Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I recently wrote about how I am not a fan of the Negroni, a classic Italian cocktail made of Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth. But given its popularity, I felt like there had to be some tweaks to the recipe that might help me come around. So I turned to one of its close relatives: the Boulevardier. To make one, swap the gin in the Negroni out for bourbon and add a little extra for good measure. I like it much more than its cousin. I feel like the gin in a Negroni just steps back and lets the Campari and sweet vermouth duke it out with their strong flavors, whereas the bourbon in the Boulevardier helps to meld the two into something more drinkable. The Boulevardier is also the bridge between the Negroni and a Manhattan, which contains bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters - easily my favorite of the trio. But all are worth trying.

History: The Boulevardier hails from the famous Harry's New York Bar in Paris. There is so much to say about this venerable institution that it deserves its own post, so I'll stick to this cocktail for now. The recipe appeared in Harry MacElhone's 1927 book Barflies and Cocktails and is credited to Erskine Gwynn, a rich young American who had come to Paris to start a magazine called The Boulevardier. The word refers to a social, fashionable young man, just the sort of person Gwynn styled himself to be.


1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice. Stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange slice.

Recipe from Imbibe.

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