Like many of the best things to come out of the 1920s, the Boulevardier was created by an American residing in Paris. Similar in ingredients, but completely different in feel from a Negroni, this combination of equal parts Whiskey (Bourbon or Rye), Campari, and Vermouth makes for a rich and intriguing beverage. It’s perfect for sitting on large boulevards of the City of Lights and contemplating the beauty both still and passing by.
Between 1927 and 1932 Erskine Gwynne, an American-born writer, founded and ran a monthly magazine in Paris called Boulevardier, and created a cocktail named after the publication. The drink quickly became a prohibition era favorite, but soon disappeared from cocktail menus.
In 2014, the Boulevardier got its revival. While the drink was popular in cocktail havens like San Francisco, it wasn’t till the middle of the past decade when the drink began appearing on bar menus from Phoenix to Philadelphia. Since then, the cocktail can be found on a variety of drink menus across the United States, as well as Europe, Asia, and South America.
While the Boulevardier shares two ingredients with a Negroni, this isn’t a simple substitution. As Paul Clarke of Serious Eats once wrote, “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.”
Some people think this should be an equal parts cocktail, while others thirst for double the Whiskey. Personally, we feel it’s best if you split the difference.
- 1 1/2 ounce Bourbon or Rye
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce Sweet vermouth
- Garnish: orange peel
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange peel.