Posts Tagged ‘campari’

Rule 37: Nolita

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



This one came from an idle afternoon snooping around Kindred Cocktails, which is proving to be a very handy resource. A recent blast down to MA brought the NH State Liquor store across our path, and since the Lady Friend was taking advantage of a St Germain sale, I did some wandering of my own, coming away with a sale-priced bottle of Kahlua. How I’ve gone this long without some Kahlua on the bar, I’m not sure, but I do know it rules out a lot of new drinks, being a gap in the ingredients available. So now I have some. And need to use it.

Kindred Cocktails lets you search by a particular ingredient, and after several unappealing suggestions, I decided to go with this Negroni variation. It’s simply splits the sweet vermouth with the coffee liqueur. Tia Maria also comes up for this sort of thing, but for now the Kahlua will have to do. According to the creator on San Diego Food Finds, this one is named as a mashup of “Negroni” and “Cafe Lolita,” apparently a brand of coffee liqueur. Don’t have that, but do have Kahlua, so in we go.


rule37nolitaNolita
From San Diego Food Finds via Kindred Cocktails

– 1 oz gin (I used GTD Wire Works because it’s AWESOME.)
– 1 oz Campari
– 1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
– 1/2 oz coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
– 1 dash bitters*

It’s a Negroni at heart, so STIR it. Use Julep strainer and serve up or on the rocks. I prefer my Negronis (or variations) on the rocks with one giant monster ice block. Garnish with a lemon peel.


*Yeah, so they simply say “dash of bitters” but neglect to specify WHAT bitters. I could go with orange here, which would play nicely in the Campari flavors, but with that addition of coffee liqueur, I’m going to use the old standby, Angostura. I’m assuming that when people say “bitters” but don’t specify, they mean Angostura. A little cinnamon/spice should also work here.

Nose: Actually, with that big iceberg in there, I don’t really get much aroma at all. There’s a hint of gin botanicals, and a very subdued Campari, but that’s about it.

rule37nolitabottlesTaste: Cold. Slightly syrup mouthfeel, as can be expected from that Campari ooze. Light gin up front, followed by bittersweet puckering orange Campari, and finishes with a coffee roast. I really wish this was more dramatic, but that’s how it is. It’s quite nice, but it’s a Negroni with some coffee flavor. For the second sip, I rolled it around in my mouth a bit more to warm it a touch, and it had a bit of a numbing effect from the booze rather than the cold. The gin is certainly prevalent, matched with the Campari spice. I’m sure this would be quite a bit rougher without the vermouth, but I can’t really pick out any of its essence among the big flavors. Again, the finish is a coffee roast, like a good stout/porter, bitter rather than mocha or dark chocolate. I bet Kahlua gets somewhat chocolatey when mixed with whiskey, but with the brighter, sharper flavors in a Negroni, it sets itself apart as the darker ingredient. The Angostura is nowhere to be found, though I suspect it’s lurking in the finish sheltered by the coffee flavors.

This is quite nice with the Wire Works, an American style gin, which eases off of the juniper a touch. I think the combination of a big, brash London Dry style would be an odd pairing of pine and coffee.


Is this a good time to say that I don’t drink/like coffee?

Even so, this is a good alternative to a regular Negroni. Something about it feels more like a cold, damp, rainy day drink. A little brown liqueur in an otherwise bright drink. It dims things down a bit.
Wonderful.

Rule 37: The Bell of Camille

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



This one comes from a rather whimsical old book from 1972 that I have in the collection called the “Quick Guide to Spirits.”


…and there’s a picture of a ghost!


Anyway, according to the book, this one comes from the Four Seasons in New York, and reads “John Covas, another dean of drams, named this after Camille, a lamb.” Um. Ok then. I didn’t really find much else about this cocktail, other than other sites posting the same recipe, though apparently there IS an actress named Camilla Belle.


Why, hello there.



That, however, is neither here nor there, and the two are entirely unconnected, since this book dates from 1972, and she was born in 1986. Yes, I know, it’s depressing. The drink itself is pretty simple, with only two ingredients. I like each of the ingredients (bourbon and Campari) but I’m a little concerned about a drink consisting of only those two. It does remind me of the Boulevardier, though that one at least had sweet vermouth in it, as in a Negroni. He didn’t mention how to prepare it, or what type of glass to serve it in, so I’m making a few executive decisions here. Other recipes suggest a cocktail glass, but I’ll take it like my Negronis: on the rocks.


