The Boulevardier — Perfecting the Bourbon Negroni

If you love the Negroni and you love bourbon, then this drink is the best of both worlds... a bourbon Negroni with vivid color and complex flavor.

Updated February 27, 2024
Boulevardier Cocktail with Orange Garnish

If you're a Negroni fan and love bourbon, have we got a treat for you! The Negroni with bourbon, also known as the boulevardier, takes a classic bittersweet cocktail and gives it a uniquely American twist... America's native spirit in place of the Negroni's traditional gin. 

How to Make a Negroni With Bourbon 

Although this cocktail has a fancy French name, this version has America's native spirit bourbon as its base. Sure, it's complex and balanced, but it is also an accessible blend of sweet, bitter, and strong. 


  • 1½ ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish


  1. Chill a coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, combine the bourbon, sweet vermouth, Campari, and ice.
  3. Stir to chill.
  4. Strain into the chilled coupe.
  5. Express an orange peel over the top of the drink and run it around the rim of the glass. Discard and garnish with another orange peel.
Quick Tip

In the case of the Boulevardier, the simple and elegant orange peel makes the perfect minimalist garnish. When peeling the orange, do a shallow surface peel only so you don't get any bitter white pith; you want a perfectly orange peel on both sides of the garnish.

7 Cocktail Variations and Substitutions

The Boulevardier is, itself, a variation on the ever-enduring Negroni. However, you can make some easy variations and substitutions to this drink, too.

  • Replace the Campari with Aperol for a slightly less bitter, sweeter drink.
  • Replace the bourbon with rye for a drink with more bite.
  • Serve the cocktail on the rocks in a rocks glass instead of up in a chilled coupe.
  • Play with proportions of Campari and sweet vermouth to suit your own tastes. Some people like to use 1½ ounces of sweet vermouth and ½ ounce of Campari.
  • Experiment using different types of vermouth, from sweet to dry. 
  • Try different flavor infusions by steeping different herbs, spices, and fruits into the vermouth. 
  • Go savory with this cocktail with some bacon-infused bourbon or olive brine.

Related: Aromatic White Negroni Cocktail Recipe

Negroni With Bourbon – A Drink About Town

Don't be put off by this drink's fancy French name or bitter elements. The Boulevardier may have an air of sophistication and a savoir-faire appeal, but it's also a warming cocktail made with beautiful bourbon. So whether you're out and about in town or mixing up a cocktail at home, try the Boulevardier. It may just become one of your favorite go-to cocktails.

The Boulevardier — Perfecting the Bourbon Negroni