Boulevardier Cocktail Recipe

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Boulevardier Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Boulevardier cocktail is a classic drink that dates back to the 1920s. It was created by Erskine Gwynne, an American writer who founded the Paris-based magazine, Boulevardier. This cocktail is a variation of the classic Negroni, substituting bourbon or rye whiskey for gin. It is a favorite among whiskey lovers and those who appreciate a well-balanced, bitter-sweet cocktail.

  • Originated in Paris, France
  • Popular during the Prohibition era
  • A favorite among literary and artistic circles

How Boulevardier Tastes?

The Boulevardier is a complex and well-balanced cocktail, with a rich and bold taste. It has a bitter-sweet profile, with the bitterness of Campari complementing the sweetness of the vermouth. The whiskey adds warmth and depth, making it a perfect drink for sipping.

Interesting facts about Boulevardier

  • The Boulevardier is often referred to as a 'whiskey lover's Negroni'
  • It was named after Erskine Gwynne's magazine, which was a popular publication among the Parisian elite
  • The cocktail has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to the craft cocktail movement


Bourbon or Rye Whiskey (1.5 oz)

We use Bourbon or Rye for their signature kick, which anchors the cocktail with sweet, spicy, or smokey notes, depending on the variety. Overloading your Boulevardier with more whiskey could transform it into a heavyweight puncher that overshadows its partners. Leaving it out or reducing it significantly would be like a library without books—functional, but misses the main attraction.

Emma Rose

Campari (1 oz)

Campari is the middleweight fighter of the trio, bringing a herbaceous bitterness that ensures the sweetness isn't too cloying. A tad more, and you've got a punchy, bitter forward royal rumble; too little, and the drink becomes a sweet-talking diplomat with not enough backbone.

Alex Green

Sweet Vermouth (1 oz)

Now, here's where Sweet Vermouth dances in. It plays peacemaker—offering a sweet, herbal, and spiced profile that bridges the base and bitter spirits. Pour in more than intended, and you move from handshake to bear hug, overwhelming the subtleties. Cut it too short, and the dance feels like it's missing a step.

Mary Mitkina

Orange or Lemon Peel

Finally, the Orange or Lemon Peel twist is the finishing flourish, releasing zesty oils that pull the aromatics together with a pop of citrus brightness. No peel garnish? The cocktail's personality dims a notch without that final olfactory high note.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Boulevardier Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
  2. Add the whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth
  3. Stir well until chilled
  4. Strain into a chilled glass, either a coupe or over a large ice cube in a rocks glass
  5. Garnish with an orange or lemon peel, expressing the oils over the drink and placing it on top

Pro Tips

  • Stir the cocktail well to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Use a large ice cube in the rocks glass to slow down the dilution of the drink.
  • Express the oils from the citrus peel over the drink to enhance the aroma and flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Foods to Pair with a Boulevardier Cocktail

  • Charcuterie and Aged Cheeses: The bold flavors of cured meats and the richness of aged cheeses complement the complexity of the Boulevardier.
  • Dark Chocolate: A square of high-quality dark chocolate can enhance the bitter notes of the Campari and the sweetness of the vermouth.
  • Grilled Steak: The smokiness of grilled steak pairs wonderfully with the robust flavors of whiskey in the cocktail.
  • Roasted Nuts: Almonds, pecans, or walnuts are excellent with the nutty and woody notes of the drink.

Drinks to Accompany a Boulevardier

  • Espresso or Black Coffee: The bitterness and the robust flavor of coffee align perfectly with the Boulevardier's profile.
  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips, sparkling water is a refreshing choice.

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What you could change in Boulevardier

  • You can substitute the bourbon or rye whiskey with gin for a different twist on the cocktail.
  • If you find Campari too bitter, you can replace it with Aperol which is sweeter and less bitter.
  • You can also experiment with different types of vermouth to change the flavor profile of the cocktail.

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Boulevardier

  • Substitute the Bourbon with a peated Scotch Whisky
  • 1.5 oz Peated Scotch Whisky
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Lemon twist

The Smoky Boulevardier will transport you to a highland bonfire, with a pronounced smokiness undercutting the bitter Campari and sweet vermouth. Perfect for those who enjoy a cocktail with a robust, earthy profile.

Boulevardier Spritz

  • Top the standard Boulevardier mixture with a splash of prosecco
  • 1.5 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Splash of prosecco
  • Orange slice for garnish

The Boulevardier Spritz adds an effervescent life to the party, lightening the mood with a sparkling finish while keeping the core cocktail's attitude. A spritz of celebration in your sipping affair.

Chocolate Orange Boulevardier

  • Muddle a piece of dark chocolate in the mixing glass before adding the whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth
  • 1.5 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Dark chocolate piece
  • Orange twist

The Chocolate Orange Boulevardier is for the sweet-toothed adventurers. Introducing a velvety chocolate undertone, this twist is a decadent journey through a dessert cocktail, where every sip promises a sweet reward.

In case you forgot basics how to make Boulevardier

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Boulevardier

Can I make a non-alcoholic Boulevardier?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of Boulevardier by substituting whiskey with a non-alcoholic spirit and Campari and vermouth with non-alcoholic aperitifs. Note that the taste may vary from the original.

Which glassware is best suitable for serving Boulevardier?

Boulevardier is typically served in a coupe glass or a rocks glass.

What is the origin of the name 'Boulevardier'?

The cocktail was named 'Boulevardier', which means 'man about town' in French, reflecting its sophistication and popularity among urbanites.

Are there any seasonal variants of Boulevardier?

Yes, Boulevardier can be tweaked according to seasons. In fall, consider adding a dash of apple or pear brandy. For winter, a hint of cinnamon can be added for a comforting twist.

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