Boulevardier: Just Ritual
The Negroni has become a favorite cocktail for many, but have you tried its lesser-known sibling, the Boulevardier? This cocktail is similar to the Negroni but with a whiskey twist. With the introduction of Ritual Aperitif Alternative, there’s never been a better time to try a non-alcoholic version of this bold and delicious classic.
Origins of the Boulevardier
The Boulevardier has been around since the 1920s. Its history is closely tied to the era of Prohibition when many Americans flocked to Europe to enjoy alcoholic beverages that were illegal in the United States. The Boulevardier is a variation of the Negroni, which itself is a variation of the Americano, a cocktail made with Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water.
The origins of the Boulevardier remain elusive, but legend has it the cocktail was created by an American bartender named Harry McElhone, who owned the Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. The bar was a popular hangout for expats, artists, and writers, including Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The story goes that McElhone was asked to create a drink for a regular customer named Erskine Gwynne, the editor of a magazine called The Boulevardier. Gwynne was a wealthy American who had moved to Paris and was part of the expat community there. He asked McElhone to create a drink that would remind him of home.
McElhone’s solution was to substitute gin for whiskey in the Negroni recipe, and thus, the Boulevardier was born. The drink quickly became a favorite among the Paris expat crowd, and eventually returned to the United States.
The Boulevardier, along with many other classic cocktails, fell out of favor during the mid-20th century. However, like the Negroni, it has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to the craft cocktail movement. Bartenders worldwide have been putting their own unique spin on the classic recipe, and the Boulevardier has become a staple on many cocktail menus.
The Boulevardier’s popularity is also due to its simplicity and versatility. The recipe consists of just three ingredients: whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Campari. This makes it easy to make at home and can be adapted to suit individual tastes. The proportions of the three ingredients can be adjusted to create a stronger or weaker cocktail, and other ingredients, such as bitters or citrus, can be added for a summery kick.
The long story short
The Boulevardier is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time. Its history is closely tied to the Prohibition era and the Paris expat community during the 1920s. Today, it remains a popular cocktail that is enjoyed by people all over the world. Its simplicity, versatility, and rich history make it a must-try for anyone who loves classic cocktails.
Why go alcohol-free?
A non-alcoholic, mocktail, or virgin Boulevardier (however you’d like to call it) can provide the flavors and enjoyment of a traditional boulevardier without the alcohol. Some benefits of drinking a non-alcoholic Boulevardier include:
Lower calorie intake: Alcohol is high in calories, so choosing a non-alcoholic version of a Boulevardier can help reduce overall calorie intake.
Avoiding hangovers: Since non-alcoholic Boulevardiers don't contain alcohol, they won't lead to a hangover or other adverse effects associated with drinking.
Safe for everyone: Non-alcoholic Boulevardiers can be enjoyed by almost everyone, including pregnant women, people taking certain medications, and those with medical conditions that may be affected by alcohol.
Now, if only they had Ritual during prohibition, am I right??
How to make a Boulevardier
The Boulevardier cocktail is made with equal parts Ritual Whiskey Alternative and Ritual Aperitif Alternative: For this recipe you’ll need:
1 1/2 oz Ritual Whiskey Alternative
1 1/2 oz Ritual Aperitif Alternative
Garnish: orange peel
Build ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel. And there you have it – a simple cocktail to make with a surprisingly complex taste.
So how is it different from a Negroni?
The Negroni and the Boulevardier are classic cocktails that share a few similarities but differ in their ingredients and taste profiles.
The Negroni is made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and an aperitif, which gives it a bitter and herbaceous flavor. It is typically served on the rocks and garnished with an orange peel.
On the other hand, the Boulevardier is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and an aperitif. The whiskey base gives it a richer, more complex flavor compared to the gin-based Negroni. It is also typically served on the rocks and garnished with an orange peel.
So, the difference between the two cocktails is the base spirit. The Negroni uses gin, while the Boulevardier uses whiskey. If you prefer the taste of whiskey over gin, then the Boulevardier sounds like the better choice for you!
Seasonality of the Boulevardier
Like any cocktail, the Boulevardier can be enjoyed all year round. While it can be argued that it’s a great summer cocktail, the Boulevardier’s warm, rich, and complex flavor profile makes it perfect for colder months. Ritual Whiskey Alternative provides a pleasant heat, while Ritual Aperitif Alternative adds bitter notes that perfectly balance out the rich flavors. The cocktail can also be served warm or on the rocks (depending on your preference), making it a versatile drink. Not to mention, the deep red color of the Boulevardier is reminiscent of the holiday season and can add a festive touch to any winter gathering.