The Boulevardier Cocktail

Two boulevardier cocktails with a plate of cookies and oranges in the background.

The Boulevardier is a classic whiskey cocktail that we love year round, but happens to be particularly appropriate for the colder winter months. With just 3 ingredients, this cousin of the Negroni is easy to make and has a wonderfully complex flavor.

Dropping an ice cube into a boulevardier cocktail.

The Boulevardier Is for Those Who Can’t Decide Between a Negroni and Manhattan

The Village Voice

the Boulevardier could be your signature cocktail!

The Boulevardier is a classic whiskey cocktail created during the golden age of cocktails (the 1920s and 30s.) It’s a twist on the Negroni, which is made with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. The Boulevardier simply swaps out the gin for bourbon or rye whiskey. I used rye for a smokier, richer-tasting version. I think the combination of whiskey and bittersweet/citrus-y Campari is especially lovely in the fall and winter months, but this is a cocktail to enjoy year round!

why’s it called a Boulevardier?

The cocktail was invented by  Erskine Gwynne, an American ex-pat writer who founded a monthly magazine called Boulevardier, in Paris in the 1920s.

Pouring the vermouth into a cocktail glass.

what’s in a Boulevardier?

The Boulevardier is on the drier side of the cocktail spectrum, somewhere between a Negroni and a Manhattan. In other times we might have referred to it as masculine. Let’s just call it robust, complex, and assertive.

  • Whiskey – I used Bulleit rye whiskey. Bourbon is also a common choice, which will give the drink a slightly smoother flavor.
  • Campari – a bittersweet citrus-y liqueur made from grapefruit peel and other herbs and spices. You can also use Aperol, a rhubarb bitters.
  • Sweet vermouth – sweetened, spiced, fortified wine. There are some very good vermouths on the market, a few of my faves are: Punt e Mes, Carpano Antica, and Cocchi Storico (all Italian.)
  • Orange or lemon peel – I wouldn’t skip this, it adds a surprising amount of fresh citrus flavor and aroma to the drink!
  • Ice– I like a strong drink like this one on the rocks, but you can also serve it neat if you prefer.
A boulevardier cocktail with cookies and orange peels.

the magic formula

The most classic version of this drink uses all the ingredients in a 1:1:1 ratio, so 1 ounce each of whiskey, Campari, and vermouth. Some (like me) may find this a little on the sweet side, however, so this version tweaks the ratio to favor the whiskey.

  • 1 1/2 ounces whiskey (bourbon or rye)
  • 3/4 ounces Campari
  • 3/4 ounces sweet vermouth

shaken, or stirred?

No need for a fancy cocktail shaker, simply stir in the ingredients together in the glass, add your ice and citrus peel, and you’re good to go!

need a garnish?

The standard garnish for a Boulevardier is a twist of orange and/or a cocktail cherry.

Overhead photo of two boulevardier cocktails, oranges, and a plate of cookies.

the proper glass for a Boulevardier

This cocktail is served in an old fashioned glass, rocks glass, or lowball glass.

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Two boulevardier cocktails with a plate of cookies and oranges in the background.
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5 from 3 votes

The Boulevardier Cocktail

The Boulevardier is a classic whiskey cocktail that we love year round, but happens to be particularly appropriate for the colder winter months. With just 3 ingredients, this cousin of the Negroni is easy to make and has a wonderfully complex flavor.
Course beverage
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Yield 1 serving
Calories 165kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey (you can also use bourbon)
  • 3/4 ounce Campari
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • fresh orange peel, for serving (lemon is also good)

Instructions

  • Add the whiskey, Campari, and vermouth to a cocktail glass and stir together to combine. No need to shake this cocktail, just give it a quick stir.
  • Add ice to the glass, if desired, and garnish with a fresh piece of orange peel for extra flavor and aroma.

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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3 Comments

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  • Reply
    DonnaMarie
    December 15, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    Forgot to mention. I do prefer it “your” way a little less of the Campari and sweet vermouth and bit more rye. Always with orange twist or a hit of orange liquor but that’s another drink ! Since we’re on the topic of garnish have you tried stonewall kitchen fire and spiced cherries?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      December 15, 2021 at 12:49 pm

      Oooh haven’t tried those cherries but they sound amazing!

  • Reply
    DonnaMarie
    December 15, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    5 stars
    I knew we were “sisters ” but this … definitely bulliet rye ! Try some very good carmel corn with this by the fire and a fun movie! And someone to cozy up to! Á votre santé Cheers!

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