Boulevardier

Looking for a new cocktail to try out this weekend? Want to wind down with a fresh new drink? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should drink this weekend.

The Boulevardier, a French term which loosely translated means “man about town” or “socialite,” is a close cousin of one of our favorite classic cocktails: the Negroni. Simply swap in bourbon for gin and you’ve got the Boulevardier. Popularized in the first half of the 20th Century, the Boulevardier has quietly become a popular cocktail these days. And it makes sense. The Negroni has taken the cocktail world by storm so any off-shoots or close relations have risen in popularity too. Plus, it’s damn simple to make and hard to truly mess up.

It’s a three-part cocktail though unlike with a Negroni, some bartenders wouldn’t consider the Boulevardier a 1:1:1 drink. Bourbon (or occasionally rye) will normally take center stage here with vermouth and Campari playing backup roles. The marriage of the three spirits results in a balanced sweet, bitter, herbaceous cocktail. Save the Boulevardier for a chilly winter evening as a pre-dinner beverage or while winding down the night.

Boulevardier Ingredients

  • Bourbon – Don’t settle for a bottom-shelf bourbon with this cocktail but, because you’ll be exclusively mixing with other spirits, you don’t need to snag your most prized bourbon. Buffalo Trace or Four Roses could be good options. Additionally, it’s become increasingly popular to sub in rye whiskey or at least a rye-forward bourbon in the Boulevardier. While it’s a slight riff on the original, you can end up with some delightfully spicy cocktails. So, consider Rittenhouse or Whistlepig Rye if that’s your preference.
  • Campari – The classic bitter red Italian aperitivo. A bottle of Campari belongs on everyone’s bar cart; it’s versatile and delicious. And here it adds a complex and refreshing bitterness to your Boulevardier. We’d also recommend trying out a variety of Italian aperitivi: Select, Luxardo Bitter, or Forthave Red would all make excellent substitutes for Campari.
  • Sweet Vermouth – Again don’t reach for a cheap bottle of sweet vermouth. You want something rich and herbaceous. Carpano Antica or Cocchi Vermouth Di Torino are both great.
  • Orange Peel – As with the Negroni, garnish your cocktail with an orange peel.

Boulevardier Recipe

Combing an ounce each of Campari and Sweet Vermouth with an ounce and a quarter of your bourbon (or rye) in a mixing glass over ice. You can make this as a 1:1:1 cocktail if you’d prefer less booze. Stir until chilled and pour over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel or opt for a brandied cherry for an extra element of complexity.

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