low angle photo of man riding bicycle

The Protected Bike Lane: A Cocktail Celebration of Cyclist Safety

The Protected Bike Lane – it’s not just the name of Ann Arbor’s exciting new downtown traffic development, it’s also the name of a recent custom cocktail creation. A celebratory homage to this game-changing local project, The Protected Bike Lane cocktail mirrors its real-world counterpart in boldness and embodies the spirit of progress and excitement in its unique blend of flavors.

This creation journey was a tribute to the classic Boulevardier and Man o War cocktails, but with a twist to pay respect to our city’s newest road feature. I aimed for a 2-1-1 ratio served neat (because who wants rocks in their bike lane), with the leading role given to a classic American whiskey, and in this case, Maker’s Mark bourbon was the star. I set out to create a cocktail that was both visually appealing and a balanced blend of flavors. But, just like the planning and execution of a real bike lane, there were challenges along the way.

My initial quest was to give the cocktail a green hue, reminiscent of the actual bike lane. Green Chartreuse was an option, but it’s a tough ingredient to work with and currently hard to come by. After a few trials, I found the right balance without relying on color.

Now let’s talk glassware. Although the coupe glass was my first love, it’s resemblance to a car felt a tad inappropriate for a bike-themed cocktail. The Nick and Nora glass, with its elegant shape, seemed fitting.

For the garnish, a torched lemon wheel was the perfect choice. Not only did it add an extra depth of flavor, but it also mimicked a bike wheel floating atop the cocktail.

After a few tweaks and changes, I landed on a winning recipe, simple, bourbon forward and refreshing. Perfect to unwind with after a calm ride through downtown.

This cocktail, the Protected Bike Lane, offers a balance of strong, bitter, and citrusy notes – a delightful mix that encapsulates the spirit of our beloved Ann Arbor and its ongoing commitment to safety and innovation. Here’s to Ann Arbor’s first protected bike lane, hopefully, the first of many more to come. Cheers!

The Protected Bike Lane

Celebrate Ann Arbor's first protected bike lane with a namesake cocktail. Explore its unique blend of Maker's Mark, Amaro Nonino, and citrus.
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Drink
Calories 206 kcal


  • 2 oz Bourbon Maker’s Mark
  • 1 oz Amaro Nonino
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Dry Curaçao


  • Char a lemon wheel (either with a kitchen torch or in a hot skillet)
  • Set aside to cool
  • Chill a Nick and Nora glass (or other stemware) in the freezer
  • Shake all the ingredients with ice until chilled
  • Double strain into your prepared glass
  • Garnish with a charred lemon wheel to complete the presentation
Keyword bourbon drinks, cyber mixology original, shaken drinks, straight up

2 thoughts on “The Protected Bike Lane: A Cocktail Celebration of Cyclist Safety”

    1. I’ve seen it at a few swanky cocktail places so I wanted to try my hand at it. Just got my cast iron real hot and gave it a couple minutes on each side. But it’s something you could totally prepare a batch of in advance.

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