File this under “delayed reaction.”
I first read about the Boulevardier in the spring, when Dr. Cocktail did a lovely writeup about it in Imbibe. I distinctly remember reading the column and thinking, “hmm…gotta give that a try when I’m in a Campari mood.” I turned the page, and immediately lost the drink somewhere in the murky reaches of my brain.
Fast forward to last night. Sitting at the bar at Zig Zag, staring at an empty coaster where a full cocktail glass should be, I eventually looked at Murray and said “Rye?” with a shrug. This is what he came back with, and I thought, “Good god, what have I been missing!”
Okay, the recipe calls for bourbon, but hey, what’s a little corn – rye substitution between friends? Doc credits this drink to Harry McElhone, who wrote it up in Barflies and Cocktails — which shall henceforth be known as “one of those rare books I never see for sale, and couldn’t afford to buy if I ever came across” — and notes its similarity to a Negroni (swap the whiskey for some gin and, ta-da!), while also noting that it predates published recipes for the Negroni by a good 20 years. It’s also pretty close in spirit to another rye/Campari concoction called the Old Pal, but the Boulevardier has, in my estimation, much more charm.
If only I were to luck into a copy of Barflies and Cocktails so easily.
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon (or rye)
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
Stir with cracked ice & strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry, or a lemon twist, or an orange slice, or a copy of Barflies and Cocktails wrapped in a manila envelope with my address on the outside.