Classy, Sophisticated, Foolproof
A good cocktail is one that you can easily whip up…even haphazardly. It should require only a few readily available ingredients and be delicious every time. It's for these reasons that the Boulevardier cocktail is one of our favorite drinks. Similar to The Negroni cocktail in proportions and style, The Boulevardier is made with three ingredients–whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Instead of relying on light & herbal gin as the base spirit, this drink calls for an oakier whiskey–preferably bourbon. But swapping bourbon for gin is more than just a simple substitution, it's a game-changer! The hardier base spirit adds remarkable depth to the grapefruit forward Campari and spice heavy sweet vermouth, making it smooth & perfectly balanced.
The first mention of the Boulevardier cocktail appeared in 1927 in bar legend Harry McElhone's bartending guide, Barflies and Cocktails. One of those barflies Harry mentions was Erskine Gwynne, a wealthy New Yorker turned ex-pat Parisian who edited The Boulevardier–a monthly magazine self-described as "the magazine that is read before, between and after cocktails." Sounds like our kind of magazine! Apparently Gwynne’s love of boozy cocktails and Parisian nightlife earned his drink of choice a spot in the mixology canon. History lesson aside, after making up a batch of Boulevardiers it's obvious why this cocktail has stuck around. It's freakin' tasty!
Here's how to make a Boulevardier cocktail:
.75 oz Campari
.75 oz sweet vermouth
In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth with a large scoop of ice. Gently stir for 20-30 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass. To garnish, squeeze a fresh orange peel over the cocktail to express the orange oils.
Our go to bourbon for this cocktail is the Burnside Oregon-Oaked Bourbon for its perfect balance of oak and sweet vanilla notes. For a more robust cocktail, try it with our Burnside Goose Hollow RSV Bourbon or our 10 year Burnside Buckman RSV Bourbon. This cocktail is also perfect for pre-batching. We love mixing up a big pitcher of Boulevardiers to keep in the fridge for those busier post-work night. Just pour into a glass with a large ice cube, stir a few times, and garnish with an orange peel!