Welcome to our newest cocktail exploration where we bring to life the exquisite classic, the Boulevardier. This cocktail, born in the heart of 1920s Paris, infuses the robust warmth of whiskey, the bittersweet complexity of Campari, and the rich undertones of sweet vermouth to create a sublime balance of flavors.
Much like its cosmopolitan namesake "a man-about-town," the Boulevardier offers a stylish blend of refinement and intrigue. In this post, we'll guide you through its storied past and share two unique takes on this classic recipe, empowering you to create your own perfect Boulevardier at home. Ready for a journey back to the spirited Parisian 1920s in each sip? Let's dive in!
How to make a Boulevardier cocktail
Embark with us as we decode the art of mixing the perfect Boulevardier. Discover the delicate balance between the warmth of whiskey, the bittersweet allure of Campari, and the herbal complexity of sweet vermouth.
- 1 1/4 ounces of Fat Baby bourbon or rye whiskey (Use 1 ounce for more balance)
- 1 ounce of Campari
- 1 ounce of sweet vermouth
- Garnish: orange twist or cherry
- Pour your choice of bourbon (or rye), Campari, and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass filled with ice.
- Stir the ingredients until well-chilled. This should take about 20 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice or a chilled cocktail glass, based on your preference.
- Finish with a garnish of an orange twist or a cherry.
Feel free to experiment with the proportions of this flexible cocktail. Some might prefer a slightly more dominant whiskey note with 1 1/4 ounces of bourbon, while others might opt for an equal split of ingredients for a more harmonious blend.
Be careful not to over-pour Campari, it can quickly overpower the drink.
Whichever ratio you choose, remember that the quality of each component will greatly influence the final flavor. Use this recipe as a canvas to craft your perfect Boulevardier, and let your taste guide your creation. Enjoy this timeless classic and savor a piece of cocktail history!
Selecting the right vermouth can significantly impact the overall flavor profile of your Boulevardier. While the choice ultimately depends on personal preference, here are some recommendations that pair exceptionally well with the whiskey and Campari in this classic cocktail.
- Carpano Antica Formula: This Italian vermouth is considered one of the best for its high-quality and rich, complex flavor profile. It lends a deep vanilla sweetness and robust herbal notes that beautifully complement the whiskey and Campari.
- Cocchi Vermouth di Torino: Another excellent Italian option, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino is often celebrated for its rich and vibrant flavor. It carries a balanced bitterness with beautiful notes of citrus and cocoa, adding a layer of complexity to the cocktail.
- Dolin Rouge: For a slightly lighter, fruitier Boulevardier, consider Dolin Rouge. This French vermouth imparts a more delicate, herbaceous sweetness that can help lighten the overall cocktail while still providing depth of flavor.
- Punt e Mes: For those who enjoy a bit more bitterness, Punt e Mes can be a fantastic choice. This Italian vermouth has a pronounced, full-bodied flavor with a pleasing bitter edge that can stand up to the robustness of the whiskey and Campari.
- Martini & Rossi Rosso: If you're after a more accessible, everyday vermouth, Martini & Rossi Rosso is a solid choice. This well-balanced vermouth offers a blend of sweetness and bitterness, with hints of vanilla and citrus that harmonize well in a Boulevardier.
Remember, the best vermouth is one that suits your personal taste and compliments your choice of whiskey. Don't be afraid to experiment until you find your perfect Boulevardier blend!
What is a Boulevardier?
The term 'Boulevardier' traditionally refers to a man-about-town, a sophisticated, cosmopolitan individual. Much like its namesake, the Boulevardier cocktail is the epitome of suave refinement. Originally concocted by Erskine Gwynne, the publisher of the expat magazine “Boulevardier,” this exquisite cocktail quickly gained popularity after featuring in Harry MacElhone’s 1927 book “Barflies and Cocktails.”
Built on a base of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Campari, the Boulevardier stands as a heartier sibling to the classic Negroni. While the Negroni is beloved for its crisp, refreshing character, the Boulevardier, with its whiskey foundation, brings forth a rich and warming profile that feels like a comforting embrace on cool fall or winter evenings.
