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Boulevardier Cocktail Recipe and 3 Variations

Barkeeper Harry McElhone sought his luck in Paris at the time of American prohibition and founded the legendary Harry’s New York Bar. He named his latest drink at the time after his first regular guest, who published the Parisian newspaper Boulevardier.

Nowadays, this fantastically complex cocktail is very popular in the trendy bars of large metropolises. At home, the Boulevardier will quickly become one of your favorite drinks. 

Vanilla bourbon, sweet vermouth and bitter campari combine in a glass to create a work of art. The most important thing about this simple recipe is the ingredients. Buy good spirits so that your cocktail can really shine in its taste.

How does it Taste?

Aroma: elegant, seductive aromas of berries and vanilla, with a subtle hint of nutmeg and new oak, notes of honey and beeswax.

Taste: highly aromatic, rustic and woody, well-rounded bitter-sweet notes, with an interweaving of vanilla, caramel and cinnamon, slight hints of cloves and berries

Finish: a subtle sweetness that ends in a very pleasantly tart finish

Color: deep red

Overall: a brilliant fusion of sweet and tart

Boulevardier Recipe

Whoever thinks of Boulevardier as just a Negroni with whiskey instead of gin, you are wrong. Technically, this may be correct, but in terms of taste this drink has a character of its own.

It is traditionally made with a bourbon. But rye whiskey can also be used to conjure up a less sweet, slightly spicier Boulevardier

And if you use a dry vermouth instead of the sweet one, you get another drink, the Old Pal.

Below we provide the ingredients and how to stir up this drink. But later on we list out 3 separate variations for different taste palettes.

Boulevardier Cocktail

Named after a magazine from Paris. With bourbon, campari and red vermouth, the boulevardier it is characterized by its fascinating and intense aromas. It's worth trying! 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: apertif
Cuisine: american
Servings: 1 person

Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Ice cubes
  • fine sieve
  • 1 stemmed glass

Ingredients

  • oz bourbon
  • oz sweet vermouth
  • oz Campari
  • 1 orange zest

Instructions

  • Place glasses in the freezer for 1 hour (optional).
  • Pour bourbon, vermouth and Campari into the shaker. Fill the shaker with ice up to the edge and shake vigorously for 15 seconds until an ice layer has formed on the outside.
  • Strain into the glass through a fine sieve. Squeeze orange zest over the glasses with 2 fingers to release the essential oils. Glaze the zest on the rim of the glass and add the zest to the drink.

Notes

The original Boulevardier recipe above provides all spirits in the same ratio (2/3 oz each).
However, the mixing ratio of the Boulevardier can be flexibly adjusted. If you want it less bitter, reduce the share of campari and increase the share of bourbon, and vice versa.
Cocktails consisting only of spirits are usually stirred in the glass in the classic bar. However, shaking the cocktail makes it taste more alive.

3 Favorite Boulevardier Recipes

As with many drinks with three equally dosed ingredients, the Boulevardier has a high potential for variation through the selection of the right spirits. Below we recommend three favorite recipes.

You can drink a boulevardier out of a double-old-fashioned glass with large ice cubes. But it is also quite common to serve it in a coupe glass without ice.

boulevardier cocktail for newbies

Entry-level Boulevardier Ingredients

1 oz Jim Beam Black
1 oz Carpano Antica Formula
1 oz Campari
Orange zest

>> View Recipe

The Sweet and Spicy Boulevardier

1 oz Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Bourbon
1 oz Carpano Antica Formula
1 oz Campari
Orange zest

>> View Recipe

The Strong Boulevardier with Rye whiskey

1 oz Bulleit Rye
1 oz Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino
1 oz Campari
Orange zest

>> View Recipe

Similar Drinks

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Rob Roy

2 oz Scotch whiskey
1 oz Red Vermouth
2 dashes Angostura
Ice cubes

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negroni cocktail in a glass with orange zest as garnish

Negroni

1 oz Gin
1 oz Red Vermouth
1 oz Campari
Ice cubes

>> View Recipe

Even if the Boulevardier has never achieved the fame of a Negroni or Manhattan, it is still an incredibly tasty, multi-layered cocktail that you should definitely try!

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