Give a chocolate update to the classic Boulevardier cocktail with a few twists to two of the key ingredients.
The Boulevardier cocktail is a classic one, consisting of equal parts whisky, Campari and vermouth. It’s cousin is the Negroni where whisky is subbed out for the gin but the combination delivers the same bittersweet punch, largely due to the Campari. In this twist, the Campari is mellowed down by infusing it with cocoa nibs, with added chocolate flavours to its arsenal. The vermouth has also been substituted with a coffee amaro. Amaro is a class of (usually Italian) herbal liqueur normally consumed after dinner as a digestif but the coffee amaro we’ve used is made by local producer Distillery Botanica in Erina, NSW (the same distillery that makes the popular Mr Black coffee liqueur). Not quite as bitter as other amari, it also has a zesty citrus kick to it, courtesy of the oranges used in the process. The result when all three ingredients combined is like drinking a velvety rich cherry chocolate dessert tinged with coffee, orange and spice. Perfect for an after dinner drink!
We experimented with quite a few whiskies for this chocolate boulevardier - by and large, bourbon worked better than rye whisky - the vanilla characteristics of bourbon paired better with the rest of the ingredients than the spiciness of the rye. If you’re using Scotch whisky, go for a rich sherried whisky from say, Glenfarclas.
30ml bourbon whisky (we used Russells Reserve)*
30ml Mr Black Coffee Amaro
30ml chocolate Campari (see here for how to make it)
Combine all three ingredients in a glass with ice. Stir to combine everything. Garnish with orange peel.
*By and large, you can follow the equal parts proportion of the Boulevardier recipe. But, depending on the whisky, you may need to adjust the proportions of the recipe to your taste - when we made a variation of the recipe using the Starward New World Projects PX Sherry whisky, we changed it to 45ml whisky, 30ml coffee amaro and 30ml chocolate Campari.