top of page
  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

Behind the Stick with Mark Spears: How to make the Boulevardier cocktail



1 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon 1 oz. Campari 1 oz. Antica Sweet Vermouth Garnish: Orange peel

What’s the origin of the Boulevardier?

The drink is credited to Harry McElhone, the founder and proprietor of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, and dated to 1927.

How would you describe the taste to someone who hasn’t had this before?

If you have never had this cocktail, I would describe it as a booze-forward cocktail, highlighting the bourbon with strong bitter components.

What would be the key component in this drink?

With only three ingredients in the cocktail and being poured at equal parts, it would be hard to pick a key component. The drink would not be the same at all if you didn’t have all the ingredients.

When choosing a whiskey, why did go with Old Forester Bourbon?

I feel like Old Forester has a nice robust flavor to it. You can use any bourbon, however, you need to choose one that can stand up to the Campari. Otherwise the Campari will dominate the cocktail.

What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?

Most people that order this are familiar with the Negroni (same cocktail just trade the bourbon for gin), so they know what they are getting into. Other people that like Manhattans will order and enjoy this cocktail. Anyone that typically like bourbon drinks will usually like the Boulevardier.

What are some good dishes to pair this drink with?

Bourbon and steaks! What more can you ask for? It is also a great drink to get started with before you switch over to wine with dinner, so maybe our Brooklyn Bacon Steak to start.

Watch the general manager Mark Spears of Stake Chophouse & Bar in Coronado show you how to make this classic concoction.

What kind of experience can someone get at Stake Chophouse & Bar?

You can expect the finest products sourced from all over the country and world on our menu. We really like to let the ingredients speak for themselves, both from the kitchen and the bar. I like to consider Stake an elevated take on a modern steak house with great food and beverages accompanied by attentive detailed service.

About Mark Spears

Did you grow up in San Diego?

I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. GO ROYALS!! I have lived in San Diego for about 10 years now.

How did you get into bartending?

Just the natural progression of restaurant jobs. Started bussing tables, then serving followed by bartending…and the rest…is history.

What trends are you noticing in the cocktail scene?

The cocktail scene is and has been booming for sometime now. I like that fact that everywhere you go, you see people getting back to the classics or riffs on classics.

When you’re not mixing drinks, what are you doing in your spare time?

Spending time with my two beautiful daughters and my lovely wife.

Stake Chophouse & Bar 1309 Orange Ave., Coronado. (619) 522-0077 or

Follow Stake Chophouse & Bar

Click here for more Behind the Stick episodes.

bottom of page