Let’s learn the classic recipe for a Boulevardier cocktail. Using Campari, bourbon (or rye whiskey) and sweet vermouth you can mix this stiff, flavorful cocktail.

This drink is like a bourbon version of a Negroni. If you remove the gin and add bourbon, you have a Boulevardier. Another distinction is that while the Negroni calls for equal parts of all ingredients, this recipe calls for a larger proportion of bourbon. This drink is also considered the winter cousin to the Negroni—making it perfect for December.

More classic drink recipes: Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Negroni, Rusty Nail, Paper Plane.

Ingredients

  • Bourbon – This classic recipe calls for bourbon; however, rye whiskey is another popular option. 
  • Campari – Campari gives this drink its bright orange color and intense bitter, citrus and spice flavor. 
  • Sweet Vermouth 
  • Orange Twist – As garnish.

The best glassware to serve a Boulevardier cocktail in is a double old fashioned glass. An oversized ice cube is a great choice as well.

Directions

Pour bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 20 seconds, until well-chilled.

Strain into a rocks glass over an oversized ice cube. 

Garnish with an orange twist.

Tips for Making

  • Bourbon creates a smoother, sweeter drink while rye whiskey creates a spicier cocktail. 
  • In addition to an orange twist, a luxardo cherry is a popular garnish to add to this drink. 
  • You can try an equal parts recipe or the slightly more bourbon-centered recipe that we share here. Compare them and see which you prefer. I personally prefer a bit of extra bourbon.

History

Loosely translated, the word Boulevardier is French for a man-about-town. This drink is credited to Erskine Gwynne in the 1920s. Gwynne had a magazine by the same name at the time and it’s easy to imagine that this drink recipe was a natural extension of his brand. Other reports credit this drink to Harry McElhone, the founder of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Harry gets credit for a lot of classic cocktails, so this seems a likely tale as well. He was the first to publish this recipe in his 1927 book, Barflies and Cocktails.

Serving Suggestions

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Boulevardier have in it?

Bourbon (or Rye), Campari and sweet vermouth.

What does a Boulevardier taste like?

Imagine a Negroni with bourbon instead of gin. Many people consider this the perfect strong drink for autumn and winter.


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Get the Recipe

Yield 1 cocktail

Prep 5 minutes

Instructions

  • Pour bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 20 seconds, until well-chilled.

  • Strain into a rocks glass over an oversized ice cube. 

  • Garnish with an orange twist.

Notes

  • Bourbon creates a smoother, sweeter drink while rye whiskey creates a spicier cocktail. 
  • In addition to an orange twist, a luxardo cherry is a popular garnish to add to this drink. 
  • You can try an equal parts recipe or the slightly more bourbon-centered recipe that we share here. Compare them and see which you prefer. I personally prefer a bit of extra bourbon.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Boulevardier Cocktail

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.

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