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The Boulevardier a Classic Cocktail

The Boulevardier

The Boulevardier has a history as straight as its recipe. The name seemly inspired by Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s book The Sun Also Rises, published in 1926 his character Jake says:

‘Enjoying living was learning to get your money’s worth and knowing when you had it.’

Mr Hemingway had a well-known association with the Paris scene of that era. In-particularly his time spent at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris

At the dawn of Prohibition, American bartender Harry MacElhone left for Europe. Firstly to England and then onto France, opening his bar, Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. In 1927, MacElhone, published his first book, Bar Flies and Cocktails.

The book includes recipes, toasts and extensive ‘bar life’ instructions, with significant space devoted to an organisation dubbed the IBF, otherwise known as International Bar Flies. A section in the back of the book highlighted drinks his clientele had created, and this is when we find the Boulevardiar.

Erskine Gwynne, was the editor of the magazine The Boulevardier at the same time accredited with the creation of the cocktail. A Boulevardier is a man-about-town and originally described a frequenter of the Parisian boulevards. Correspondingly, the magazine was about street life and culture in Paris.

The recipe for the Boulevardier cocktail is in an article similarly named Cocktails Round Town owing to Arthur Moss. Moss writes with attention to the Man-About-Town, mentioning some by name, accompanied by their signature drink. They announced the Boulevardier:

‘Now is the time for all good Barflies to come to the aid of the party, since Erskinne Gwynne crashed in with his Boulevardier Cocktail; 1/3 Campari, 1/3 Italian vermouth, 1/3 Bourbon whisky.’

Gwynne Erskine, number 27 on the IBF’s (International Bar Flies) membership list was the obvious bar fly that frequented Harry MacElhone’ bar.


  • 15ml Campari
  • 15ml Sweet Vermouth
  • 30mls Whiskey (either Rye, single malt or bourbon).


  • Add all the alcohols to a glass over ice.
  • Stir mixture until chilled.
  • Rim the glass with an orange rind crushing the rind to release the oils.
  • Garnish with an orange peel with a twist.