According to my calendar, on December 19th I ostensibly signed special ordered books at The Strand and then took my two year-old to a holiday party, but I know the truth, which is that I was actually reading this hilarious piece on Bon Appetit from Alex Delany in which he complains that winter cocktails are usually too unsubtly wintery, that he doesn’t need “seven sticks of cinnamon, half a holly tree or a metric ton of cloves, mulling spices or liquor that tastes like cookies” to entice him to drink booze in the winter, and texting my husband that we should make boulevardiers that night after the kids went to sleep.

what you'll need, plus ice

Boulevardier, according to Google, means “a wealthy, fashionable socialite,” (aka “what is the opposite of Deb?”) but from that day on, it will be forever be the official drink of the winter of 2017-2018 (this is the official cookie, by the way) because we’ve found it downright habit-forming.

A distant cousin of the Negroni, both contain sweet (red) vermouth and Campari but the Boulevardier swaps the usual gin for bourbon, traditionally, or rye, what I often use, and the effect is mellowing, and less intimidatingly bitter, than a Negroni. It needs exactly nothing else to be a finished drink. Sure, it’s nice with a twist of orange or lemon, and I’ve also enjoyed it with a cocktail cherry, especially when someone else was making it, but most of the times it’s simply been on ice and I shamelessly love that I don’t even have to fish a piece of fruit of the fridge to make it happen. I realize that announcing that sometimes one wants a cocktail but is too lazy to make a real effort about it is not exactly the most flattering light in which to paint oneself, but this is a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means more of us will read this and know it’s exactly the right cozy thing for right now.



Traditionally, the Boulevardier is 1 ounce (1 part) each Campari, sweet red vermouth, and rye whiskey or bourbon, but many versions use 1.25 to 1.5 ounces (1.25 to 1.5 parts) of the latter, and I go even further to 2. (Bourbon is generally more mellow and sweet; rye, slightly more spicy and dry.) It is not a subtle drink. It should definitely be sipped quite slowly. We make it on the rocks, but you can also shake it with ice, strain it, and serve it up. I show it here with an orange peel we like very much (a cherry, and yes, the Luxardo ones are absolutely worth it, is also good) but it’s also good with no garnishes whatsoever.
  • 2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce red vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • Ice

In an old-fashioned glass, mix everything and add ice to taste.


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