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- Cocktails and Spirits
December 5, 2013
Impress guests with this easy-to-make stiff cocktail.
Calories Per Serving
Recipe by Erskine Gwynne, editor of the Paris Boulevardier
- 1.25 Ounces Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 Ounce Dolan Sweet Vermouth
- 1 Ounce Campari
Pour ingredients into an Old Fashioned glass and stir with ice to chill. Garnish with orange zest.
Calories Per Serving177
Folate equivalent (total)0.3µg0.1%
Have a question about the nutrition data? Let us know.
Pure Spirits: Bulleit 10 Years Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey & The Boulevardier
The Bulleit brand is not necessarily the oldest and most traditional brand in the world of Bourbon whiskey. Although there are also many much younger Bourbon brands, compared to some long-established heavyweights the Bulleit brand (which is named after former lawyer Tom Bulleit) is relatively young: it only exists since the 1990s. However, the bottle which I want to put to the acid test today only exists since 2017.
Granted, that’s not true: the 10-year-old Bulleit is available in the US since 2013, but the journey to Europe is sometimes a bit longer and so in Europe you’re able to buy it since last year. Anyone familiar with Bourbon will know that standard bottlings with an age indication of 10 years are not very common. Even less when the price is so attractive: The Bulleit 10 Years Kentucky Straight Bourbon is usually available between 30 and 40 euros. Definitely a clear argument for this bottling. The Bulleit 10 Years Kentucky Straight Bourbon is distilled in the MGP Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, which many many people still know under the old name Rossville Distillery or Seagram’s Distillery. But how do the 10 years of maturation in fresh American white oak barrels influence the flavor? With an ABV of 45.6% the whiskey has an appealing drinking strength which promises to tickle a few more nuances compared to other bourbons whose drinking strength is furtherly diluted. In addition, a rye content in the mash of 28% promises quite a spicy cargo of flavors. (I was lucky enough to catch an edition of the Bulleit 10 bottle with a small sample of the Bulleit Rye hanging in a small metal bottle around the bottleneck.)
Aroma: In fact, you immediately notice that you’re dealing with a spicier bourbon. Although it shows a characteristic vanilla and also a lot of oak due to the extensive time of maturation, it also offers strong spice tones (especially cinnamon comes through) and dry fruit flavors rise directly into the nose.
Taste: Here, the Bulleit 10 years is really fully convincing! A fine sweetness transports vanilla, honey and a lot of oak, then the spicy notes come through and indeed there is a little bit of smoke – I had read about that for several times in advance, but I could hardly imagine. It is very, very subtle, but it bestows that certain something upon this bourbon. For friends of very mild and sweet Bourbons the Bulleit is perhaps less recommendable, but if you are looking for the full flavor and taste offensive, you will definitely love it!
Finish: dried fruit, oak and a spicy honey
With his taste profile in mind, the idea immediately triggered to use it in a Boulevardier. I have not described the Boulevardier here in the blog so far, and since it is actually one of my favorite cocktails – not only because of its close proximity to the Negroni – now is the time. But I can tell you in advance: the Bulleit 10 Years fits very well in a Boulveardier! It is definitely an enrichment to the European Bourbon market.
The Boulevardier was probably invented in 1927 by the American writer Erskine Gwynne, who himself lived in Paris and published his own magazine called “Boulevardier”. Basically, it is similar to a Negroni, except that the gin is just replaced by Bourbon or Rye Whiskey. There are also different recipe variants, many of which – as in the Negroni – speak of equal proportions of the ingredients. Personally I prefer – unlike with a Negroni – a version with a higher bourbon content, which is why I wrote the recipe as it stands below. Classically, the drink is built in the tumbler itself and stirred briefly with ice cubes. Sometimes I also prepare it with an ice sphere, which brings a certain, elegant something with it. A great prohibition classic!
4 cl Bulleit 10 Years Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
2 cl of Carpano Antica Formula
2 cl Campari
Preparation: Put all the ingredients in the glass filled with ice cubes and sprinkle with the oil of an orange zest, then stir briefly. Either add the orange zest in the drink or discard it (I have discarded it, as it somehow does not cut a fine figure next to an ice sphere).
Choose Your Whiskey
Although the original recipe in Barflies and Cocktails called for bourbon, many modern bartenders recommend rye in a Boulevardier. “The spiciness of rye adds more complexity in the finish. And especially in older bottlings, its tannins are a little finer, which gives the drink a refreshing snap,” says Pietro Collina, bar director of New York City’s NoMad Bar.
He recommends choosing a rye based on the vermouth you’re using. “I like to use Carpano Antica vermouth,” he says. “That has a lot of richness and vanilla notes, so you would need a sturdier rye whisky to balance it out, such as High West Double Rye.”
If you choose to go the traditional route and use bourbon, select one with a higher rye mash bill, like Basil Hayden, Four Roses Single Barrel, or Bulleit Bourbon. If using wheated bourbon or Tennessee whiskey, choose a more delicate and floral sweet vermouth like Dolin Rouge.
