3 cl of Bourbon whiskey
3 cl of sweet vermouth
3 cl of bitter
The Boulevardier cocktail is often dismissed as a simple variation of the Negroni cocktail. In fact, the recipes are very similar. Just replace the gin with whisky, and the Boulevardier cocktail is ready. The doses do not change 1/3 of whiskey, 1/3 of bitters, and 1/3 of sweet vermouth.
The taste, however, is totally different. Another world: whiskey and gin are at the antipodes of the aromatic and gustatory spectrum of the distillates.
It is said that the inventor of the Boulevardier cocktail is an American writer, Mr. Erskine Gwynne. Not that it matters much, although the first written recipe was by Harry McElhone in 1927.
What interests us is the flavor of this smoky, complex, and enveloping cocktail. We could spend those years quibbling about the choice of whiskey: the Americans prefer the caramelized, woody, and spicy tones of bourbon, and usually, it is good.
But to be honest, sweet vermouth and bitter find great aromatic harmony with a rocky and peaty whisky. The salty taste cuts the sweet taste of vermouth, the bitter adds an herbaceous touch, and then peat does the rest. The peat spreads a veil. It is like an embrace. It creates chinks, a thousand smoky facets that are nailed to the underlying sweetness of the drink. Let’s say that if the gin is pungent, resinous, and sharp, the whiskey is dark and sumptuous. Anyway, you can’t go wrong.
Boulevardier cocktail ingredients and doses
- 3 cl of Bourbon whiskey
- 3 cl of sweet vermouth
- 3 cl of bitter
- cherry or lemon peel
- optional: Angostura, chocolate bitter, or orange bitter
How to prepare the Boulevardier cocktail
Fill a mixing glass with ice, pour all the ingredients, and mix.
Pour into a Martini cup or old-fashioned one and drop into a maraschino cherry.