Upgraded Boulevardier – the GreatDrams cocktail

let’s begin

If there’s anyone out there who doesn’t like a Negroni or an Old Fashioned, well, for shame.

With a Negroni, you have a great aperitif that wakes up your taste buds. While with an Old Fashioned, you’re getting a spectacular post-drink sipper. What if there was a way to combine the two? To take the best of both worlds and make a drink for all seasons, all times and everyone — that’d be something special indeed. That’s what you’re getting with an Upgraded Boulevardier.

Allow me to break this down for you. With a standard Boulevardier you have a pretty easy to remember one-to-one-to-one ratio of bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth. Essentially, it’s a Negroni with the gin replaced by bourbon (or rye — but, don’t hate me now — rye just isn’t my favorite thing in the world). In itself, this is a perfectly fine drink.

However, when looking for a cocktail to drink, I hope you’re not looking for “perfectly fine.” If you’re anything like me, you’re looking for “sublimely spectacular.” And if you’re not — don’t sell yourself short, give sublime a try and taste the sensation.

The first thing we did to upgrade the Boulevardier is up the ratio of bourbon, now it’s at two-to-one-to-one. Yes, it makes the world of difference. You’re still going to get that bitter, taste sensation awakening characteristics as the classic, but with an overall smoother flavor.

Our next step was to add a couple of dashes of orange bitters. This is where the real marriage of a standard Boulevardier and an Old Fashioned comes into play. With the orange bitters, you’re going to get more friendly flavors from the bourbon (also why I favor bourbon over rye in this), but it will also help compliment the sweet vermouth.

Yes, there’s both Campari and bitters in this — which does indeed mean the bitter component is higher. Never fear! That’s why we balanced it out with a bigger pour of bourbon (plus, more bourbon!).

Finally, garnish that magnificent beast with an orange peel and you’re going to double up the orange flavor, awakening both your smell and taste.

Now, let’s see that Upgraded Boulevardier in easy to consume form!

Upgraded Boulevardier

2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. Campari
2 dashes orange bitters
Orange peel
Glass: old-fashioned


Pour the bourbon, sweet vermouth and Campari into your mixing glass with ice.
Pour into your old-fashioned glass with one giant block of ice.
Garnish with orange peel.
Contemplate another.

Cocktail article supplied by Morgan or The Drink Blog

Hi there, I’m Morgan! Pleasure to meet you. Behind the camera, that’s Alice. She’s the strong, quiet type. With our powers combined (kinda like Captain Planet, except, you know, for booze) we form The Drink Blog! It’s our readymade excuse to try cocktails and encourage others to experiment along with us. Cheers!
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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