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Must Mix EASY Halloween Drink: Bloody Booooolevardier

5 from 1 vote

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Bloody Boulevardier Halloween Drink in two coupes with mint and pepper garnish
Bloody Boulevardier Halloween Drink

Halloween is the time for bloody and bitter cocktails and this easy Boulevardier riff is perfect as a single cocktail or batched as a Halloween drink. In this cocktail we take a classic Boulevardier, top it with blood orange soda and add a fun pepper garnish to give the whole thing some horns.

What’s a Boulevardier?

The Boulevardier is a cocktail that originated in Paris during Prohibition. It was the idea of a man named Erskine Gwynne who patronized Harry McElhone’s bar – named, funnily enough – Harry’s New York Bar. He was a regular at Harry’s Bar and also an editor for a literary magazine called The Boulevardier. That’s the source of the name for the cocktail.

While it’s most often described today as a bourbon take on the Negroni, the recipe for the Negroni wasn’t published for another two decades. At the time it was just a great cocktail of bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari.

The original specs for the Boulevardier had equal proportions of all three, but today’s palates prefer a heavier ratio of the bourbon. Most people today prefer a recipe of 1 1/2 oz bourbon to 3/4 oz sweet vermouth and 3/4 oz Campari.

For more on the Boulevardier, see my article – How to Make the Perfect Boulevardier.

How to Make a Boulevardier Halloween Drink

Bloody Boulevardier Halloween Drink in two coupes with mint and pepper garnish
Bloody Boulevardier Halloween Drink

For this cocktail, I’m doing a very easy adjustment to the cocktail – just topping it with some blood orange soda from Trader Joe’s. This accomplishes two things: 1) it adds even more red color to the cocktail, and 2) it makes it much easier to drink as it sweetens and lightens the drink.

On the whole, the Boulevardier cocktail is very bitter because of the amount of Campari in it. As an Italian red bitter, Campari was originally designed to aid in digestion, so it’s infused with many herbs and botanicals.

So, to make this more appealing to cocktail drinkers new to the Boulevardier, I used the blood orange soda to soften up the drink and make it more approachable.

Tips and Tricks for this Boozy Bloody Boolevardier

Bloody Boulevardier Halloween Drink in two coupes with mint and pepper garnish
Bloody Boulevardier Halloween Drink
  • Because this isn’t served on ice, make sure the glass and the blood orange soda is chilled. This keeps the drink cold while you sip on your new favorite Halloween cocktail.
  • To make sure the drink is dark red, use a dark red/dark orange blood orange soda.
  • If the drink is still too bitter for you, swap the ratio to two oz bourbon and 1/2 oz sweet vermouth and 1/2 oz Campari. Top with a little more blood orange soda.
  • You won’t need bitters for this cocktail because of the Campari.
  • I used pepper horns for a garnish, but only because it’s a Halloween cocktail. Normally I would garnish this cocktail with mint leaves and a lemon wheel or blood orange wheel.

Other Halloween Cocktails to Try

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Recommended Bar Tools

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You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:

Bloody Boulevardier Halloween Drink in two coupes with mint and pepper garnish

Bloody Boolevardier Halloween Drink

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Take your creepy crawly cocktails to the next level with a delicious and easy riff on the classic Boulevardier. Just add a splash of blood orange soda to the classic recipe and top with some evil-looking pepper horns.
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 3 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1


  • 1.5 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Campari
  • 2-3 oz blood orange soda
  • Garnish: mint sprigs or pepper horns


  • Add bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth to the mixing glass and add ice.
  • Stir for 30 seconds, until well-chilled.
  • Strain into a coupe glass and top with blood orange soda.
  • Garnish with pepper horns or mint sprigs.
Keyword boulevardier, halloween
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on October 30th, 2021
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey enthusiast (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location

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