Drink a Boulevardier Cocktail, Wow Your Favorite Bartender

Categories: Last Call

Boulevardier-JK-Grence.JPG
JK Grence

As crafty as some of my favorite bartenders are with their cocktails, I'm surprised that the old, forgotten Boulevardier cocktail is just starting to gain traction. Quite a few libationists I know drink Negronis with abandon. Most of these same folks also greatly enjoy whiskey drinks, especially ones made with rye.

Enter the Boulevardier. It's one of quite a few cocktails that came from Harry's New York Bar in Paris while Prohibition was going on in the US, along with other such legendary libations as the French 75 and the Bloody Mary. The Boulevardier is a simple matter, just like a Negroni with whiskey instead of gin. Or, if you prefer, a Manhattan made with a healthy dose of Campari in place of the Angostura bitters.

Given a formula like that, one would think every cocktailian bartender in town would have been swilling them for a couple of years now. Somehow, such is not the case. Ask your favorite bartender if they've heard of a Boulevardier. You'll probably get a puzzled look. Show them how to make one, then watch as they almost certainly proclaim it their new favorite drink.

See Also: Bourdain's Favorite "Satanic, Delicious Hell Broth" -- The Negroni

While you can follow the straight Negroni formula of equal parts of everything, a little finesse will elevate a Boulevardier. The range of flavors in American whiskies is quite broad, and Campari is a rather assertive spirit. A nice spicy rye should be able to hold its own against Campari, but milder bourbon bottlings (such as Maker's Mark) don't stand up as well. Start out with equal parts of everything, and give it a taste. If it's off balance, go ahead and add some more whiskey.


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