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Let’s Raise a Toast to National Repeal Day

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National Repeal Day, the day Prohibition ended, is celebrated each year on Dec. 5. It may not be as widely known as Christmas, but it’s worth raising a glass or two in recognition of our liquid freedom.

A Boulevardier at Biga on the Banks.

A Boulevardier at Biga on the Banks.

This year, I’ll be drinking a Boulevardier.

Never heard of it? Don’t worry. Not too many bartenders in San Antonio have either, even at a couple of our tonier watering holes.

But it’s a simple recipe because it’s the bourbon version of my summertime favorite, the Negroni. You simply stir bourbon, sweet vermouth and Campari with some ice. Garnish with lemon or orange peel. Drink. Repeat — if you have a designated driver.

Don’t have any fresh vermouth or Campari on hand? Or you simply don’t want to bother making one yourself? Head to the Brooklynite, 516 Brooklyn Ave., where the bartenders know exactly what a Boulevardier is and how to make one that’ll cause your toes to curl in delight. I also had an excellent version at Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., recently.

I know that not everyone’s a Campari fan, so here are a couple of other bourbon drinks to keep you warm this National Repeal Day and all winter long.

The Boulevardier

1 1/2 parts bourbon
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari
Orange or lemon peel for garnish

In an ice-filled rocks glass, add bourbon, vermouth and Campari. Stir vigorously until drink is cold. Twist an orange or lemon peel over the top. Stir once more. Garnish with peel.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From John Griffin

Kentucky Corpse Reviver

This cocktail, meant to tame the hair of the dog on the morning after, is another variation on a gin classic. And that’s OK with us.

1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons Cointreau
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Lillet Blanc
Thinly sliced lemon for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon, Cointreau, lemon juice and Lillet Blanc.

Shake until your cocktail forms a nice frost on the exterior.

Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe or wine glass. Top with the lemon and enjoy.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From “The Cocktail Club” by Maureen Christian-Petrosky


This cocktail is a favorite in the West Indies, according to “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” a bible among cocktail aficionados. It’s also as easy to make for 20 as it is for one.

2 parts bourbon
2 parts dry vermouth
2 parts sweet vermouth

Pour into a shaker half full of cracked ice. Shake well and serve.

Adapted from “The Savoy Cocktail Book”

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