Master of Cocktails Boulevardier

This week we’re making a nice potent, wintry drink for #MasterofCocktails to accompany all the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been enjoying. D’oh!

Don’t worry about that though, we’re making a Boulevardier. You’ll notice, ingredients-wise, that it’s basically a Negroni made with whiskey instead of gin. It appeared in Harry McElhone’s Barflies and Cocktails right back in 1927 after the New Yorker set up his bar in Paris and it’s just an absolutely superb drink.

Master of Cocktails Boulevardier ingredients

You’ll be needing these…

List of Ingredients

Before we start, you’ll need to remove a chunk of ice from the freezer and leave it to temper.

Master of Cocktails Ice Balls

Slight spoiler alert, but you know that whole clear ice / directional freezing thing? Yeah – we’ve got a proper solution. Coming soon to a friendly whisky retail site near you. Epic win.

So – with the ice tempering away nicely, let’s move onto today’s build.

Master of Cocktails Ice in glass

Now, I personally have a bit of a problem with the traditional serve on this drink. Usually we’d use Bourbon, but my opinion is that the rye content in most decent bourbons adds an unwelcome spicy note. For that reason we’re using a Corn Whiskey for this drink: Balcones True Blue 100 Proof.

Master of Cocktails Balcones True Blue 100 Proof

My take is that the creamy, smooth, vanilla-rich tones of this whisky add to the drink immeasurably rather than detract in the way that some Bourbons can. In my humble opinion.

We’re going to build this drink into a stirring glass – not the glass with your chunk of ice in it. If you chuck room-temperature liquid over the ice at this stage, it’ll just shatter. The Freezer was at -21c and at the moment the ice is still at -13c. We need to wait a bit:

Master of Cocktails Ice Temperature

What do you mean you don’t have an infra-red laser thermometer? Get out. This series isn’t for you.

35ml of the True Blue 100 Proof please.

Master of Cocktails Balcones True Blue 100 Proof

Followed closely by 35ml of Sacred Vermouth

Master of Cocktails Sacred Spiced Vermouth

…and finally 35ml Campari.

Master of Cocktails Campari

At which point, cue everyone and his missus telling me that I should try substituting [some shit or other] for Campari. [Not ‘shit’, in the sense of being shit, but ‘shit’ in the sense of ‘items’, you understand.]

If it’s not made with Campari, it’s not a Negroni. It’s just not. And I know we’re not making a negroni here but it’s just upsetting. Everyone. Please stop said variations on your cocktail lists as such.

I say, I’ve got a ‘Variation on a classic’. It’s called the ‘twisted cup of tea’. It’s just like a normal cup of tea, but instead of tea, I’ve used beef, and instead of milk, I’ve used bread, and instead of sugar I’ve used horseradish…

So you’ve made something completely different to a cup of tea?

Is it a Roast Beef Sandwich?

Fuck off.

Rant over.

I think we’ve stalled enough for the ice to be up to temp now. Normal Service resumed.

So – sling in a handful of ice and give it a quick (15 second) stir to dilute and chill.

Master of Cocktails Stir

You can see the ice is at zero degrees, as it’s melting. And clear. And beautiful.

Master of Cocktails Tempered Ice

Just to prove it though:

Master of Cocktails infrared thermometer

Strain the drink over your nicely-tempered ice sphere…

Master of Cocktails Strain

…and garnish with an orange twist. I prefer a twist to a wedge – the juice doesn’t add anything.

Master of Cocktails Garnish

There we have it – the Boulevardier. A simply superb drink.

Master of Cocktails Bourlevardier




You can find next week’s ingredients below. Told you we’d come back to it…

Master of Cocktails Next Week

Next week, you’ll be needing these…
Martini Gran Lusso, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, St. George Botanivore Gin, Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s Bitters, an Orange.