Bell of Camille
From Robert Jay Misch’s Quick Guide to Spirits

– 1 1/2 oz bourbon (Old Crow Reserve)
– 1 oz Campari

Uh.
That’s it.

STIR in an ice filled mixing glass. Use a julep strainer to, well, strain into a cocktail glass, or, as I prefer, a rocks glass with a travel-sized iceberg in it. I garnished with an orange peel sliced thrice.




Well, it smells like Campari and bourbon.

Well, it tastes like Campari and bourbon.

Yeah. Pretty much. The aroma has a decent chunk of orange to it from that swath of peel I garnished with, and the Campari bittersweet is of course, rather dominant. It’s hard to pick up any of the bourbon, though there’s a subtle hint of dark sweetness lurking in the shadows.

The taste is all at once WHANG BANG ZOOM Campari and ZING BOFF FIZZ bourbon. The two actually meld together quite nicely. The herbal Campari dries out the palate while the sweet bourbon adds its complement of brown sugar, molasses, and roasted caramel corn. The two have a bit of back-and-forth, but it’s a discussion, not an argument. Neither one wins and they both make a lot of good points.


The Lady Friend’s take:
“I still get hit with Campari first, as I always do, but that’s actually a good balance. Towards the end I get that whiskey Old Crow… tasty actually. I like that. I think it’s well-balanced. A lot of drinks you make with Campari are WAY too Campari. And of course that quote’s going in there. Stop typing!”
And then she walked away.


I rather like this drink. It’s perfectly simple to make (provided you have Campari) and that Old Crow Reserve goes well with EVERYTHING so far. And I’ve used it a lot. Yum. In a cocktail glass this would make a good sipper, but I like the sturdy feel of a rocks glass with large amounts of solidified water. The orange peel adds a nice touch, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to flame it over the surface of the drink. Well played, ghost book.

(Call me, Camilla)

Rule 37: Rosita

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Ah, sweet Fridays. Cocktail night! I even had a surprise guest!


Once you give them a cocktail, they just come begging for more.


With the Lady Friend driving up from Boston, she was too tired to come up with her own Rule 37, and charged me with making one for her. I snagged a copy of a Mr. Boston recipe book and found that a drink had already been bookmarked. It was the Rosita, which uses both tequila (for she) and Campari (for me). Interesting. Or horrifying. I’m not sure yet. Mr. Boston does some strange things. Still, I’m willing to give it a try. I broke out the Agavales for this one, which was a great tip from Bottom Shelf Drinker Will Gordon. Read his review here, and then read everything else he’s written.
Seriously.

Ok, drink time. Let’s see what happens.


Rosita
From Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s and Party Guide

– 1 oz tequila (used Agavales)
– 1 oz Campari
– 1/2 oz dry vermouth
– 1/2 oz sweet vermouth

All spirit (no fruit juice) so this one is stirred. The book suggests serving with a lemon twist (which I just plain forgot) and also instructs to build it in an Old Fashioned glass over ice. I guess that could work too, but I was making a double batch. So, stir with ice in a mixing glass (that’s why it’s a MIXING glass) and strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned or rocks glass. Don’t forget the lemon twist.


Well it LOOKS pretty. I refused to tell the Lady Friend what was in it, and the strawberry hue had her guessing that there was grenadine in there. Nope. But she certainly smelled the tequila. And tasted the Campari. Had a lucky guess on the sweet vermouth, and couldn’t pin the dry (that’d be a tricky one to pick out flavor-wise). So now it’s my turn. Let’s start with a sniff.

PHRORawrHAMRah. It REEKS of tequila. Smokey and irresponsible. Not like an elderly and well-mannered Scotch. Really, that’s all that I’m getting in the nose. Just tequila. Blargh.

The taste is another story. The tequila is up front, but more subdued than you’d guess from the aroma. The Campari comes a-knockin’ in the middle, and the smokey Mexican spirit and bittersweet Italian liqueur do strange, unmentionable things with and/or to each other. It’s like watching two fat people rub sunblock on each other, or seeing senior citizens vigorously making out. Horrifying, yet hypnotizing. It can’t be unseen, and this drink can’t be untasted. A smokey and spicy tequila pig in an herbal syrupy Campari blanket. The vermouth is just there to make sure things don’t get too out of control.


