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Recipe: The Boulevardier Is for Those Who Can’t Decide Between a Negroni and Manhattan

Tim Harris, owner of Manhattan Cricket Club (226 West 79th Street, second floor; 646-823-9252) and Burke & Wills (226 West 79th Street; 646-823-9251), can thank his family for his line of work. The native of Australia started working in restaurants at eight years old, and he has held every job imaginable in the restaurant industry, from his early days bussing tables at his parents’ place to learning how to tend bar at a classic Victorian hotel. Through all of those experiences, he’s come to appreciate classic things, like the boulevardier.

Having learned the trade from a woman who was “very specific about classic cocktails,” says Harris, he came to New York in 2007 on an adventure and has found a home away from home. Knowing how to make boozy libations helped him establish himself at New York’s Australia-themed spots, like the Sunburnt Cow and Bondi Road. However, if not for a natural disaster, Harris may not have been in the position that he finds himself today. “When the hurricane [Sandy] knocked out the Sunburnt Cow, it sucked the life out of other businesses,” says Harris. That’s when Harris moved uptown to the Upper West Side and took over the lease at his current location.

That’s also when Harris met veteran mixologist Greg Seider of The Summit Bar, who had a profound impact on his taste buds. Seider made Harris a boulevardier, and it became an instant member of Harris’s go-to cocktail arsenal.

“When Greg first made it for me, it fell right into my wheelhouse,” Harris says. “My classic go-to was always the manhattan, and that came from my grandfather.” The boulevardier also felt like a personal connection: Harris’s mentor in Australia was Italian and championed the power of the negroni, another cocktail made with Campari.

“[The boulevardier] is the lovechild of a negroni and a manhattan,” he says. “It’s a great drink for someone who likes whiskey but doesn’t want it full on as a manhattan. It’s been around since the Twenties. It’s evolved a little bit. You can twist on it really nicely. It still holds the major elements.”

A boulevardier is typically one part whiskey, one part Campari, and one part sweet vermouth, but Seider and Harris have played with the recipe a bit for the version on their menu. Harris enjoys putting a little more emphasis on the whiskey when making the drink to let it shine through more, which can help mix up the flavor profiles and possibilities. After the duo was introduced to Cappelletti, an Italian aperitivo, the bitter element the spirit brought to the drink could not be replaced.

Harris recommends the drink for those who appreciate spirit-heavy bold flavors, and those torn between negronis and manhattans. In addition to Summit Bar, he enjoys grabbing a classic cocktail at Maison Premiere.

Boulevardier of Broken Dreams

2 dashes orange bitters
3/4 oz. Dolin Rouge Vermouth
3/4 oz. Cappelletti Aperitivo
1 1/2 oz. Knob Creek Small Batch Rye

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir about 50 times.
Strain over a single large ice cube into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a large orange peel.

When not in the mood for boulevardiers, Harris also has a few go-to cocktails he uses to test out bartenders. “If someone can make a really good daiquiri and old-fashioned..if they can do those well, I’m going to stay for a few hours,” he says.

Old-Fashioned

2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes aromatic bitters
1/4 oz. agave syrup (50/50 light agave nectar/water)
2 oz. High West Double Rye

Place all ingredients in mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir until very cold (approximately 30 to 45 seconds). Strain over a single large ice cube in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a thick slice of orange peel.

Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice.

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From Equal Love for the Manhattan and Negroni, an Obsession With the Boulevardier Is Born

Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice.

Today’s call comes by way of David Giuliano of The Clam (420 Hudson Street; 212-242-7420).

What’s your call drink?

Boulevardier with Templeton

What is it about this drink that you like so much?

Well, it’s delicious. And it is a marriage of two of my favorite things…Campari and whiskey

Has it always been your favorite? How long did it take you to find it? What was that process like?

It’s been fav of mine for several years now. I was introduced to it by the owner of my local bar (Phil at Daddy-O). I would always sit down at the bar and hem and haw over whether I wanted a Negroni or a Manhattan…he eventually suggested the Boulevardier and an obsession was born.

Could you name a few places around town that make a particularly good version?

Daddy-o, obviously. Blue Ribbon wine bar is another spot that nails it. I’m also quite fond of a version I have at Market Table, with the addition of a little Cynar. Pretty yummy.

What’s the recipe for those who want to make it at home?

1.5 ounces Templeton Rye
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth (preferably Carpano antica)

Stir, serve up, and garnish with an orange peel.

Have a second favorite?

My second fav for a summer cocktail is a Hemingway daiquiri. This version of a daiquiri was created for Hemingway himself because he didn’t like his drinks too sweet…nor do I. I love this drink in the summer because it is clean and ridiculously refreshing. It is a perfect start to a meal because it really gets your mouth watering and ready to eat. It’s also fun for summer day drinking because it really cools you down and, frankly, you can drink a lot of them. Charlie Bird serves one that I just can’t get enough of.

Recipe:
Ice
2 ounces white rum
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
1 lime wheel, for garnish

Shake ingredients (besides lime wheel) and serve on the rocks. Garnish with lime wheel.