Bourbon, Recipes

How to Make a Boulevardier for National Bourbon Day

national bourbon day 2017

What a day today is! Don’t tell me that you don’t know! Today is not only Flag Day, but it is National Bourbon Day!

I know some people may roll their eyes if they hear that it is National Bourbon Day, because they assume it’s like the other “fake” holidays throughout the year, such as National Talk Like a Pirate Day or National Donut Day (Hey now, I’m not complaining about a day dedicated to donuts. I always have to get a couple or a dozen when this day comes around). However, National Bourbon Day is in fact a real holiday (or at least it is to us Kentuckians and fellow bourbon drinkers). Legend has it that June 14 is the anniversary of the very first time that bourbon was distilled in the late 1700s. On May 4, 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson signed an Act of Congress which declared bourbon “America’s Native Spirit.” This means that to be called bourbon, it must adhere to very strict regulations and must be made in the United States.

Not only does bourbon have a day dedicated to it, it also has a month to celebrate its honor. September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, and the Kentucky Bourbon Festival falls within that month and is hosted by Bardstown and has been since 1991.

If you don’t know anything about bourbon, you’ll probably want to read this post: Bourbon 101: Starting With the Basics. Most importantly, remember:

“All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon.”

My favorite bourbon cocktails are the classic Bourbon and Coke (Diet Coke, of course) and the refreshing Kentucky Mule. However, I have recently discovered a new favorite. While I was at Belle’s for the second day of Kentucky’s 225th Birthday Bash (By the way, they have the coolest rooftop bar), I was able to try the Boulevardier, which was one of their featured cocktails.

The Boulevardier (“bool-ah-var-dee-a”) is composed of campari, sweet red vermouth, and bourbon. Erskine Gwynne is known as its creator. He was a writer who founded Boulevardier, a magazine which ran from 1927 to 1932. Gwynne was also the nephew to railroad tycoon, Alfred Vanderbilt.

The Boulevardier is very similar to the Negroni, except it uses gin instead of bourbon whiskey or rye whiskey.

It’s super easy to make and oh so delicious!

boulevardier cocktail


  • 1 oz. campari
  • 1.5 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. sweet red vermouth
  • orange peel


  • Stir ingredients well into a mixing glass.
  • Strain into a chilled glass with ice.
  • Garnish with orange peel (Twist the peel and rub it along the rim of your glass, as well as your straw – This allows the citrus notes to come out)



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  • Leighann Hall

    Yessss girl! I’ve been wanting to make one of these since you mentioned them on IG! Thanks for sharing!

    • You’re welcome!! 🙂 I just hope when I order on at a restaurant, they know what I’m talking about heheh 🙂

  • Stephanie | vimandvigor

    my husband will love this! pinned 🙂

  • interesting drink… i do love bourbon… I didnt know today was national bourbon day I may have to have some (on the rocks) later!

    • I love bourbon so much too! Cheers 🙂

  • Jenna Urben

    Oh, good to know!! I might have to whip these up later tonight for my husband and myself.

  • I hadn’t heard of this drink before but it sounds delicious!

    • I had never heard of it either until that night. I had to even look up how to say it hahaha

  • Samantha Carter

    Goodness, my husband is going to LOVE this recipe! I think I’ll get him the ingredients as a Father’s Day gift! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  • Sounds delicious! Although I’m not a big drinker, I do like the occasional celebration drink! Happy Bourbon Day! 🙂

  • Ashley Millar

    My husband is a big bourbon drinker, and I have heard all about the history of it! This was cool to read, maybe I can teach him some new info :). Thanks for the recipe!

    • You’re welcome 🙂 I have lots of posts dedicated to bourbon – the distilleries, bourbon events, some posts for beginners to bourbon, and how to score rare bourbon 🙂 Hope he will like the drink!

  • Leela Foley

    The perfect cocktail for the perfect holiday!

  • Nicole Condit

    I grew up near Bardstown and did not know the entirety of the history of bourbon. Sounds like a fun drink

  • Jen @ Saving with Spunk

    How did I not know this!? I need to be celebrating this!

  • JustMadeTheCut

    I’m collecting a list of recipes for the bar cart I’m purchasing. Definitely adding this!

  • Christelle

    This looks AMAZING… Going to have to try it!