This post is intended for those of the ages of 21+.
Over the course of this blog you’ve learned a good bit about cocktails. I like to try and encourage educating you along the way so that this isn’t just a recipe blog. With that said and what I’m about to introduce you to, it is possibly one of my favorite cocktail back stories to date.
The Boulevardier is one of those cocktails that is slightly similar to a couple of other cocktails so it goes by more names than I care to talk about. Whiskey Negroni, Bitter-Sweet Manhattan, Italian Manhattan. Regardless what others call it, it’s called The Boulevardier and here is why.
The Boulevardier was named after Erskine Gwynne (related to Vanderbilt) an American gone to Europe in the 1920’s. Gwynne was born into an Ameican socialite family and from what little we know, he went off to Paris to deplore fights in bars and being mistaken for The Prince of Wales. Okay, so that’s not why Gwynne took off to Paris, it was to write a French version of The New Yorker called The Boulevardier. However the rest still very much happened. Within in The Boulevardier ran ads for the bar guide, Barflies and Cocktails by Harry McElhorne. The guide was written with 300 recipes and the stories of the barflies that flew into Harry’s famous bar, Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. This all comes full circle when Gwynne’s name pops up as local of the bar in the guide and is dubbed the muse behind The Boulevardier cocktail. Wether Gwynne or McElhorne created the cocktail is where the lines are a little blurred and it depends on who you talk to.
If you’re paying attention to the timeline here this is all wrapped up across the pond in American Prohibition. Matter of fact Harry’s New York Bar became a little bit of this “screw you” to the American government. While Harry’s came with this classic and delicious drink, they were also serving up elixir combinations to purposefully make those Pro-Prohibition go into shock back in the states. Which was an adapted behavior for many of the time and make for these classic cocktails with rebellious heritages.
PERFECT BOUELVARDIER COCKTAIL RECIPE
As for the actual cocktail itself. It’s robust, woodsy, and sexy. It reigns heavy in tasting like the time period it came from. Cigars, rebellion, and late nights. It’s a delicious, easy, and an impressive whiskey cocktail to make. I think having a date over and wanting to impress them with a drink, this would be the drink to make. It uses Campari, an Italian bitter (think hints of cherry, wood, and herbs) tasting liqueur, which allows this cocktail to be included as an aperitif (pre-dinner). Which we will talk more about aperitif cocktails soon. If you like Manhattans or Negronis you will enjoy this drink with its complex cherry undertones.
I prefer my Boulevardier straight up in a Coupe but it can also be served in a low ball on ice.
- 1.5 ounces Whiskey
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
In a shaker add in your whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth and ice to the liquid line. Stir for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Serve with orange peel garnish or cherry.
I love an easy to make cocktail that comes with a big bang! This is about as easy as it gets. I hope you try out this Boulevardier and learned some fun things along the way. Let me know down below if you have had Campari and if you’d like to see more Campari cocktail recipes!