OK, fine, it’s not cool to admit this, but I hate olives and I do not like Campari, and that’s an understatement. It’s also a statement that makes it exceptionally difficult to proclaim my love of gin, since most people associate gin with martinis and martinis so often contain olives – and, to be honest, I’m still not even sure I like martinis without olives – and since apparently, if you like gin, not liking Negronis – which contain gin, vermouth and Campari – makes you a Bad Gin Drinker. Sigh.
It’s not like I haven’t tried. Every now and then I pluck up the courage to eat the salted bit of disgusting briny rubber that is an olive, or take a sip of something containing Campari without making a face in the process, convinced that one day, one bright, shining, magical day, I will find an olive – or, better, a Campari-based drink – that I don’t hate.
I had hoped the Boulevardier – basically a Negroni with rye whiskey instead of gin – would fall into the latter category, but on the first sip I really wasn’t sold on it (the deliciously subtle rye whiskey was almost entirely eclipsed by the ‘Pay attention to me!’ Campari) and by the end of the drink I was too far gone to tell. I will say this for it: I don’t hate it the way I hate the waste of good gin that is a Negroni (though I’d rather enjoy my rye without cramping its style, thanks all the same), and it’s an enjoyable enough way to get hammered while still impressing the bartender by ordering a reasonably ‘cool’ drink – these things are strong!
In short, if you like Campari, you will probably like this drink. If you don’t, I salute you.
60ml rye whiskey
30ml sweet vermouth
orange slice, to garnish
Add liquid ingredients to an ice-filled mixing glass. Stir until well chilled, then strain into a tumbler that’s half-full of ice. Garnish with the orange slice.
The Boulevardier is thought to have originated in 1920s Paris, but this particular recipe comes from a 2016 Dan Murphy’s catalogue.