The Boulevardier is the slightly more modern, and arguably more delicious, cousin of the Negroni.
The classic Negroni is light, crisp, and bitter, whereas the Boulevardier is smooth, soft, and more sophisticated. The only difference in ingredients between the two comes by substituting whiskey in for gin when mixing a Boulevardier.
This is one of those drinks with lots of little details that will just come down to your preference.
When making an Boulevardier for myself, I choose to bump up the whiskey and take out a little of the Campari from the original 1:1:1 ratio. Campari has a flavor that can be really tricky to balance in drinks. It can very quickly become the only thing that I taste, and for that reason I typically use its’ flavors in more of a background role. If you enjoy your Negronis and Boulevardiers up in your face with bitter citrus flavors, then by all means use the full ounce.
Lot 40 makes a really delicious Canadian Rye Whiskey which I have been stocking up on lately. It has awesome notes of vanilla, spicy rye, and a touch of dill which I sometimes get. It’s a bit on the higher end but I felt like classing it up a bit with this being for a photo shoot and all. Use your favorite mixing rye or bourbon here and try a different one every time you make it.
As with the whiskey, the vermouth is up to you , and changing it will make subtle flavor adjustments to the resulting cocktail. In this one I used Berto which I have been playing around with quite a bit. It is not the most complex of sweet vermouths but it has a really nice dark fruit and anise seed thing going for it. So again, use what you have, try different things, and stay open to experimenting.
To orange, or not to orange…that is the question? In a Negroni, I love the sweet bright smell that orange oil brings to the game, but in the Boulevardier, I usually leave it out. I like it to be a slightly more subdued drink so I substitute a dash or two of orange bitters to and the tiniest touch of extra citrus flavor. Try it both ways and see what floats your boat.
Your last choice before diving in is whether your want to have it up or on the rocks. You know the deal…on ice it will stay chilled while continuing to slowly dilute, so if that’s what you’re after then pour it over a few diamonds. If you really want to be a rebel, build this guy right in the glass and enjoy it as it changes over time.
- 1 1/4 Oz Rye Whiskey
- 1 Oz Sweet Vermouth
- 3/4 Oz Campari
- 2 Dashes Orange Bitters - (optional)
- 3 Drops 20% Saline - (optional)
- 1 Orange Peel - (optional)
- Add the ingredients to a shaker tin or chilled mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir until desired chill and dilution is reached.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or a rocks glass with ice.
SHARE THIS POST