When Two Classic Cocktails Meet: The Man-About-Town

October 17, 2013

You'll no longer have to buy a plane ticket to get in on the cocktails at Seattle's Essex: Owners Brandon Pettit and Molly Wizenberg (a.k.a. Orangette) will be sharing their favorite recipes with us, every other week. Drink up, people.

Today: Two classic cocktails meet and mingle, and you reap the benefits.  

Man About Town on Food52 

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One of the perks of restaurant ownership is that, even though you’re generally working when your non-restaurant-owning friends are out playing, your place of work makes a great place to play. When friends come in to eat, the work feels less like work. (It also makes up for some of the downsides of restaurant ownership, like payroll, employee turnover, broken refrigerator compressors, and the inevitable surly customer.) Our friend Sam has known us almost as long as Brandon and I have known each other -- he was a groomsman in our wedding – and he lives conveniently up the hill from Delancey and Essex, which means that he stops by often for a pizza and a drink.

More: If you don't happen to live up the hill from Delancey and Essex, here's a pizza and a drink to make at home.

Sam is a bourbon man. So one night a couple of months ago, when Sam asked Niah, our bar manager, to make him something good, Niah decided to play around with the concept of a Boilermaker (a shot of whiskey dropped into a glass of beer) plus a Boulevardier (bourbon or rye, Campari, and sweet vermouth, in equal parts). He happened to have made an IPA syrup earlier that day -- a simple syrup, essentially, but using India Pale Ale instead of water -- and he decided to use that for the beer component, plus bourbon, Campari, and lime (“the superlative citrus,” as Niah says). 

Shaken and served up with a lime wedge, it feels like an autumnal big brother, ingredients-wise, to last summer’s Campari Shandy. It’s a little more sophisticated but eminently refreshing, a little bitter, a lot sour -- and so delicious that we put it on the menu and may well keep it there forever. We call it the Man-About-Town, an approximate English translation of boulevardier.

Man About Town on Food52

Keep in mind that the IPA syrup works nicely in other drinks, too. When shaken, it gives a creamy, frothy texture, the way egg whites do, and it makes a terrific Old Fashioned with rye, orange bitters, and an orange peel.

Created by Kenaniah Bystrom

1 1/2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
1/2 ounces Campari
1/2 ounces IPA reduction (see full recipe)
1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1 lime wedge, for garnish

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Molly Wizenberg

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • essbee
  • Goodfoodjen
  • mcs3000
  • enbe
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
Brandon and Molly met because of a mutual interest in food - or, more specifically, when Brandon read Molly's food blog Orangette and sent her an e-mail that included some very effective compliments. The better part of a decade later, they co-own and run the restaurant Delancey and its sibling Essex, in Seattle. Brandon is the chef of both, and when he's not manning the wood-burning oven, he likes to make things from scratch that more sane people would probably buy, like mustard, vinegars, pretzels, and obscurely flavored liqueurs. Molly is the manager / Organizer of All Things at Delancey and Essex, and she is also the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the forthcoming memoir Delancey. They have a young daughter named June, who is excitedly crawling toward the refrigerator as Molly types this sentence, and two dogs named Jack and Alice.


essbee April 17, 2014
This drink looks fabulous and so does the glassware. Where is it from?
Goodfoodjen December 18, 2013
This is my absolute new favorite cocktail!
mcs3000 October 18, 2013
obsessed with this column.
Lindsay-Jean H. November 3, 2013
Me too. My liquor cabinet has never been so well-stocked!
enbe October 17, 2013
This sounds pretty brilliant. Especially the IPA syrup. Will try!
Marian B. October 17, 2013
I have decided that the boulevardier is my new, cold weather negroni. (Just need to work on my pronunciation.) I'll be making one of these, stat.
mbj913 October 18, 2013
totally agree.
Kenzi W. October 17, 2013
Love the idea of the IPA syrup. I might make a batch tonight!
fiveandspice October 17, 2013
I love the Boulevardier and I love IPAs. I never should have thought they'd work together, but I definitely want to give this a try!