Craft Cocktails: The Boulevardier with Cherry Vanilla Bitters

By Erik Eastman, Easy & Oskey
Photos by James Eastman

The Negroni has been enjoying a moment of resurgence recently, and with good reason. What’s not to like about the combination of bitter Campari, sweet vermouth, the crisp snap of a quality gin and an orange twist.

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As the seasons turn, and your football viewing, leaf raking, and pumpkin patch attendance skyrocket, you might consider another seasonal change: replacing the gin in your Negroni with whiskey. And when you do, you will have before you a cocktail called the Boulevardier.

We chose Russell’s Reserve 6 Year Old Rye after an “exhaustive” sampling session at South Lyndale Liquors, but there are a plethora of local distilleries* coming to market that plan to produce aged small batch whiskey. Until those find their way onto the shelves, Russell’s Reserve is a great value in the low $30s—extremely versatile and delicious, with plenty of character and creaminess on the finish.

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The Boulevardier cocktail, and the Negroni for that matter, is based on a simple 1:1:1 ratio of Campari to Sweet Vermouth to Whiskey (or Gin, for a Negroni). Like things bitter? Then stick with the 1:1:1 ratio, which will yield a pleasantly bitter cocktail. Like the taste of a favorite whiskey or sweet vermouth? Then tip the ratio in favor of said spirit. We love Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, and we like to highlight it in this application of the Boulevardier with our Cherry Vanilla bitters and a twist from a fresh, organic orange.

Related Post: Prairie Organic Martini

45th Parallel in New Richmond, Wisconsin is already turning out quality brown spirits. Look for Mill City Distilling, Panther Distillery, Far North Spirits and Loon Liquors to put out quality locally produced aged whiskeys in the near future.

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The Boulevardier

INGREDIENTS

¾ oz       Campari

1 oz          Russell’s Reserve Rye Whiskey

1½ oz     Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

1/8 tsp   Easy & Oskey Cherry Vanilla Bitters

METHOD

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over clean ice. Stir approximately 10 seconds to combine, dilute, and chill. Remove a healthy slice of orange peel from a fresh, organic orange. Squeeze the oils onto the drink, and drop the peel into the glass. Savor the Boulevardier cocktail with friends, and repeat.

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