Have you had a Boulevardier or a Negroni before? Both have only three simple ingredients, and the only difference between the two is the base spirit – bourbon or rye in the former and gin in the latter. If you are a fan of either of these cocktails, or their base spirits, I think you would enjoy the other. First, a little bit of my experience of each:
The Negroni has been a favorite of mine for years. It is equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. I often make it up as an aperitif before dinner. I think the first time I had it might have been at Olive Terrace Bar and Grill when Jonathan Cross reigned supreme in the bar. If you are a gin fan and haven’t made it before I highly suggest that you give it a try.
I had my first Boulevardier at the High West Distillery in Salt Lake City, Utah, during a skiing trip with my family a few years ago. It came in a bottle, premade, and I liked it so much I bought a bottle to take home. Served it up to a few pals there, finished it and for some reason forgot about it and never had it again. I also never knew that the recipe was so simple.
- 1 ¼ ounces bourbon or rye (I used bourbon as I wanted it to be smoky and not too sweet. For a Negroni the only difference is that it would be made with one ounce gin instead of the rye or bourbon as mentioned above. Don’t use your most special bottle as it will be mostly drowned out by the other ingredients. And, one last thing, I’ve been known to go 1 ¼ of gin in my Negroni too.)
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- Garnish: orange twist
- Add bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
- Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
The recipe above is from Liquor.com – click their name for more history on the drink. I added the section in parenthesis.
Both cocktails won’t kill any budget. I happen to always have Campari and sweet vermouth in my refrigerator (remember to keep them there once opened) making it easy to put together when you feel like it. Now that I’ve made the Boulevardier, I like the idea of having either as an aperitif. Both have a nice bitter and sweet taste, and if I begin my night with the Boulevardier, I will enjoy a brown spirit on the rocks after dinner. If I begin with the Negroni I usually have a nice gin on the rocks with a little Vermouth or Lillet Blanc after dinner.
Which will you try?
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.