With the bitterness of a Negroni and the sweetness of a Manhattan, the Boulevardier is a classic whiskey cocktail that traditionally features whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Italian red bitters. First mentioned in the 1927 book, Barflies and Cocktails, and named after wealthy socialites, the Boulevardier is once again finding its way onto cocktail menus.
Like any other old-school drink, it can be modernized and modified to feature new flavors and make premium spirits sing. Below, the historic, renowned cocktail is made anew with a new whiskey from a historic whiskey maker, made by the first registered distillery in America: Jack Daniel Distillery and its Jack Daniel’s Bonded whiskey.
Back in the unregulated late 1800s, before the “Bottled-in-Bond” Act, you didn’t know how a whiskey was made or what was in it. The Act set the bar for whiskey distillers and upheld quality standards that are now a centuries-old practice. Today, Jack Daniel’s Bonded is made with those same standards (it’s aged for at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse, made by one distiller during one distilling season, and bottled at 100-proof) and shines in the Boulevardier thanks to its warmth and boldness, bringing personality with its toasted oak and baking spices on the finish.
Below, we asked three beloved bartenders — Kim Scott, Jelani Ramsay, and Pamela Wiznitzer — to create their own Boulevardier-inspired recipes featuring Jack Daniel’s Bonded.
The Seasoned Boulevardier
Kim Scott, Dallas, Texas
Award-winning mixologist Kim Scott leans into Italian flavors for her Boulevardier, keeping the classic red bitters and swapping out vermouth for an Italian Amaro and a homemade seasoning syrup featuring blueberries and herbs. “If you are into spirit-forward cocktails that will give you another experience with each sip, you should make this. It’s smooth and beautifully made,” she says.
3/4 ounce Jack Daniel’s Bonded Whiskey™
1/2 ounce Amaro Nonino Quintessentia™
1/4 ounce Italian red bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
1/4 ounce blueberry Italian seasoning syrup (see Editor’s Note))
1 orange peel
Garnish: 3 fresh blueberries, orange peel, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1. Chill the cocktail glass.
2. Moisten one side of the cocktail glass with some of the blueberry Italian seasoning syrup.
3. Roll the moistened part of the glass in the Italian seasoning and set aside.
4. Combine all of the ingredients except for the orange peel into a mixing glass. Add enough ice to the mixing glass to cover the ingredients.
5 .Stir the cocktail for about 15 seconds, or until the mixing glass is well chilled.
6. Strain the cocktail into a cocktail glass.
7. Express the orange peel over the cocktail and rub the peel around the rim of the glass.
8. String the peel on a garnish stick with 3 blueberries and serve.
Blueberry Italian Seasoning Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Simmer on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain the blueberries & Italian seasoning from the mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let the syrup completely cool before use, and store in the refrigerator.
The Sake Boulevardier
Jelani Ramsay, Westbury, New York
“My variation of the Boulevardier was inspired by one thing: Impact,” says private bartender and mixologist Jelani Ramsay. Ramsay uses sake with plum, white grape, and floral notes instead of the traditional vermouth, which he says pairs extremely well with the caramel and spicy notes of the whiskey. “Hundred-proof whiskeys command their own respect,” he says. “It’s a sophisticated and elegant drink that’s smooth, charismatic, pungent, and subtle.”
1/2 ounce of Jack Daniel’s Bonded™
1/2 ounce of Luxardo Bitter Bianco™ liqueur
1/2 ounce of Hakutsuru Sayuri Junmai Sake™
Garnish: orange twist
1. Use tongs to place one giant ice cube in a cocktail mixing glass.
2. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail mixing glass and stir for 15 to 30 seconds.
3. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass over another giant ice cube.
4. Horizontally cut a large orange peel.
5. Twist the orange peel over the glass and garnish with the peel.
Twisting an orange peel over the cocktail releases the peel’s natural oils into the glass and enhances the cocktail’s overall flavor.
The Grey Boulevardier
Pamela Wiznitzer, New York City, New York
“Jack Daniel’s Bonded really shines in a cocktail,” says New York bartender and beverage consultant Pamela Wiznitzer. For the Grey Boulevardier, Wiznitzer incorporated verjus in lieu of vermouth, a non-alcoholic and lightly acidic grape juice, as well as an over-steeped earl grey tea syrup to add a touch of sweetness and bitterness the classic cocktail is known for.
1 1/2 ounces Jack Daniel’s Bonded™
3/4 oz verjus
3/4 oz earl grey tea light syrup (see Editor’s Note)
Garnish: lemon twist and star anise
1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail mixer.
2. Stir for 10 seconds, or until the cocktail mixer is chilled.
3. Pour the drink into a lowball glass with ice.
4. Garnish with a lemon twist and star anise.
Steep earl grey tea into 2/3 cup of water for roughly 20 minutes. Combine the tea with 1/3 cup sugar and stir until dissolved.
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Branded Content Editor: Lee Musho
Art Director: Meg Konigsburg
Photographer: Robert Bredvad
Drink Stylist: Sean Dooley
Prop Stylist: Katrina Rozeville
Producer: Hannah Lee