This is a cocktail we discovered by accident but have had quite a bit of fun experimenting with over the last months of winter. We had friends in town from New York. Our dinner plans started with Negronis, but we discovered at the last minute that we were out of gin.
Our friends, noting the extraordinary amount of whisky in our pantry that we had left over from a photography project, immediately suggested the Boulevardier. Cocktail hour was saved!
The Boulevardier is essentially a Negroni, with whisky (typically bourbon) instead of gin. According to most sources, the recipe dates back to at least the 1920’s, but the Negroni won out in terms of fame. It’s rich, smooth, and slightly sweet, and would be perfect for sipping by a fire with friends.
The Boulevardier can be served up or on the rocks, we especially loved the presentation in beautiful gold-rimmed cocktail glasses (similar here) with a blood orange slice for garnish. To our palates, the typical 1:1:1 ratio can be a little too sweet if served up. On the rocks adds enough dilution to compensate for the sweetness. If you can’t find blood oranges, an orange twist would be the perfect garnish for either presentation.
- 1 ounce bourbon or rye whisky
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth, such as Carpano Antica or Cinzano Rosso
- 1 orange twist or slice
- To serve up: combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with an orange twist.
- To serve on the rocks: fill a rocks glass with ice, and add all of the ingredients to the glass. Stir well to combine, or roll into a cocktail shaker and back into the glass, then garnish with an orange twist or slice.