by James Stevenson

I was first introduced to the Negroni many years ago when I started getting a little more experimental with my drinks when going out to friends and at first, like most, didn’t like it. I gave up for a while but bartenders kept suggesting I try one and assured me I would get used to it but it wasn’t until I was at one of my local hang outs drinking bourbon and telling the bartender how everyone kept trying to get me to drink a Negroni that he recommended I try a Boulevardier.

, Byrrh-vardier

I of course had no idea what he was talking about, but then he explained that it was the same cocktail in measurements and still contained the Campari but with the substitution of Bourbon in place of the gin to mellow out the harsh bitterness a little more effectively. I was amazed it took so long for someone to recommend this in the place of a Negroni but I decided to give it a try. It was so delicious and in hind sight I think bartenders should introduce patrons who are new to cocktails to the Boulevardier first then the Negroni will be easier to appreciate.

, Byrrh-vardier

Since then I have been making so many variations on both cocktails (like my recent Negroni-ish), and I don’t know when I am going to run out of variations but while I am here in France I have been drinking this amazing Byrrh Grand Quinquina which is produced down in the south of France and it has been so delicious I wanted to try it in my favorite cocktail. The balance remains when you substitute it in the place of a sweet vermouth and I just can’t get enough.

, Byrrh-vardier

Recipe: Makes 4

  • 4 ounce Byrrh Grand Quinquina
  • 4 ounce Bourbon
  • 4 ounce Campari


  1. Combine all ingredients in a decanter
  2. Stir (swish around) to combine ingredients
  3. If you wish to serve chilled, keep in fridge before serving
  4. Pour into a rocks glass over an ice cube (or just ice)
  5. Garnish & Enjoy!

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