Boulevardier Cocktail

Bourbon combines with sweet vermouth and Campari for a rich, smooth and sophisticated cocktail.

Boulevardier Cocktail

Erskine Gwynne (now that’s a name!) was an American in Paris that started a monthly magazine there. This publication, called Boulevardier, ran from 1927 to 1935 and, along with its founder, is said to have inspired the cocktail that we’ll be looking at today… the Boulevardier. In the 1927 Parisian book, Barflies and Cocktails, the drink appears not as a recipe, but in an essay entitled “Cocktails About Town”. This piece, written by American expatriate poet and magazine editor Arthur Moss, talks up a number of drinks by “men-about-town”, which describes a cocktail attributed to Gwynne called the Boulevardier.

This beverage was first mentioned then as an equal-parts cocktail, not unlike the Negroni, which shares two of the same ingredients. What I find crazy is that, for a perfectly tasty and elegant drink, the Boulevardier didn’t seem to catch on and nearly disappeared into obscurity over the years. In fact, between 1927 and 2007, there aren’t any mentions to this drink or even a simple reference to it in any cocktail or recipe book during those years. But right around the end of this streak, it managed to find life again.

In the late 2000s, the craft cocktail movement happened. This revitalized and re-invigorated many traditional and forgotten recipes for the 21st century, along with their methods of preparation. One of these drinks that reemerged from the past to find a whole new audience was the Boulevardier. Because of its similarities to the always-popular Negroni, this cocktail managed to find, and keep, a new generation of enthusiasts. By 2020, the IBA, International Bartenders Association, recognized the Boulevardier as an official cocktail, cementing its place forever in history.

What is Campari?

Campari is a deep-red liqueur invented in 1860 by Gaspare Campari in Novara, Italy. It is often used as a mixer or even sipped on its own. In fact, James Bond’s father-in-law, Draco, likes to drink his straight. Considered an aperitif, it is usually consumed before a meal, as it will stoke the appetite and get you and your stomach excited for that delicious food you can smell wafting through the air.

What is the Best Booze to Use in a Boulevardier Cocktail?

First, make sure you have yourself a nice bottle of rye whiskey; maybe a small batch, or an aged barrel bourbon to use as your cocktail’s base. Second, treat yourself to a top-shelf sweet vermouth… I used to go cheap with mine and spend more on the other alcohol, but I learned that’s a mistake. Skimping on the vermouth will often give your mix a not-so-enjoyable sour aftertaste, and it might even turn you off from the drink entirely.

Boulevardier Cocktail
Servings 1 serving
serving 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • Garnish: orange twist

Instructions

  • Combine the bourbon (or rye), Campari, and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass filled with ice.
    Boulevardier Cocktail
  • Stir the mixture gently for about 30 seconds to chill the ingredients without diluting the cocktail too much.
    Boulevardier Cocktail
  • Strain the chilled cocktail into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
    Boulevardier Cocktail
  • Express the oils of an orange twist over the drink and drop it in as garnish.

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 0.02g | Sodium: 0.3mg | Potassium: 1mg | Iron: 0.01mg
Boulevardier Cocktail

FAQs & Tips

Boulevardier Cocktail

Similar Cocktails to the Boulevardier

The three magical components that make up the Boulevardier have reputations that precede them. If you’re a connoisseur of Campari, sweet vermouth and either rye or bourbon, Twist & Toast has the recipes that will surely grab your attention and delight your tastebuds. Check out a few of them below and try something new tonight.

  • Vermouth Cocktail – Sweet vermouth takes centerstage as the base for this tantalizing tipple.
  • Negroni – You can’t go wrong with this classic and strong favorite.
  • Americano – Just pour equal parts sweet vermouth and Campari over ice and add club soda for this light and refreshing cocktail.
  • Gin Martini – This stalwart elixir will most likely never go out of style or fall out of favor with drink enthusiasts, and for good reason.

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