Boulevardier – Original Recipe & History

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Course: DrinksCuisine: French






Total time



Learn how to make the original Boulevardier. The perfect blend of sweet and bitter aperitifs with a nice bourbon base. 


  • 1 oz 30 ml Campari

  • 1 oz 30 ml Sweet Vermouth

  • 1 oz 30 ml Bourbon


  • Technique: Simple Stir
  • Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Add ice to the mixing glass. Stir the ingredients for 10 – 15 seconds. Try to avoid over-diluting the drink.
  • Strain into a glass with ice.
  • Garnish:
  • Orange peel.

Recipe Video


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The History Of The Boulevardier.

The Boulevardier was invented in Paris in the early 1920s by an American journalist, Erskine Gwynne. We know this because the Boulevardier was first recorded in the 1927 book Barflies and Cocktails by Harry MacElhone. In a section at the back of the book titled “Cocktails Around Town” by Arthur Moss, he states that Erskine Gwynne comes to parties making this cocktail. It’s essentially a bourbon variation of the Negroni. The word boulevardier is a French term for a wealthy, fashionable socialite man. Similar to the English term “man about town,” It is easy to mispronounce the name if you don’t speak French ( I don’t, and I had to look it up the first time I heard of this drink ), but the phonetic way to say it is “bool-ah-vard-ee-a.” If you say this wrong the first few times, you are in good company because everyone struggles with the name of this cocktail at first, so Google it to hear someone say it.

How To Order A Boulevardier.

The Boulevardier is a very cool drink to order and has tricked people into thinking I am more sophisticated than I am. The Negroni has an old man connotation, but the boulevardier is what young high-class men order. In addition, any bar can make it. Every bar, from your small average corner bar to a high-class craft bar, and you won’t look out of place ordering it either. There are very few cocktails you can say that about. So if the bar has a liquor license, they can make the boulevardier. The bartender will already know what it is, and it will be made pretty well.

What Does The Boulevardier Taste Like?

The boulevardier is a very well-balanced tasting cocktail. The bitter medicinal flavor of the Campari is complimented nicely by the herbal sweet Vermouth, with a nice caramel-y, vanilla-y bourbon base. It’s a fantastic and straightforward drink worthy of all its praise. That being said, it is not for everyone. I like strong drinks and herbal flavors, which are perfect for someone like me. On the other hand, my wife is more a Moscow Mule kind of person, and she would never want a drink like this. If you like Manhattans or Negronis, you will love it, but if you are more of a rum and coke or Moscow mule kind of person, this cocktail, b will not like the boulevardier.

Variations Of This Cocktail.

Popular variations of this kind of cocktail are:

A Nice Vermouth Makes A World Of Difference.

The most essential ingredient in this is the sweet vermouth. There is only one Campari, and while bourbon provides a nice vanilla and toasted oak base to the drink and does matter, it’s the sweet vermouth that will make the most significant difference. The strong Campari and vermouth flavors overpower the subtle bourbon flavors. There are no terrible sweet vermouths, and the cheaper stuff works fine, but there are a few amazing ones out there. I usually buy smaller 375ml bottles of sweet vermouth because it is wine-based, and like all wines, it oxidizes after a while. It has a slightly longer shelf life than regular red wine but not much more. When I buy the larger 750ml bottles, I find half of them spoil before I finish using them. So instead of spending $7 for an average 750mLs bottle of sweet vermouth, you will end up wasting half of it anyway, pay $13 for a fantastic bottle of sweet vermouth that’s half the size, but you will finish. Once you start using excellent sweet vermouth, you will never want to use anything else. It makes a very noticeable difference for not that much more money.

Recipe Resources

Tools Used:

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3 responses to “Boulevardier – Original Recipe & History”

  1. […] you enjoy cocktails like the Boulevardier or Japanese Cocktail then this refreshing herbal and almond cocktail is ultimate cocktail. If you […]

  2. […] of the Americano include: The Negroni, The Boulevardier, The Man About Town, and the Patricia. These cocktails have a similar flavor profile to the […]

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