The Boulevardier. Photos by Donna Turner Ruhlman.


Happy Friday, all. Reposting this cocktail as I’ve been ordering it recently and enjoying it immensely. It remains a perfect cocktail for a chilly spring evening.

I love how various flavoring components (bitters, vermouths) become different cocktails when you change the spirit. How the Manhattan becomes a Rob Roy when you change the bourbon to scotch (as opposed to a lame-sounding “Scotch Manhattan”), or how a Martini becomes a … um, never mind about that #lostcause (Paulius, can we hope for Darwinian selection here?). I love the elasticity of a solid cocktail, how the addition of apple brandy turns a Clover Club into a Pink Lady.

Here, one of my favorite cocktails, the Negroni, becomes a Boulevardier when bourbon replaces the gin. A couple of recent essays (Tmagblog, Imbibe) have wondered why this cocktail isn’t on more menus and I agree. Interestingly, it was apparently invented 20 years before the Negroni in Paris by an American ex-pat socialite who ran a literary magazine, Boulevardier. I do like the 1:1:1 Negroni ratio, but I agree with the others that the Boulevardier is a richer, more satisfying cocktail using more bourbon, here 1.5 parts, with 1 part each vermouth and Campari.



The Boulevardier
  • 45 grams bourbon (1.5 ounces)
  • 30 grams Campari (1 ounce)
  • 30 grams sweet vermouth (1 ounce)
  • lemon twist
  1. Combine the ingredients in a pint glass filled with ice and strain into a cocktail glass or a rocks glass with ice, to preference.
  2. Garnish with a twist of lemon zest.
  3. Put your feet near a fire. Raise the glass to your companion if you’re with one. Otherwise do nothing, say nothing, as you enjoy your first sips of this fine elixir.

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© 2016 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2016 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.