Once upon a time, I pretended to be a world traveler. In my mind’s eye I lounged at a cobblestone cafe off the beaten path in Florence, Italy, in a white eyelet cotton dress, straw fedora, Jackie O sunglasses, and gladiator sandals. I ordered the classic Italian apéritif, the Negroni, named after Count Camillo Negroni. With a “Sì” and a satisfied nod of his head, my waiter trounced off to the bar to put my order in. Minutes later he reappeared and with a flourish placed the classic Italian apéritif in front of me. I took a sip, and promptly spit it out.
Confession time: I actually once tried the Negroni to share my experience with you all here. However, I sat at my basement bar and didn’t don an airy dress; rather, I slugged it out in my typical weekend comfy clothes, and I poured that drink into the drain after one failed sip. I love me some bitter in my cocktails, but I simply could not gag it down.
The allure of the Negroni not lost on me, I recently created a list of classic cocktails to try, and lo and behold – the Negroni made the list for a re-try. But while researching the classics I came across the Negroni’s cousin – the Boulevardier. Also composed with Campari and sweet vermouth, the Boulevardier uses rye whiskey as the base alcohol, and it’s not far from a Manhattan – a cocktail that I really enjoy.