Three Ways: Boulevardier Riffs

We love drinking the classic Negroni year-round, but when cool evenings call for cocktails with bold flavors, we often look toward its bourbon-based counterpart, the Boulevardier. Read more about the history of the drink here, and bookmark these three variants to find your favorite.

Night Bird
Cucumber lightens up this combo of rye, Averna, sweet vermouth and sage from Proof in Des Moines, Iowa. To prepare the drink, first make a batch of the bar’s sage tincture by chiffonaing 12 sage leaves. Add to 1 cup of high-proof spirit (Proof uses Plymouth Navy Strength gin) and let the mixture rest for 18 to 24 hours. Add 1 cup of water and strain. To make the drink, muddle 3 cucumber slices in a mixing glass. Add 1½ oz. of rye whiskey, ½ oz. of Averna, ¾ oz. of sweet vermouth and 2 dashes of the sage tincture with ice and stir. Double strain into chilled coupe and garnish with a fresh sage leaf.

Stay Woke
From the Ace Hotel in New York City, the Stay Woke is a coffee-spiked version of the whiskey-based classic. To make the drink, combine 1 oz. of bourbon with 1 oz. of Campari, ¾ oz. of coffee liqueur and ¼ oz. of Punt e Mes in a mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill, then strain into a coupe and garnish with an orange twist.

Teton Tanya 
This take on the Boulevardier employs Cynar and Aperol for the bittersweet components. To make the cocktail, combine 1 oz. of Aperol with 1 oz. of Cynar and 1 oz. of rye whiskey in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a rocks glass over a single large ice cube. Spritz the top with Becherovka and garnish with an orange peel.


Did you enjoy this article? Get more of the best of liquid culture when you sign up for a print or digital subscription to Imbibe Magazine. Click here for special savings!