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 whiskey enthusiast (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching cocktails, making cocktails and drinking cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location. For more information about her favorite whiskey group, head over to Bourbon Women and join the women's whiskey revolution!