It’s a really strange drink, but I kind of like it.

Rule 37: The Calypso Campari Orange

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



So, this one is KIND OF an original. Not really. I didn’t make it up, but it does have a bit of a personal twist to it. I got an email from my friend Leelz, who sends me these things from time to time, with some drink suggestions. There were some interesting beertails (a term I personally abhor, but can’t think of a better alternative), one of which involved Campari and orange juice. So let’s give it a go.


The Calypso Campari Orange
This is the pint version.

– 1 oz Campari
– 1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
– Top with IPA of your choice

Um. Yeah. Pretty easy. Equal parts Campari and orange (a regular Campari Orange is 1 part Campari, 2 parts orange juice over ice) and dump it in a pint glass. Top with an IPA of your choosing.


The article was geared towards spicing up canned beers for a party setting, so the directions are slightly looser. They suggest taking a “hearty sip” out of your canned IPA to make room for the mixer. I decided to make the mildly classier pint glass version, using a single-hop homebrew IPA that the Irish Lad and I concocted. This one used solely Calypso hops, hence the name. His Amarillo-hopped version turned out to be tastier than my Calypso choice, but it was as fun experiment, and now I’m left with multiple bombers to drink or give away. I’m sure this beer has peaked by now, but let’s give it a go anyway.

In the nose, I certainly smell orange juice, and the Campari comes through, but the IPA isn’t making much of an aroma impact. There’s a bit of a wet grass smell to it, fresh and clean, like a damp lawn getting mowed. A very mild moldiness lurkes underneath, though I’m blaming that on the homebrew being a month or five past its prime.

Yikes. Here we go.


Ok. Um. It’s attacking my tongue. It’s zippy and tangy. That would be the Campari. It’s the dominant flavor in this concoction. Campari bittersweet all up front. There’s some maltiness in the background, but it’s pretty overwhelmed by the Italian. I’m going to need a second attempt to see if I can break through the resistance at Salerno.

Taste two: Zing! On the tongue. Campari again. The orange is in there (even got some pulp into the mix, yargh) and that malt does shine through a bit more. But not enough.

Upon tasting the homebrew on it’s own, it was determined that it’s certainly fallen off. It’s not bad, but there’s a sour note that wasn’t there before. Past prime, but still ok. Just not the hoppy wonder it once was. Maybe I should have used the lone Dogfish 60 Minute IPA lurking in my fridge after all.


So, I think the recipe is solid, but the beer let me down on this one. That said, if you’re going to use a full ounce each of Campari and orange, make it a BIG, bold IPA to stand up to the bittersweet amaro. It’s meant to add a bit of flavor complexity to an IPA and liven things up, but with this one it just dominated. I’d like to try it again, halving the amounts of Campari and orange, to see if I can get a better balance. Play with this one if you like… there’s a great drink in there somewhere. A magical combination of the right IPA and the correct addition of Campari. If you find it, let me know.

Rule 37: The Mustachio

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.



Whilst stroking the blank space under my nose where my awesome handlebar mustache used to be (the Lady Friend did not approve, and somehow she obtained a large number of electoral votes) I happened across a tasty looking recipe. It comes from The Barkeeper’s May issue of this year. It was just the thing to sip while fondly recalling my days as a facially-follicled gent.


The Mustachio

1 ½ oz Bourbon (Used Old Crow Reserve)
1 oz Cointreau (Used Grand Marnier)
¾ oz Campari
½ oz lemon juice

Shake/ strain/ serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Be sure to include the garnish.

For the garnish: I recommend cutting a large swath of lemon peel away from the fruit, and trimming off the pith. Then, use your paring knife (or Xacto like I did) to slice the proper handlebar mustache shape.


Nose: Well, it’s confusing. It smells like bourbon, Campari and lemon mixed together. Which is how it should smell, I suppose. Like a whiskey sour, but with Campari in it.

