Rounding out our National Bourbon Month Cocktails is the Boulevardier, one of my favorite fall cocktails. Similar to the Negroni, a Boulevardier swaps the gin for bourbon or rye whiskey. This simple switch completely alters the cocktail.
Paul Clark of the food blog Serious Eats says, "This isn't a Negroni. It is, however, the Negroni's long-lost autumnal cousin. A simple substitution? Hardly. The bittersweet interplay between Campari and vermouth remains, but the whiskey changes the storyline. Where the Negroni is crisp and lean, the Boulevardier is rich and intriguing. There's a small difference in the preparation, but the result is absolutely stunning.”
1 part Campari
1 part Sweet Vermouth
1 part Bourbon
Stir over ice
Serve over a single, large ice cube in a rocks glass or strain and serve in a martini glass or coupe
Just like a Negroni, the Boulevardier is a hardcore cocktail with bold flavors that isn’t pleasing to everyone. To have the flavors balance and compliment each other, I recommend using a bourbon with a higher proof to ensure the bourbon flavors cut through. I also prefer spicier bourbons that use rye in the mash as opposed to wheated bourbon. I like to use Knob Creek or Noah’s Mill.
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Knob Creek brings back pre-prohibition style bourbon with a higher rye content and higher ABV at 50%. Aged for 9 years, notes of caramel and white chocolate meld into a tingling oaky spice with a long and full woody finish.
Noah’s Mill packs a punch with a walloping 57.15% ABV. Surprisingly elegant for a spirit at near-barrel strength. Charred oak, leather, and smoke finish into molasses, coffee, and dark chocolate.