Build & stir

Glass: Highball

Garnish: Orange zest


Stop No. 2 - Coffee in the fields. Distance - 44 km

The first leg of the trip happened to be the longest single stretch of the trip without a break. It was here that we started to find concerns on the faces of riders as their initial confident smiles became covered with sweat. Just like a cup of morning coffee to “wake you up” some of our travellers finally understood the task that lay ahead of them. In this case we combined a popular new combination of coffee & tonic in a cocktail dubbed the ‘Café Rubino.

‘Café Rubino’

Ingredients:

60ml Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino

20ml Fresh espresso

Top with tonic

Method: Build & Stir

Glass: Old Fashioned

Garnish: Nothing - Nada - a smile?


Stop No. 3 - The hills of Asti. Distance - 120km

At the end of the first day the riders all encountered the big behemoth end boss that are the rolling hills of the Asti region. This is where a lot of the sweeter sparkling wines are made in Italy and the unique landscape covered in grape vines was a beauty to behold. While we were lucky to enjoy all this from the back of our media van, this was the real test for some of the participants. That being said, the looks and smiles on people’s faces after they arrived at the final destination and we were waiting for them with drinks in our hands was priceless. The prize always tastes best when you’ve worked for it! The drink in question was the ‘Sbagliato’ to test them on their choice to participate.

‘Sbagliato’ (twist) Ingredients:

30ml Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino

30ml Martini Riserva Speciale Bittero

Top with Martini Asti

Method: Build & stir

Glass: Copa

Garnish: Lemon Wedge


Stop No. 4 - Relais San Maurizio. Distance - 190km

Close but no cigar as we rested on the second day at the highest point of the ride with the rest of journey now a downhill stretch to Casa Martini. Interestingly this is where we discovered an interesting fact behind the work of the Martini Master Herbalist, Ivano Tonutti. Ivano selects all the botanicals in Bombay Sapphire Gin and Martini vermouth. He also created the new Martini RS Bitter to be especially designed to work together with the other two to make the ultimate Negroni cocktail.

The Martini Negroni

Ingredients:

30ml Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter

30ml Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino

30ml Bombay Sapphire Gin

Method: Build & stir

Glass: Old Fashioned

Garnish: Orange slice

Stop No. 5 - Casa Martini. Distance - 240km

This is was it! The finish line, the resting place, the journey’s end and last stop on the Aperitivo Tour. We managed to get here before the riders did and we got a personalised mini-tour of the house where the original family of Martini actually lived. Funnily enough the founders and partners of ‘Cocktails for You’ first met in the Casa Martini and that is where they became friends. So this was really a home-coming for both us and the cyclists! As they finally crossed the gates we sprayed them all with sparkling wine and hugged our wildcard Mariia Baranets. We dedicate this moment to her and she dedicates it with our drink for La Classica 2018.


The La Classica cocktail 2018 – Viva Vittoria! Ingredients:

50ml Martini Riserva Special Rubino

50ml Fresh Sicilian Orange Juice

100ml Peroni beer

Method: Build & Stir

Glass: Copa

Garnish: Cucumber

As the riders got off their bikes for the last time in two days, celebrated together the tough journey behind them and congratulations were given out to all we couldn’t feel but a little envious for them here at Cocktails For You. They all bonded over this amazing mutual test of strength, stamina & willpower as opposed to the usual drink, hangover & greasy breakfast. Although they were all enjoying the moment with an aperitivo in hand, now and some of them might even have a little headache tomorrow, what really connected them all was the arduous adventure behind them.

We love a challenge at Cocktails For You.

Maybe next year, right?