This is the boozy older cousin of the Negroni that simply replaces gin with whiskey. Most people will use bourbon but feel free to experiment and use whichever whiskey you prefer. The Boulevardier still contains all the herby, bitter complexity of a Negroni but adds a great woody backbone and a caramel-y sweetness to the original cocktail.
Whiskey, Campari, Sweet Vermouth.
*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ.
The American cousin of the ever-popular Negroni, The Boulevardier may only change one ingredient in this classic cocktail but it makes for an entirely different drinking experience.
For those planning a bar hire during the winter months or simply wanting to offer some lesser-known alternatives to classic drinks on their menu, the Boulevardier could be a great option.
Keeping the equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth of the Negroni but swapping the gin for bourbon, this twist on the classic Italian cocktail, replaces bitter herbal notes with warm spiced flavours and mellow, maple-y sweetness. This drink is a great alternative for those not so enamoured by the bitter Negroni and a surprisingly different take on the sometimes divisive cocktail.
This drink also works brilliantly as part of a whiskey or bourbon based menu, if bourbon is your spirit of choice there are loads of great ways to showcase this fantastic liquor. The Boulevardier is short and strong so you may want to pair it with some longer, lighter options. A Mint Julep is a great bourbon classic, featuring fresh mint and served long, it’s a fantastic way to offset the bold flavours of the Boulevardier.
Whiskey is not for everyone and if you’re keen to serve a range of spirits on your menu this winter warmer cocktail would go great alongside some similarly seasonal drinks. You might consider pairing the Boulevardier with an Espresso Martini, as well as being a guaranteed crowd pleaser, the rich coffee flavours work great in the winter months and the vodka can be replaced with bourbon to keep the whiskey lovers satisfied.
If you’re interested in including a Boulevardier on your cocktail menu and want to know more about what drinks might work well alongside it be sure to speak to your event organiser about your options, or check out some other whiskey based, classic and short style cocktails from our list.
Contrary to popular opinion, the Boulevardier may actually out-date the Negroni.
The cocktail was likely invented by writer and celebrated barfly, Erskine Gwynne. During prohibition in America, Gwynne left for Paris and became the editor of a magazine called The Boulevardier.
Harry McElhone included the drink in this book Barflies and Cocktails. Whilst it doesn’t appear as a formal recipe it is typed up in the epilogue. McElhone writes “Now is the time for all good barflies to come to the aid of the party, since Erskine Gwynne crashed in with his Boulevardier Cocktail: 1/3 Campari, 1/3 Italian Vermouth, 1/3 Bourbon whisky,”
Myths & Legends
Allegedly created by Erksine Gwynne an American writer. Gwynne edited a monthly magazine in Paris.
It was a bit like the ‘New Yorker’ and was named, The Boulevardier. The Negroni did not appear for another 20 years.
Writing for Serious Eats, Paul Clarke says this of the Boulevardier:
“A simple substitution? Hardly. The bittersweet interplay between Campari and vermouth remains, but the whiskey changes the storyline. Where the Negroni is crisp and lean, the Boulevardier is rich and intriguing. There’s a small difference in the preparation, but the result is absolutely stunning.”
Punch.com offers an insight to the naming of the drink.
“A true man-about-town and boulevardier in the literal sense of the word, Gwynne ran a magazine of the same name for American ex-pats living in Paris. Mention of this literary-influenced cocktail appears in Harry MacElhone’s (owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris) 1927 book Barflies and Cocktails, crediting Gwynne as the drink’s creator.”
Ingredients & Equipment
Campari is the only constant in this cocktail. Go wild on the bourbon and the sweet vermouth.
To keep it nicely balanced we recommend Cocchi di Torino as a vermouth, it’s full of flavour but integrates nicely in a boulevardier. Buffalo Trace is a great starting point for bourbon, it’s quality is obvious and it gives the drink a solid backbone.
- 25ml Bourbon
- 25ml Sweet Vermouth
- 25ml Campari
- Orange Twist or Wedge to Garnish
- Bar Spoon
- Rocks Glass
- Cubed Ice
- Take your rocks glass
- Using your jigger to measure, add the bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth
- Fill the glass ¾ with cubed ice
- Using your bar spoon, stir the ingredients to combine and incorporate the ice
- Top with more ice if necessary
- Garnish with an orange twist or orange wedge
- Serve and enjoy!
For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.
Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.