Quick and Easy

Boulevardier

September 24, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

On the surface, the Boulevardier appears to be nothing more than a Negroni with the gin swapped for bourbon, and indeed it’s a great gateway cocktail for a bourbon drinker to get into the genre of aperitif-driven cocktails. But rather than the similarities, it’s the differences from the Negroni that make the Boulevardier special. First off, there is a higher proportion of base spirit: Rather than the familiar 1:1:1 Negroni ratio, the Boulevardier uses a 2:1:1 ratio, allowing the richness and natural sweetness of the bourbon to tame the bitterness of campari. Round it out with a substantial vermouth (like Carpano Antica) and there is no denying that the Boulevardier punches above its weight. —Erik Lombardo

Test Kitchen Notes

The Boulevardier may be one of our favorite cocktails to make during the fall and then deep into the winter. Featuring bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth, it's that warm, comforting, slightly spicy and slightly sweet drink that you're going to reach for any time you need a pick-me-up. Plus, how could you possibly go wrong with three types of booze? And that's basically the entirety of the beverage? It's the kind of cocktail that's perfect for the colder temps that you can enjoy with friends and family in front of the fireplace. The drink was reportedly created by American socialite Erskine Gwynne, who founded a magazine in Paris, aptly called The Boulevardier. Supposedly first mentioned in bartender Harry McElhone's recipe collection from the '20s, he credits the development of this drink to Gwynne. So cheers to Gwynne and his twist on the Negroni! It's a wonderful way to change up the classic Negroni if one isn't into the taste of gin or you simply prefer bourbon.

Of course, traditionalists may balk, but you can adjust the ratios of the liquors depending on your tastes. Use this recipe as a base and experiment how you'd like. Adjust if you'd prefer your drink sweet vs. spicy, depending on how you're feeling that day. Try with different kinds of vermouth (red is a fun twist), use rye instead of bourbon, but usually it calls for garnishing with a lemon twist (though you can use an orange peel or maraschino cherry if you're feeling particularly rebellious). —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Boulevardier
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Serves 1
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce Campari
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Combine the bourbon, Campari, and vermouth in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, until the outside of the shaker is frosty. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Some choose to do this over ice.) Traditional garnish is a cherry or orange or lemon twist.

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3 Reviews

guineverek February 27, 2015
I refer to the Boulevardier as the love child of the Negroni and the Manhattan. Adore it!
 
Caroline March 18, 2014
A bartender in Rome added choclate and orange bitters and yum it changed my recipe forever !
 
derek January 16, 2014
This cocktail is equally as pleasing as my beloved negroni!