Taste: Less sweet than I imagined. The bourbon is certainly in there, and it’s doing freaky-deakey things with the bittersweet Campari. It starts with a dry, tart, herbal bitter from the Campari, but with bourbon’s hot sweet mess. I used Grand Marnier instead of Cointreau, and it adds a bit of dark sweetness which pairs well with the whiskey. The lemon is hanging out in the background, but very subdued. It’s the Campari and the bourbon slugging it out, and the Campari might win. Perhaps a bigger whiskey, like the higher-proof Knob Creek would do it, but the super-tasty Old Crow Reserve goes down swinging.

The Lady Friend’s take: “Smell: bourbon. I don’t taste any Campari.” I think her tastebuds are broken. I belive she’s mistaking the Camapri’s bittersweet for lemon tart. There really isn’t much lemon juice in there to make much impact. She did make her “Campari grimace” face.

I miss my mustache.

Rule 37: Champagne Night!

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.


Rule 37 Bonus Round: Champagne!
Well, sparkling wine.

The Lady Friend had acquired a quite economically priced bottle of Australian De Bortoli Sparkling Brut (Family Selection) from Bin Ends, on our last visit. Perfect for mixing cocktails. So we did, for a Very Special Wednesday Cocktail Night.

I started with a Spritz! which is a happy little word that requires an exclamation point to follow it.


Spritz!

– 1 1/2 oz Campari
– Prosecco (I used the sparkling we had on hand. Didn’t have any Prosecco)

Um. It’s pretty simple. Dump the Campari into a rocks/old fashioned glass over ice and top with the sparkling. I used a flamed orange peel rather than the suggested orange slice.




I got the recipe from one of the blogs I follow, the Savoy Stomp, which used to be called the Underhill Lounge. The author took a trip to Italy, the land of Campari, and did a few posts about it. This one happened to catch my eye. You can watch a video of him making it (along with an Americano) on his site here: What I Learned in Italy (Part 3).

As for the taste… Wowsers! It’s like they’re fighting in my mouth. The bitter Campari and the sweet wine are rastlin, and there’s no telling who is going to win. Certainly an interesting drink, and one worth trying. If you’re not a Campari fan, the sparkling helps take the edge off, though if you ARE a fan, there’s still plenty of flavor.


The Lady Friend arrived at SFHQ about 45 mins earlier than expected, so instead of finding me washing the dishes, she walked in to me sitting on the couch snacking on some BBQ chips. While I then attended to sorting out the kitchen, she started off with a Saranac Chocolate Lager and wanted to try one of those Manhattan things I’m always drinking. She’s not really used to the boozy cocktails, so I started her off with a lighter whiskey, Redbreast, instead of my preferred rye. Redbreast is a pot-distilled Irish whiskey (one of the only pot-distilled ones left) and the bottle was a gift from the Irish Lad and Wifey last year after I completed my black belt test. It’s quite good… much better than many standard Irish offerings, and I really don’t use it enough. The Lady Friend is getting interested in the difference between bitters, and the Manhattan is a good showcase. She got Angostura with this one. Finishing that, she moved on to her Rule 37 cocktail, the Long Hello.


The Long Hello

– 3/4oz apple brandy (Laird’s Applejack)
– 3/4oz St Germain
– 1 dash Fee Bros Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters
– Champagne to top
– Grated nutmeg garnish

Shake the brandy, St. Germain, and bitters, and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with champagne. Dust grated nutmeg over the top as garnish.

Apparently, she liked it, claiming it was “by far the most fall drink we’ve had, and besides the Bourbon Bramble, it’s my favorite this fall.” Ok then. Simple enough. I did manage to find whole nutmeg (turns out it IS in the spice aisle) and I think that helped the flavor quite a bit.
Onto my next drink.


The Typhoon

– 1oz gin (Bombay)
– Dash of Pernod
– 1/2oz fresh lime juice
– 4oz (top) champagne
– Lime Twist garnish

Shake the first three ingredients and strain into a cocktail flute. Top with champagne. Garnish with a lime twist.

I found it was a bit more liquid than expected, so I used a collins glass. The Lady Friend found this recipe somewhere, and it came with this bit of info: “At first glance, this cocktail may seem elegant and refined, but within the bubbly is a monsoon of flavors and a potency that suggests you hang on to that palm tree before you have another.” Strap yourselves in, we’re in for some chop.

Taste: Whoa. Strange. Definitely a tart lime taste, and a whole buncha licorice. I think I added more than a “dash” of Pernod. It was more like a splash. Sparkling adds a bubbly bite to the whole deal. Really interesting.


