While I'm largely a whiskey girl, I do love a good Negroni, so I looked up what I had on hand I could build into a solid Negroni and came up with this. I'm currently in love with Nolet gin with it's rose notes. I didn't want the Campari to overwhelm the Nolet since I find it's a little delicate for a gin, I didn't use a straight 1:1:1 ratio.
1 oz Nolet
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Solerno Blood Orange liqueur
1 oz Vermouth di Torino
Expressed orange peel
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and ice. Strain into a chilled rocks glass with a large cube of ice. Express an orange peel over the top and rub the rim. Sip and savor slowly.
Count me in for any classic cocktail that has a whiskey in it. The Paper Plane has equal parts bourbon, lemon juice, amaro and Aperol. In my version, I used Averna amaro rather than the traditional Amaro Nonino, so I had to cut back a bit on the lemon juice. Since Michter's is a lower proof bourbon that also factored in that decision. Lemon easily overpowers whiskey at that lower proof. With a 100 proof or higher Paper Plane, you could probably keep up the equal parts ratios.
But, here's what worked with my Michter's:
3/4 oz Michter's bourbon
3/4 oz Averna Amaro
3/4 oz Aperol
1/2 oz lemon juice
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake until the outside is frosty-cold. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish, if you like, with a lemon peel. Cheers.
After enjoying a tasty Boulevardier, I asked myself what could make it better. And the answer? Chocolate. Of course.
And what better chocolate to add than Ballotin's Original Chocolate Whiskey. While I love all their products, the Original Chocolate stands in well for creme de cacao and other chocolate flavored liquors (as long as it's not a lighter colored cocktail).
I wanted to take the edge of the Campari off by dialing down the bitterness with an Aperol substitution and added Scrappy's chocolate bitters to enhance the depth of the chocolate flavors. For this particular cocktail, the chocolate bitters needed to be dark and well-rounded. More fudge brownie than chocolate syrup.
So I give you a sweeter take on the Boulevardier. Maybe I should have called it the Wonka Boulevard.
The Chocolate Boulevard
1 oz Ballotin Original Chocolate Whiskey
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
15 drops Scrappy's Chocolate bitters
Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass and full with ice. Stir until well-chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an excellent cherry and enjoy.
Leave it to Prohibition to give us one of the whiskey classics in the American cocktail scene. The Boulevardier is a drink combining equal parts rye, sweet vermouth and campari. Because the Campari is a bitter drink - sometimes consumed as an after-dinner digestif - it's not a sweet, cloying combination of flavors. There's some spice from the rye, the bitter and sweet from the Campari, and a little sour creeps in from the sweet vermouth. In many ways, this drink is all about balance.
Created by an American in Paris during Prohibition, Erskinne Gwynne, a writer and expat who'd jumped the pond to France, it first appeared in print in the 1927 edition of Barflies and Cocktails by Harry McElhone. If this recipe looks familiar it should; it's Negroni that swaps out whiskey for gin. Campari didn't make it to the US for another decade or two, so the first people to enjoy this cocktail were the locals in France or travelers from the US seeking respite from Prohibition.
1 oz Campari
1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1.5 oz Whistle Pig Rye Whiskey
Lemon twist for garnish
Combine spirits into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for about 30 seconds until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon twist after expressing the peel over the drink and rubbing the twist about the outside rim of the glass.
Heather Wibbels is a cocktail enthusiast who spends her time thinking about cocktails, researching cocktails and making cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.