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  • The Rusty Bartender

Sipping through time / The Boulevardier cocktail's history and recipe

In the vibrant world of cocktails, the Boulevardier stands as a timeless classic that seamlessly blends sophistication and bold flavors. Originating from the streets of Paris in the 1920s, this cocktail has carved its niche among the elite spirits, drawing inspiration from the famed Negroni. Join us on a journey through the history of the Boulevardier cocktail and learn how to recreate this masterpiece in the comfort of your home.

A Glimpse into History: The Boulevardier's roots can be traced back to Harry McElhone's Harry's New York Bar in Paris, a haven for expatriates and creative minds during the roaring 1920s. The drink first appeared in McElhone's 1927 cocktail book, "Barflies and Cocktails," where it was credited to a colorful American socialite named Erskine Gwynne. Gwynne, the editor of a magazine called "Boulevardier," found inspiration for this cocktail during his time in Paris and shared it with the world through his publication.


To craft the perfect Boulevardier, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye whiskey

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1 oz Campari

  • Orange twist (for garnish)


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice to chill it.

  2. Add 1 1/2 ounces of your preferred Bourbon or Rye whiskey into the chilled mixing glass.

  3. Follow up with 1 ounce of Sweet Vermouth, contributing a hint of herbal sweetness to the mix.

  4. Introduce 1 ounce of Campari, the bright red Italian aperitif that provides the Boulevardier with its characteristic bitterness.

  5. Stir the mixture well with a bar spoon to ensure the ingredients meld together harmoniously.

  6. Strain the concoction into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice.

  7. Garnish your Boulevardier with a twist of orange peel, expressing its oils over the drink to release a burst of citrus aroma.

  8. Sip, savor, and transport yourself to the sophisticated ambiance of 1920s Paris.

The Boulevardier Experience:

As you take your first sip of the Boulevardier, you'll discover a symphony of flavors dancing on your palate. The robust whiskey base, the herbal notes from the Sweet Vermouth, and the bold bitterness of Campari come together in perfect harmony. The orange twist garnish adds a citrusy zing that elevates the overall drinking experience.

Conclusion: The Boulevardier cocktail, with its intriguing history and delightful combination of spirits, continues to enchant cocktail enthusiasts worldwide. Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or an amateur bartender, this classic drink is a must-try for those seeking a taste of the past with a modern twist. So, gather your ingredients, raise your glass, and toast to the timeless elegance of the Boulevardier. Santé!

Cheers Rusty

Watch me make it here.

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