The Boulevardier: Perfecting the Bourbon Negroni

Published November 22, 2021
Boulevardier Cocktail with Orange Garnish


  • 1½ ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish


  1. Chill a coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, combine the bourbon, sweet vermouth, Campari, and ice.
  3. Stir to chill.
  4. Strain into the chilled coupe.
  5. Express an orange peel over the top of the drink and run it around the rim of the glass. Discard and garnish with another orange peel.

Variations and Substitutions

The boulevardier is, itself, a variation on the ever enduring Negroni. However, there are some easy variations and substitutions you can make to this drink, as well.

  • Replace the Campari with Aperol for a slightly less bitter drink.
  • Replace the bourbon with rye for a drink with more bite.
  • Serve the cocktail on the rocks in a rocks glass instead of up in a chilled coupe.
  • Play with proportions of Campari and sweet vermouth to suit your own tastes. Some people like to use 1½ ounces of sweet vermouth and ½ ounce of Campari.


In the case of the boulevardier, the simple and elegant orange peel makes the perfect minimalist garnish. When peeling the orange, do a shallow surface peel only so you don't get any of the bitter white pith; you want a perfectly orange peel on both sides of the garnish.

About the Boulevardier

The boulevardier cocktail is a Prohibition drink, invented by cocktails writer Erskine Gwynn. Gwynne edited a Parisian magazine called The Boulevardier, which is how the drink got its name. The rest, as they say, is cocktail history.

In the non-drink world, boulevardier (a French word pronounced booluh-var-dyey) means a fashionable man about town; or, in modern parlance, a fashionable socialite of any gender expression. And that name implies a certain hoity-toity level of sophistication that is often projected onto the drink, as well. But don't worry--the boulevardier as a cocktail is anything but that. With America's native spirit bourbon as its base, the boulevardier is an all-American cocktail hero. Sure it's complex and balanced, but also an accessible blend of sweet, bitter, and strong that, while it has a certain panache, can be made into a drink for anyone of age by adjusting the levels of Campari and sweet vermouth to suit every palate.

Negroni With Bourbon - A Drink About Town

Don't be put off by the fancy French name or bitter elements to this drink. The boulevardier may have an air of sophistication and a savoir faire appeal, but it's also a warming cocktail made with beautiful bourbon. So whether you're out and about in town or mixing up a cocktail at home, give the boulevardier a try. It may just become one of your favorite go-to cocktails.

The Boulevardier: Perfecting the Bourbon Negroni