Combine bourbon, Campari, and vermouth in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is frosty, about 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe or a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with lemon twist. (To age: Place drink in aging kit up to 2 months.)
How would you rate Boulevardier?
I've been drinking Boulevardiers all season long too. I make mine with rye instead of bourbon (although I think that makes it a "1794 Cocktail") and I use red vermouth. Another riff is to use 1:1:1:1 Whisky : Dark Rum : Campari : Vermouth.
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Learn to make a classic BOULEVARDIER recipe with Brian Van Flandern from WhiskEy Cocktails
Here is one of my favorite “goto” cocktails. Enjoy one tonight!
1½ oz. Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
Glassware: Rocks or Coupe
Garnish: Orange twist
Method: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add large cubes of ice, stir thoroughly, and taste for balance. Strain into the serving glass, garnish, and serve.
History: The famous Boulevardier cocktail became popular around 1927 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France in the midst of American prohibition. While it is often considered a Negroni, made with Bourbon instead of Gin, it is important to note that the recipe first appeared in print 20 years before the Negroni. It was the signature cocktail of Erskine Gwynee who named the cocktail after his monthly periodical, widely distributed throughout Paris.
Bartender Legend Dale DeGroff Makes Us A ‘Bulleit Boulevardier’
In celebration of the 80th anniversary of National Repeal Day last Thursday (Dec. 5) — the day celebrated as the end to Prohibition — we caught up with renowned cocktail expert and Museum of the American Cocktail president, Dale DeGroff. During our time with him, he made us a special drink, the Bulleit Boulevardier, while telling us a little about its history, maker, and what’s behind it.
Known throughout the bartending community as “King Cocktail,” he’s authored some of the most famous cocktail books in American history, and has become a staple in NYC as the head bartender of the famous Rainbow Room, where he brought classic cocktails back to the Big Apple in the 1980’s.
Below is the full recipe. See more of Dale’s cocktails recipes here.
(by Erskine Gwynne, editor of the Paris Boulevardier)
– 1.25 oz Bulleit Bourbon
– 1 oz Dolan Sweet Vermouth
– 1 oz Campari
Preparation: Pour ingredients into an Old Fashioned glass and stir with ice to chill. Garnish with orange zest.
The story goes that the Boulevardier was invented by Erskine Gwynne, an ex-pat American publisher of “Boulevardier,” a Parisian newsletter during the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Boulevardier translates directly to “person who frequents boulevards” but has taken on the meaning of a socialite, a man about town, a Bon Vivant, or a sociable person who has cultivated and refined tastes, especially with respect to food and drink.
Gustave Caillebotte Jour De Pluie A Paris
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Add ingredients to a rocks glass with ice. Stir for 10 seconds if the ice is small, 30 seconds if one big cube and somewhere between if ice is somewhere between. Garnish with an orange peel.
Notes on Ingredients
Whiskey: This cocktail originally called for bourbon, and bourbon works here, but the higher the rye content, the better. Sweeter (high-corn) bourbons start lacking tension and read a little boring, so high rye bourbons (Bulleit Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101, Basil Hayden&rsquos, etc.) all work well. Better still is rye whiskey, which by definition has more rye, and adds much welcome spice and complexity. I find a linear relationship between rye content of the whiskey and how much I enjoy the cocktail: 100 percent rye is great if you can find it, but 95 percent rye&mdashDickel Rye, Bulleit Rye, Redemption, Templeton and so many others&mdashfits the bill handsomely.
Sweet Vermouth: honestly, most sweet vermouths are good here. In all the tests, there wasn&rsquot anything I wouldn&rsquot happily drink. If we&rsquore trying to optimize though, it depends on when you&rsquore drinking the cocktail. If you&rsquore having this before a meal, I prefer something light like Dolin which gives the softest possible touch, allowing a more dynamic tasting experience and letting the bitterness of the Campari to shine through. If after a meal, I like something like Carpano Antica, for a fuller balance and richer effect.
Every week bartender Jason O’Bryan mixes his up his favorite drinks for you. Check out his past cocktail recipes.
(33 votes, average: 4.03 out of 5)
- Author: Sonja Overhiser
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 drink 1 x
- Diet: Vegan
The Boulevardier is a stunning classic cocktail! This easy three ingredient drink is the improved version of a Negroni, swapping gin for whiskey.
- 1 1/2 ounces ( 3 tablespoons ) bourbon whiskey
- 1 ounce ( 2 tablespoons ) sweet or semi-sweet red vermouth
- 1 ounce ( 2 tablespoons ) Campari
- Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)
- For the garnish: Orange peel
- Combine the bourbon whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Campari in a cocktail mixing glass (or any other type of glass). Fill the mixing glass with 1 handful ice and stir continuously for 30 seconds.
- Add ice to a lowball glass, and strain the drink into the glass (or you can use a cocktail glass without ice).
- Use a knife to remove a 1″ wide strip of the orange peel. Squeeze the orange peel into the drink to release the oils. Gently run the peel around the edge of the glass, then place it in the glass and serve.
Keywords: Boulevardier, Bourbon Drink
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