The French Revolution
From Gary Regan’s “The Bartender’s Bible”

– 2oz brandy
– 1/2oz framboise (Flag Hill raspberry liqueur)
– Top w Champagne

This one was for the Lady Friend. I believe this one was simply built in the glass. She made it, so I didn’t see what happened. Dump in the brandy and framboise, top with champagne and give it a stir. [UPDATE: The book says to stir the brandy and framboise in a mixing glass with ice, then strain into a champagne flute and add the wine.] The Francophile in her couldn’t resist the name, or an excuse to use her raspberry liqueur. I think we were watching some episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia by this point, so I didn’t hear how the drink tasted.


There you go. Four new recipes to try with a bottle of sparkling. Have at it.

Soused in SanFran – Part 4: SFO D2 Alembic



This here is Part Four of the Grand Caliventure of November 2011.
For Part 1, make the clicking to here.





Not your turn yet, Sissy. But soon.


Following our delicious lunch and tasty beers at Magnolia, the Lady Friend and I started heading down Haight Street towards our next destination, the legendary Alembic Bar. We were pointed straight into the vortex of hippie ground zero, strolling cautiously past Haight-Ashbury, the epicenter of the flower children. Yes, it was weird. We saw a man in his 60s, with gray hair and beard, wearing a short, Catholic school girl pleated skirt and knee socks. I don’t care, that’s just not ok. I kind of hate The Haight. I needed a protective suit like Cartman when he rescues Kyle before SF destroys itself.


My boy, we are pilgrims in an unholy land.



Then we saw it: The Alembic. A cocktail bar that has frequently landed on “best bar” lists throughout the country. It’s hard to tell what lurks behind the dark tinted “A”-embedded door amidst the wandering stoners shuffling by on the sidewalk. Sure, if we had more time, I would have liked to take a peek at Smuggler’s Cove, Bourbon and Branch, and Rickhouse, but there were other destinations that required some precious time allotment. We pulled the heavy door open and took a brief moment to let our eyes adjust to the dim light and muted tones of the interior, a welcome change from the blaring sun and psychedelic hues of Haight. The narrow space with high ceilings was dominated by a sturdy wooden length of bar, and three shelves overflowing with nearly every conceivable liquor and liqueur. A touch of light lazily drifted in through a yellow-tinted skylight towards the rear, and opened up the back seating area. Everything was wood, tan and dusty, and had an aged patina except for the glossy glass bottles that stretched for a great distance. The antithesis of pretension. This is exactly as it should be. This is what a cocktail bar needs to be. This is home.


Rapture.



Vintage light bulbs rappelled down from the ceiling provided more aesthetic quality than luminosity. Though there were a handful of patrons, conversation was light, and subdued, the loudest sounds coming from the jarring maraca rattle of ice in metal shaker. The Lady Friend lolled through the cocktail menu, while I marveled at the array of amaro, the wonderful whiskies, and the rows of rums. They have more types of rye than most bars have whiskey, rum, and gin combined. The cocktail list consisted of a double-sided sheet, one side old school and one nouveau. She eventually settled on a Blood and Sand, and was surprised to find that it was actually a known classic. She enjoyed it, but my home bar currently lacks the necessary cherry brandy (Heering) to recreate it. Though the recipe contains scotch, hers was made with Russell’s Reserve 6yo Rye. I availed myself of some of their Campari, requesting my new bar benchmark, the Negroni. Disappointed with the UTTER failure of a previous “cocktail” bar, I was confident that I wouldn’t have the same troubles here. When I requested Plymouth specifically, the heavily tattooed bartendress simply nodded and said “that’s what we use.” Beautiful. It also contained Carpano Antica vermouth, which lent a much spicier and vivacious note to the taste, bold enough to stand up to the brutish Campari, with little on the nose but fresh orange peel. Wonderful.


This. This is my goal. This is the bottle collection I want in my home bar.



I had been in touch once again with Ke$hia Ho, who agreed to meet up with us while we sipped our drinks. She and I chatted for a bit about various cocktail nonsense, and pointed out various unusual bottles to each other. When our glasses finally dried up, we steeled ourselves for the hippie horrors that lay outside, and ventured on. Happily, she brought her car, complete with MN plates, and we sped out of Peaceland, never to return. The next destination was another I had been looking forward to: the City Beer Store. Why was this a big deal? Stay tuned, and I’ll get to it.




