Cocktails are meant to be savoured and not slammed back like a bad shot of tequila. Think of classics like the Dry Martini, Tom Collins, Negroni, Caipirinha, Cosmopolitan and Manhattan and you get the picture. One of the forgotten cocktails, the Boulevardier, is making its way back from obscurity and that is a great thing.
Unfortunately, these days the majority of cocktails are a concoction of, often, 2 types of alcohol and a mixer of a sweet or sour variety that completely covers the taste of the alcohol and gives it some ghastly colour. Oh, and an umbrella or fruit wheel as garnish.
Keep it simple
The Boulevardier, like its brother cocktail the Negroni, leaves all pretensions where they should be left. In the past. This simple, but elegant cocktail from the late 1920s, is a mixture of bourbon or rye whiskey (I like to use Gentleman Jack by Jack Daniel’s), a bitter like Campari and sweet red vermouth like Martini Rosso poured over a large ice sphere and garnished with a twist of orange peel.
If you think to yourself by now “hey, that sounds like a Negroni!” you are absolutely right. The main difference is that we replace the gin with bourbon/rye whiskey giving it a slightly sweeter taste.
It packs quite a punch and is meant to be sipped and not gulped down like a large glass of ice cold water on a hot summer day. Take your time and appreciate it.
Making the Boulevardier
- Take a double Rocks glass and drop a large ice sphere in it
- Pour in 45mL of Gentleman Jack
- Add 30mL of Campari
- Complete with 30mL of Martini Rosso
- Take your large bar spoon and gentle stir the mixture around for a minute or so. This way the water from the ice sphere slightly dilutes the alcoholic mixture
- Slice a 10x3cm piece of orange peel from a fresh orange and remove any remaining pith (the white stuff). Twist the orange peel to release the oils and cover the rim of the glass before dropping it in the Boulevardier cocktail.