The Mojito Alternative #4: Celebrate prohibition with a Boulevardier
Prohibition drove many of the good bartenders out of America towards Europe, New Yorker Harry McElhone among them. He introduced us to the Boulevardier, my current wintertime favorite.
Most people just refer to it as a Negroni with bourbon instead of gin, but maybe that’s doing quite some injustice to this little known cocktail, as depending on what source you go by, it might predate the creation of the Negroni. Regardless of its origins, a Boulevardier for me combines all the right flavours for the cold winter, just as a Negroni is one of the perfect summer drinks.
The original recipe is quite straightforward, calling for equal measures of bourbon, Campari and sweet red vermouth, stirred in a glass over ice and served with an orange twist. I however prefer it with these ingredients, which may not be obvious to find I admit:
- Fill a whiskey tumbler with ice cubes
- Add 40ml rye whiskey (I use Willett Family Estate Bottled 4 Year Single Barrel Rye)
- Add 40ml Gran Classico Bitter
- Add 40ml Antica Formula
- Purely optional, but for an even stronger winter flavor you can add about 3/4ths of a bar spoon of Allspice or Pimento bitters (that’s 2 names for the same), giving hints of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and anis to the Boulevardier. I personally use the Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters, but other brands exist.
- Stir for 20 seconds
- Cut an orange peel, making sure to get the oils onto the cocktail, and add the twist in the glass
Now it’s time to sit back, enjoy your Bouelvardier and watch the fire crackle…