boulevardier, shall we?


As much as I love food and drink, it was with some embarrassment that I never knew what to order in a bar. Cocktails and mixed drinks (the same thing? even experts can’t agree) always intrigued, but aside from asking the server, “What would you recommend? I don’t like fruity.”, I didn’t have a clue. Which is why I set out to school myself with Cocktail U and of course bring you along for the ride.

We’ve had 16 sessions and I am proud to say that I am now a competent adult beverage selector. Classics like Old-Fashioneds, G & Ts, and Mules are non-fruity and safe bets anywhere.

Then there are the slightly more esoteric drinks I usually end up making at home as I don’t run in circles where they are common. Exhibit A: the negroni. I was introduced to this Campari-gin-vermouth cocktail when I co-blogged with a lovely lady I met here at WordPress. We crashed a virtual Sicilian cocktail party and it was there I had my first negroni. It has since become a favorite and my drink of choice when I need to feel a bit more sophisticated than my suburban environs merit. Love me a negroni.


Negroni: 1 ounce each gin, sweet vermouth, Campari

So imagine my delight when I read that replacing the gin with bourbon transforms a negroni into a Boulevardier.20180327_121712.jpgWhile Boulevardier recipes most often call for equal amounts bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari, I found a slightly different version in a favorite drinks book.20180327_121728.jpg


my favorite brand of cocktail cherry

Here, the bourbon was upped from 1 to 1 1/2 ounces, making it the heaviest hitter in the drink. As a bourbon-lover, I guessed that to be a good thing. Turned out I prefer keeping each ingredient at an ounce. Already a bracing drink containing nothing but alcohol (and a lovely bourbon-soaked Maraschino cherry), kicking up the bourbon made it more powerful than I cared for and also threw off what I thought a perfect flavor balance.

A boulevardier, then, is the beverage we’ll serve with last week’s Lane Cake. With bourbon in the cake filling and the cocktail, we have a double dose and everything is dreamy.

It’s a bracing and delicious cocktail–sweet but also bitter. A perfect foil for a sweet Southern cake.

















Thank you to all for attending Cocktail U’s 17th session. Hoping to see you next as we continue our rotation, moving our classroom across the hall to discover yet another one of Great-aunt Helen’s recipes. May your cake and cocktail dreams be sweet!


16 thoughts on “boulevardier, shall we?

  1. Well, it certainly sounds upscale, not a “stuffed bird in a dusty cage” as the book says. A bracing beverage to pair with the cake. Your cocktail posts make me feel like I need to go out on the town and try new things. I have never tasted Campari. We have several bottles of liquor up in the pantry, and the only thing I’ve touched this year is some red grapefruit vodka to make my glass of limeade a little happier. I like how “boulevardier” takes all my fingers for its syllables.

    • I LOVE that you read the book via the picture. It’s a fun read about the history of different drinks. Found it at a Prohibition exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. Fascinating stuff.

      Campari isn’t for everyone. Bitter and sweet all at once. I like it very much.

      Grapefruit vodka? Why the heck not I suppose. And with limade sounds tasty.

      As always, your comments are much appreciated, Kerbey my friend!!

    • Hey, Mark! How the heck are you? Still toy with getting those final recipes made from our book. Am determined not to let our time spent amount to not a book.

      Will hop over to your space sooner rather than later so I can see what’s new with you. Glad to see you are still doing your thing.

      • I am glad to hear you are still working at that, Liz. You deserve it! Really, really, really. As for my movie review writing, yup, every Monday right here. And also on for those that are screened at the library …

    • Hi, Steven! Will have to look you up here, too. Been out so long that it’s hard to get back into the swing. Appreciate you stopping by very much.

  2. Old-Fashioned, G&Ts, and Mules–that could be my line-up for the rest of my drinking days! I’m intrigued by the Boulevardier, though–and might just play “stump the bartender” next time I’m out!

    • Have never even dared ask for a Boulevardier when out and about. Ordered a Negroni at a bar where it was clearly on the menu and the poor bartender spent about 5 minutes looking for a bottle that said “negroni.” When I figured out what he was doing, I showed him that it was listed in the menu. Just too darned esoteric for my circles. Unfortunately.

      You do have good taste in adult beverages, Kerry! Hope you are thawing out a bit where you are. We’re pushing 30F so I feel your pain.

  3. I must say that I enjoy the name of this drink, as well as the idea of sipping it alongside cake. I don’t care much for Campari but I love both bourbon and vermouth. Do you think this would work with Aperol?

    • Yes, I would totally try Aperol. How would you describe it in contrast to Campari? It’s still bitter, yes? Don’t know the distinctions between. If you like gin, the negroni is a winner, too. I have a beverage carbonator and love to make bubbly negronis and Boulevardiers, too. Thank you for coming to the cocktail party 😀


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