Throughout this post, we will guide you through the process of crafting this cocktail masterpiece, highlighting how the choice of ingredients can greatly influence the final outcome. From the type of whiskey - bourbon or rye - to the quality of sweet vermouth, each element plays a crucial role in striking the perfect balance between bitter, boozy, and sweet.
Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the making of the Boulevardier, presenting two unique recipes that allow for customization based on personal preferences. So, grab your mixing glass, your best whiskey, and take a step back into the captivating world of 1920s Paris - one sip at a time.
Related: Bourbon Cocktails
What is in a Boulevardier?
This sophisticated drink is composed of three main ingredients: whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Whiskey, typically bourbon or rye, is the star of the show, lending a rich, warming character.
The Campari infuses the cocktail with a pleasing bitter edge, while sweet vermouth adds depth with its herbal complexity. Garnished with an orange twist or a cherry, the Boulevardier is a testament to the art of balance in mixology.
Each sip takes you on a flavorful journey, from the hearty warmth of whiskey to the bittersweet allure of Campari, rounded off by the nuanced sweetness of vermouth.
What does a Boulevardier taste like?
Immerse yourself in the bold, enticing flavors of a Boulevardier and you're in for an unforgettable taste experience. At the heart of its character is the whiskey - bourbon lends a sweeter, fuller profile while rye introduces spicier, more assertive notes.
This robust whiskey base intertwines seamlessly with the bittersweet, vibrant character of Campari, creating a dynamic interplay of flavors. But the drama doesn't end there. Enter sweet vermouth, introducing layers of complexity with its rich, herbal sweetness.
The result is a masterful balance of flavors - hearty and warming, bittersweet and nuanced. Every sip is a captivating fusion of richness and intrigue, an echoing homage to its Parisian roots.
The Boulevardier is more than just a cocktail; it's a full-bodied flavor narrative that dances on the palate and warms the soul.
The Boulevardier is a time-honored cocktail that impressively balances depth, complexity, and nuance in every sip. It's a heartwarming tribute to its rich history and Parisian origins, boasting a robust fusion of flavors that resonate in harmony.
Whether you prefer the sweeter, fuller notes of bourbon or the more assertive bite of rye, the customization of this cocktail allows it to truly be an expression of your personal taste.
As you mix your own Boulevardier, remember that each ingredient, from the whiskey to the Campari to the sweet vermouth, plays a pivotal role in this dance of flavors.
So, raise your glass, relish the warmth, and toast to the enduring charm of the Boulevardier. Here's to the timeless delight of cocktail crafting, and to you, the mixologist of the hour. Cheers!
Boulevardier Cocktail FAQs
What's the difference between a Boulevardier and a Manhattan?
While both the Boulevardier and Manhattan are whiskey-based cocktails, their profiles differ due to their contrasting ingredients. A Manhattan typically consists of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a dash of Angostura bitters. It is often garnished with a maraschino cherry.
On the other hand, a Boulevardier substitutes the bitters with Campari, a bitter Italian liqueur, giving it a more pronounced bitter-sweet character compared to the Manhattan.
Is Boulevardier a French drink?
The Boulevardier cocktail is often associated with France due to its origins. It was created by Erskine Gwynne, an American writer who founded a monthly magazine called "Boulevardier" in Paris during the 1920s. Despite its Parisian roots, the cocktail's main ingredients are not French.
The whiskey could be American (bourbon or rye), while Campari is Italian and vermouth can be either Italian or French.
Is a Boulevardier a Negroni?
While a Boulevardier and a Negroni share two key ingredients - Campari and sweet vermouth - they are different cocktails. The primary distinction lies in their base spirits. A Negroni uses gin, which gives it a more crisp and refreshing character.
A Boulevardier, on the other hand, uses whiskey (typically bourbon or rye), which imparts a richer, warmer profile to the cocktail. Essentially, a Boulevardier could be considered a whiskey-based variant of the Negroni.