Looking for a spirit-forward cocktail with bold, complex flavors? The Boulevardier cocktail is a sophisticated libation blending whiskey, sweet vermouth, and herbal Campari for a rich, nuanced sipper.

Bright shot with hard light of a cocktail called the Boulevardier.

Looking for the best boulevardier cocktail recipe?

Step into the world of timeless elegance with the Boulevardier cocktail. Crafted with the rich flavors of bourbon, the subtle sweetness of vermouth, and the bold bitterness of Campari, this sophisticated libation is the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern allure.

As a cousin of the Negroni with a twist of orange from the bitter Campari like a Garibaldi cocktail, this boulevardier cocktail will transport you back to the boulevards of Paris with every sip. 

Looking to elevate your cocktail recipes? Introducing the Boulevardier, a classic drink with a fascinating history and layers of flavor that’s sure to impress. If you love the complexity of a Negroni but crave something with a whiskey twist, this cocktail is right up your alley. With just a few simple ingredients, you can mix up a Boulevardier that’s bold, balanced, and brimming with character.

What Is a Boulevardier Cocktail?

Let us take you back to the roaring 1920s in Paris, where the boulevards were bustling with excitement and creativity. It was during this vibrant era that Erskine Gwynne, an American expatriate and the editor of a literary magazine called “Boulevardier,” made a mark on cocktail history. Inspired by the bustling culture around him, Gwynne decided to put a twist on the classic Negroni, substituting gin with whiskey as the base spirit.

Little did he know that this bold experiment would lead to the creation of the Boulevardier cocktail. As word spread, the drink gained popularity at Harry’s New York Bar, a hub for expatriates and locals alike. With its intriguing blend of bourbon or rye whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth, the Boulevardier drink became known for its rich flavors and unique character.

Side shot of a cold rocks class filled with craft ice and a whiskey Boulevardier.

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • WHISKEY – Whiskey-loving guests will appreciate this classic cocktail. 
  • ELEGANT – The name boulevardier in itself means “wealthy, fashionable socialite,” a description we would associate with this cocktail. 

What You Need to Make a Boulevardier Cocktail

  • Rye whiskey – has a spicier flavor profile with notes of black pepper or clove.
  • Campari – a bright red, bitter liqueur that’s often used in cocktails like the Boulevardier. It’s made from a blend of herbs, spices, and fruit, giving it a complex flavor profile. Campari has a distinct taste that’s both bitter and slightly sweet, with notes of orange peel and herbs.
  • Sweet vermouth – Sweet vermouth is a type of fortified wine that’s flavored with various botanicals, herbs, and spices. It has a rich, sweet flavor with hints of herbs, spices, and sometimes fruit. It’s usually reddish-brown in color and has a lower alcohol content compared to other spirits. 
  • Dehydrated orange slice – for garnish.
  • Large ice cubes

How to Make This Boulevardier Recipe

  • Add ice to a mixing glass or cocktail shaker.
  • Add the bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth to the mixing glass and stir until chilled.
  • Add a large ice cube to a rocks glass and strain the cocktail over the ice.
  • Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice.

Expert Recipe Tips


  • Opt for high-quality spirits like Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey or a spicier rye whiskey for a more robust flavor profile.
  • Stick to the classic recipe of equal parts bourbon or rye whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth to maintain the balance of flavors.
  • Enhance the aroma and visual appeal of your Boulevardier by garnishing it with an orange twist or lemon peel. This adds a refreshing citrusy note to the cocktail.
  • Depending on your preference, you can adjust the sweetness of the cocktail by varying the amount of sweet vermouth used. Start with the classic equal proportions and tweak according to your taste.
  • For an extra chill, refrigerate your ingredients beforehand, including the whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth. This ensures that your Boulevardier is perfectly chilled and ready to enjoy.
  • While Campari is the traditional choice for the Boulevardier, you can explore different Italian red bitter liqueurs or bitters to create unique flavor profiles and tailor the cocktail to your liking.
Close up of the dried orange slice for garnish in a Boulevardier.

How to serve this great cocktail

A Boulevardier is traditionally served in a rocks glass over a large ice cube or in a classic cocktail glass for a more elegant presentation. Garnish with an orange twist or lemon peel to enhance the aroma and visual appeal of the cocktail.

With 5 minutes of prep time, you can craft an elegant cocktail with a rich flavor profile that’s sure to please even the snobbiest of cocktail drinkers. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment down below to help out the next reader! 

Bright backlit boulevardier cocktail with citrus slices.

Boulevardier Cocktail

This Boulevardier recipe makes the classic Negroni variation with whiskey, Campari and sweet vermouth. A spirit-forward cocktail with bold, nuanced flavors.
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Cocktail Recipes
French
Author: Kita
5 minutes
Serves: 1

Equipment

  • cocktail shaker
  • Mixing glass
  • spoon
  • Strainer

Ingredients

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • Dehydrated orange slice - for garnish.

Instructions

  • Add ice to a mixing glass or cocktail shaker.
  • Add the bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth into the mixing glass and stir until chilled.
  • Add a large ice cube to a rocks glass and strain the cocktail over the ice.
  • Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 0.02g | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 0.1g | Iron: 0.01mg

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

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Recipe FAQs

Absolutely! Here’s how to correctly make plenty of cocktails so you can keep the party going all night long:

  1. Calculate Ingredients: Figure out how much whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth you’ll need based on the number of cocktails you want to make.
  2. Set Up: Get everything ready. You’ll need glasses, ice, garnishes, and a large mixing glass or pitcher.
  3. Mix It Up: Combine the whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth in the right proportions. Stir well.
  4. Prep Glasses: Fill each glass with ice.
  5. Pour and Garnish: Pour the cocktails into the glasses over the ice. Add an orange twist or lemon peel for flavor.

The Boulevardier cocktail has a rich taste that mixes sweet, bitter, and herbal flavors. It’s made with bourbon or rye whiskey, which brings a strong and oaky taste. Then, there’s Campari, which adds a unique bitterness, and vermouth for a touch of sweetness. When combined, these ingredients create a balanced and sophisticated drink with hints of citrus and spice.

While both cocktails share similar ingredients, the main difference lies in the base spirit used. The Negroni traditionally features gin, while the Boulevardier substitutes gin with bourbon or rye whiskey, resulting in a richer and more robust flavor profile.

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