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How to Make a Boulevardier

The Boulevardier cocktail takes a Negroni and replaces the gin with bourbon. With only three ingredients, it couldn’t be easier.

Boulevardier (1)

The Boulevardier is a classic cocktail made with three ingredients:

  • Bourbon
  • Campari
  • Sweet Vermouth

As a bourbon lover and a Negroni fan, I was bound to love the Boulevardier. Smooth as silk, spicy as well as sweet, plus the bitter sting at the end. It’s a gorgeous looking auburn cocktail and you can have it straight up or on the rocks.

Where was the Boulevardier born

Born out of the Prohibition, The Boulevardier was first mentioned in Harry’ MacElhone’s classic cocktail book,  ABC of Mixing Cocktails, published in the 1920’s.

MacElhone set up shop in Paris at Harry’s New York Bar, a haven for bartenders who had to leave the USA during the dry spell what was Prohibition. One day Erskine Gwynne walked in and asked for “1/3 Campari, 1/3 Italian vermouth, 1/3 Bourbon whisky.”

Now this Mr. Gwynne wasn’t just anybody; he was the publisher of a hip magazine of the time, called, (can you guess?), Boulevardier! The name of the cocktail stuck and has remained the same since that time. Don’t forget to pronounce it the French way – with the -ier part sounding like yay!

The recipe has been slightly tweaked since then, but you can have it anyway you like, of course!


What is the Boulevardier

Don’t think that by substituting bourbon for gin that you have the same cocktail. They are world’s apart. The bourbon adds a warmth and depth that you can’t get with the gin. I would say order the Negroni in the Spring or Fall, but the Boulevardier is pure winter.

Westward Whiskey

How to make the Boulevardier

This cocktail is on the easy side to make, since it only has three ingredients. No shaking is required because it’s “stirred down,” which means you only have add the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and you’ve made it!

If you don’t have a mixing glass handy, then you can just make it in your glass.

Here’s everything else you need to make this recipe:

  • Bourbon (or Rye)
  • Campari
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Orange Peel
  • Jigger
  • Bar Spoon
  • Mixing Glass
  • Strainer
  • Rocks Glasses or Coupe!

Bourbon vs Rye

I love my bourbon, so given the choice, it’s going to be bourbon every time. Bourbon tends to be much sweeter than Rye. Rye gives it a bite and it tends to be much spicier. Make a mini-Boulevardier of each and see what you think!

What is Campari

Another reason I prefer the Boulevardier with bourbon instead of Rye is that Campari gives it tons of bite. Campari is an Italian bitter spirit that is super spicy. I do love it and that’s why I love a Negroni as well. Don’t be afraid of it. It works so well with all kinds on cocktails.

What is Sweet Vermouth

There are two types of vermouth: dry and sweet. Vermouth is a fortified wine. Fortified wines are wines that have had additional ingredients added to give flavor. You use both in cocktail making. Dry vermouth shows up in all types of Martinis, while Sweet is for the Manhattans, Negronis and Boulevardiers!

Here is the recipe:

Boulevardier (1)


Savor the sophistication of a Boulevardier. A perfect blend of bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari—this cocktail exudes timeless elegance with a balance of warmth and bitterness.
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Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 164 kcal


  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 oz Campari
  • Orange Twist


  • Add all the spirits to an old fashioned glass filled with ice
  • Stir until chilled
  • Express an orange twist over the cocktail and add it to the glass


Serving: 1gCalories: 164kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 0.02gSodium: 0.3mgPotassium: 1mgIron: 0.01mg
Keyword boulevardier
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