In France, a boulevardier is a man-about-town, a gentleman who enjoys strolling along the street and visiting the most fashionable locales. It's also a classic cocktail that falls between the Negroni and Manhattan in composition and flavor.
In anticipation of Halloween, I wanted to suggest a good cocktail that would pour well into a novelty glass like my new $1.99 Champagne flute pictured here*. The Campari gives it such a lovely blood red color. And if you decide to dress up like Robert Smith or another member of The Cure, please try not to get your black lipstick all over the glass. It's a real pain to clean off.
1 part Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
1 part Campari
1 part Sweet Red Vermouth
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice; stir and strain to serve.
The Campari is balanced out well by the other two ingredients (Red Vermouth will smooth out anything), and it's a very enjoyable if somewhat strong cocktail. Those particularly sensitive to bitter flavors (such as six year old girls) may wish to dial back the Campari a bit, but that's totally your call. I won't question your manliness, and I promise not to call you Princess and ask to see your collection of My Little Ponies if you're afraid of Campari. I'm sure there's a wine cooler or Smirnoff Ice around here somewhere that will be easier on your palate, Tinkerbell.
Bourbon vs. Rye? Paul Clarke weighed in on this, and he seems to prefer the Rye. My opinion? Both versions are quite good, but the Bourbon one is sweeter and the Rye is spicier. Also, since Rye is a little harder to come by and often more expensive, you may wish to save it for cocktail aficionados.
*Typically there are public Champagne tastings as Christmas approaches... I am so tempted to carry this glass with me to one of those events.