arrel Strength Boulevardier Sour Header

Barrel Strength Boulevardier Sour Cocktail Recipe

In Cocktails by Thomas FondanoLeave a Comment

Recently while having dinner with my lovely wife at Ava Gene’s in Portland, OR, I encountered a cocktail that actually made me rethink my approach to cocktail creation. It was a Navy Strength Negroni Sour and it was fantastic. Created by Douglas Derrick, it utilizes a Negroni made with Navy Strength gin as the spirit in a sour. Think about that: A cocktail as the spirit base in a cocktail.

The Negroni is my favorite non-whiskey cocktail. The whiskey version of a Negroni is a Boulevardier. Navy Strength gin is usually about 114 proof, which is a similar ABV to several barrel strength bourbons. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Barrel Strength Boulevardier Sour

The first step is to prep a batch of Boulevardier cocktails using the instructions below:

Boulevardier batch (makes 3 cocktails):

  • 2 oz barrel strength bourbon (I used Wild Turkey Rare Breed, but OGD 114 would work too)
  • 2 oz Campari
  • 2 oz sweet vermouth

Once the batched Boulevardier’s are ready, proceed to make the Sour cocktail per the below:

Sour Cocktail:

  • 2 oz batched Boulevardier (from above)
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • Fat ¼ oz 2:1 syrup (dissolve 2 parts sugar in 1 part water)
  • 1 egg white

Shake the Boulevardier, lemon juice, syrup and egg white without ice for 20 seconds to emulsify the whites. Add a large ice cube (2”) and shake for another 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and express the oils of a swath of orange peel over the drink.

arrel Strength Boulevardier Sour Photo

This is a more complex recipe than the 3-ingredient cocktails I usually make at home, but worth the effort. Batching up the Boulevardier is easy and scalable. I often add a bitter element to my whiskey sours, so this is right up my alley.

I regularly drop a half-sized Manhattan in my mug of hot cider, but that’s just boozing up some juice. Where else could one substitute a cocktail for a spirit in a cocktail?

About the Author

Thomas Fondano

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Thomas Fondano has been drinking bourbon and trying every bottling he can get his hands on since last century. While he enjoys all types of whiskeys, bourbon remains his go-to whenever he says, “I need a drink.” He lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Oregon where he makes cocktails every day at 5pm.

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