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5 Best Whiskies for Boulevardiers & Negronis

A great cocktail comes from great ingredients. And with spirits being the key to an alcoholic beverage, it’s important to get them right. 

Like many timeless classic cocktails, the Boulevardier is a simple recipe that relies on quality over quantity. Sometimes known as a Whisky Negroni, it’s a rich, full-bodied drink that dates back to the Prohibition era when an American writer in Paris shared his signature order, naming it after his monthly publication.

Just three ingredients are combined to achieve the Boulevardier’s warming taste, based on the original Negroni recipe. Instead of gin, equal parts whisky, sweet vermouth and Campari are combined, creating a richer layer of depth to the expected bittersweet flavour. Depending on the whisky used, this subtle yet significant twist transforms the drink, often adding a smoky or spiced after taste.

Whether you’re looking to make a Boulevardier at home or are finessing your bar order, it’s good to know the best ingredients to use to perfect this robust recipe. Here we share the best whiskies from The Glenlivet single malt collection to craft this sophisticated drink and take it to new heights.

What type of whisky should you use for a Boulevardier?

A Boulevardier can be made with any type of whisky. Many recipes call for the sweetness of bourbon, whilst others use rye for a spicier finish. Yet one of the most popular variations of the original classic is a Scotch Negroni, essentially a Boulevardier made with scotch whisky.

Produced in Scotland, scotch runs the full range of flavours from peated and smoky, to light, fruity and sweet. It’s the most versatile of whiskies, lending itself perfectly to all whisky cocktails. 

As the Boulevardier is a fairly strong whisky drink, it’s worth using a high quality spirit, one that will complement the bitterness of Campari and sweetness of sweet vermouth. Here’s the whiskies we recommend using.

The Glenlivet 15 Year Old Single Malt

We make our Boulevardier with the deep, golden flavours of our 15 Year Old scotch. Distinctively rich, with notes of sweet fruit, spice and creamy almond. it pairs beautifully with the Negroni’s other ingredients. 

Selectively matured in French oak casks results in a unique, pleasing spiciness. As one of the first to use French limousin oak for making whisky, we’ve perfected this technique to create the desired result: a lingering fruit and nut finish.

The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve

Make the most of the classic creamy texture of The Glenlivet. This single malt is a tribute to our founder, George Smith and is made using the same time-honoured distillation methods that he introduced so long ago.

Selective use of American first-fill oak casks are used to make The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, resulting in a smooth, sweetness that mingles with fruity notes of orange, pear and toffee apple. The long, zesty notes are a match made for the tart citrus taste of Campari in a Boulevardier.

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old

An at home bar isn’t complete without a bottle of our 12 Year Old whisky. Perfectly smooth, sweetly spiced and lightly fruity, it’s our most versatile scotch yet, made for whisky cocktail hour. Stir it into a Boulevardier and then try it in other recipes such as an Old Fashioned or Whisky Sour.

First matured in traditional oak, it then spends time in American oak casks to impart hints of creamy vanilla. But what really stands out are the delicate yet complex notes of summery pineapple. It’s what the Original Malt Whisky Almanac calls “A first-class malt. One of the most popular malts in the world – deservedly so.”

The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve

Give the citrus sweetness of a Scotch Negroni a run for its money when you use The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve. It’s got all the original creamy smoothness of our signature single malts, but this time with a tropical twist.

Part finished in whisky barrels that previously held Caribbean rum, this is a scotch unlike any other. Sweet red apple and pear blend with exotic ripe banana and toffee syrup to create a well balanced, ultra smooth scotch you can sip all summer long.

The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve

Indulge in the sweet, fruity aromas of The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve. Inspired by the great grandson of our founder George Smith, this whisky offers a rich and intense taste that’s achieved from a portion being finished in casks that previously held Cognac.

Expect raisin-rich, succulent citrus notes that prompt the taste of apricot jam, poached pears and honeyed mandarins. There’s also hints of chocolate, spicy liquorice and sweet cinnamon bread. A true myriad of complex flavours that taste just as good on their own as they do in a cocktail.

Discover more of our collection of single malts from the best bottles to gift to a loved one to our rare whiskies from The Glenlivet Distillery. We’ve also got plenty more whisky cocktail recipes including fruity cocktails and more drinks similar to a Negroni.