Life isn’t fair. Just ask your parents or every cocktail that isn’t a Negroni. A properly made Negroni is one of the best things you’ll ever funnel down your esophagus, and the same can be said of Negroni variations. A Boulevardier, for example, is just a Negroni with whiskey instead of gin, and it’s a first-ballot Cocktail Hall Of Famer. It’s a little smoother than the classic version, and, much like the original, you have to put in some serious effort if you want to mess it up.
How It Tastes: Strong, Bitter, Like A Good Novel That’s Drinkable
- Rocks Glass
- 1.25 ounce bourbon
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounces sweet vermouth
Step One: Sweet Vermouth
For the record, our all-time favorite sweet vermouth is Carpano Antica Formula. It’s been around for several hundred years, you can probably find a bottle at a liquor store near you, and if you’re somehow mistaking this for an advertisement, you don’t comprehend our enthusiasm for vermouth. At the same time, any decent sweet vermouth will work just fine here. Add 1 ounce to your mixing glass.
Step Two: Campari
A Boulevardier isn’t a Boulevardier without some Campari. Yes, there are few viable alternatives like Contratto Bitter and Luxardo Bitter, but they’re frustratingly hard to find - and Campari is a classic. Pour 1 ounce in your mixing glass.
Step Three: Bourbon
Just like with gin in a classic Negroni, we like to make our Boulevardier with a little more than an ounce of bourbon, in order to thin the drink out a bit and prevent it from feeling like (admittedly delicious) cough syrup in your mouth. Put 1.25 ounce bourbon in your mixing glass.
Step Four: Stir
Finally, add ice to your mixing glass (roughly one large handful), and give everything a stir for about 20 seconds. You might be wondering why you have to stir your Boulevardier even though you’re going to drink it with ice in a rocks glass - and, on the surface, that’s a valid concern. But you need to chill and dilute this drink a bit, and if you just pour everything over ice without stirring, that first sip is going to taste thick, warm, and not so ideal. So hopefully you trust us enough to stir your drink. Once you’ve finished, pour it over ice in your rocks glass. We like to use one big cube, but pretty much any sort of ice will do, as long as you use a lot of it. Finally, cut an orange twist, squeeze it over the top of your Boulevardier, and stick in the side in order to let everyone know this drink has been claimed.