My wife gives me a lot of crap about buying books. And I do have a lot of cook books, books about guitars and music gear, books about songwriting, books about sharks, books about kayaking… Ok, maybe she has a good point. We have a great local library, and they often order the books that I request.
But sometimes, you just have to own a book. Such is the case with Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits by Jason Wilson (the spirits columnist for the Washington Post). I’ve been reading Jason’s work in the Post for a while now and I love that he never misses a chance to point out the ridiculous notion of premium vodka and spending $30 on a spirit that isn’t supposed to taste like anything.
Last July, Jason switched up my cocktail drinking routine by introducing me to the Boulevardier. It’s basically a Negroni, but with Bourbon in place of the gin. It’s delicious! So take it from me - ditch the vodka, buy the book, make a Boulevardier, and then keep going. Next up for me is to finally try Chartreuse. Maybe I’ll even write about the experience.
Oh, and my wife has been reading Boozehound as well…
The Recipe for the Boulevardier -
This cocktail is the Negroni's long-lost, whiskey-based cousin. It was named after a 1920s magazine for expats living in Paris that was run by socialite Erskine Gwynne.
• 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
• 1 ounce sweet vermouth
• 1 ounce Campari
• Twist of lemon peel, for garnish
Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice. Add the bourbon, sweet vermouth and Campari. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into a cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with the twist of lemon peel.
Adapted from "Barflies and Cocktails," by Harry McElhone (1927; reissued 2008, Mud Puddle Books).