Rule 37: The Boulevardier

I had entered a couple photos in a local art show Friday night, so our cocktail night was a bit delayed. Lady Friend started with wine at the show, then switched over to beer for dinner at the Union Brewhouse, where we each checked two more brews off of our 99 bottle list. She’s doing her list in reverse alphabetical order, and went with a Unibroue La Fin du Monde, which she enjoyed greatly. Another trip to Montreal may be necessary to stop by the brewery in Chambly. Her second was a pint of Blue Hills Brewery’s Okto Brau on tap (which was quite good… it didn’t taste like most Octoberfest beers. It really did have flavors of autumn somehow. Finished with a cereal sweet taste that I can only describe as Halloween candy Kit Kat bars. Seriously.) I crossed Haverhill Brewery’s IPA off my list (they’re one of our future drink destinations) and had a Harpoon IPA, which is never a bad choice.

So, after dinner, we adjorned to SquirrelFarts HQ, aka The Drinkatorium, aka The Cocktail Cave aka Hōm Bar. All names awaiting trademark certification. Lady Friend decided to stay on the beer train, and ignore the hallowed tenets of Rule 37. I had picked out a new drink earlier in the week after stumbling across one that sounded good in one of the drinking blogs/ articles I follow: about.com’s cocktail section. The article is here.


The Boulevardier


1 1/2 oz bourbon (I substituted rye)
1 oz sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
1 oz Campari


Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and STIR.
Strain with a julep strainer into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with orange twist.

Have a sip and exclaim “Ah, Paris!”
…even though it’s made with American bourbon, and Italian Campari.


Clearly, it’s similar to the Negroni, pouring bourbon instead of gin. It wasn’t bad, but the Campari overwhelmed the whiskey, even with an extra 1/2 ounce of liquor in the mix. Perhaps a bolder rye (I used Old Overholt) would be more willing to stand up to the Campari’s amaro insolence. I think I’ll try this one again, easing up slightly on the Campari. The whiskey added a smoothness to the drink not found in a regular gin-based Negroni. I used rye, wanting a little more bite, suspecting bourbon’s sweetness would be washed away by the powerful bittersweet in the Campari. A variant of the recipe, the 1794 Cocktail, seems to be just what I’m looking for.


It turns out, the Boulevardier is a bit of a classic, and older than its Negroni sibling. During Prohibition, cocktails really grew into their own, and expat bartender Harry McElhone started Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Since Campari, an Italian bitter liqueur, was widely available in Europe, a number of cocktails included it as a big flavor boost. Although this cocktail appears to be a whiskey version of a Negroni, (equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth) Campari was unheard of in America at the time, and would not appear until about 20 years later following WWII. Harry’s cocktail was named for a monthly magazine called, of course, The Boulevardier, as it was the signature drink of the magazine’s publisher. More on this can be found in the short article by Ted “Dr Cocktail” Haigh at Imbibe Magazine, found HERE. Go read it, then make a Boulevardier for yourself.


Actually, go have a Negroni. It may be newer, but it’s tastier, and still a classic.

So it goes

My first Negroni.
– 1.5oz Hendricks gin
– 1.5oz Martini & Rosso sweet vermouth
– 1.5oz Campari
Stir in chilled old fashioned glass. Garnish with orange peel.


I’m not a great lover of gin, but I’m making an effort to be civil. We get along fine in front of others, but have very little to speak about one-on-one.  However, the Negroni is undeniably classic, so I push forward. Initial thoughts: warm, red, spicy. The Campari shines above all, but the gin is there. I’m banking on the bitterness to counter my overindulgence of barbecue chicken and onion pizza, though probably not the best of ideas about an hour before a tae kwon do workout. The sweet bitterness of Campari is really on show. Overall, I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. My usual feeling about lady gin.

I have recently done a bit of furniture swapping in my apartment, with the computer desk and bar changing places. Out of habit, I find myself rounding the corner to the computer, only to find it on my right flank. The bar needed expansion and will grow in its new home, but for now, I find the greatest inconvenience to be the lack of a place to put my drink while at the keyboard.

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