Of the 87 or so recipes in the book, I’ve seen a handful of them in the wild. This is one of them.

According to the text, the cocktail was the signature drink of Erskine Gwynne who was an “expatriate writer, socialite and nephew of railroad tycoon Alfred Vanderbilt”. Gwynne edited a magazine called The Paris Boulevardier, hence the name.

  • 1.5 ounce bourbon
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

Stir long and well with ice in a mixing glass and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

I can remember being in Italy when someone in our party ordered a Campari and soda. It looked so refreshing with its bright red color that I ordered one, too, but I found it way too bitter (why are so many Italian liqueurs bitter?). But I still love the color.

This is one of those drinks that demands high end ingredients. There are no juices, infusions or syrups to interfere with the natural flavors. The one time I had it in a bar I found it bitter, and I believe it was because they used an off-brand vermouth. For sweet vermouth always go with Carpano Formula Antica (I use Dolin for dry). For this cocktail I went with Four Roses small batch bourbon and it worked out well. This was the first drink out of the book I’ve made that was stirred and not shaken. Not sure how that would affect the flavor but perhaps they don’t want it mixed too thoroughly.

It is a beautiful drink – like liquid rubies – and the picture doesn’t do it justice. With the right vermouth the flavors balance each other and bring out the best in the bourbon. I really enjoyed this.

Rating: 4/5

The Boulevardier