Boulevardier Cocktail and Wynwood Factory Fresh Cigar
One of my favorite things to do is to bring together the new with the old. As I’m smoking the Wynwood Factory Fresh Cigar, what I see is something very new in style of production and in art. I’m inspired to pair this cigar with a vintage libation, and see how the two are both so very relevant now. After all, everything has a story.
The Boulevardier is a wonderful libation that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. It is a hidden gem that I hope to see enjoyed in more places. Often the ingredients are in the bar as there isn’t anything too unusual here. In fact, the Negroni (1:1:1 Gin, Campari, Italian vermouth) has gained so much traction and yet the Boulevardier precedes this drink by 20 years.
Harry MacElhone, an American expatriate in Paris, made this cocktail at the New York Bar, which then became Harry’s New York Bar, and published the recipe in his book Barflies and Cocktails in 1927.
This was the signature drink of patron, expatriate, socialite, and magazine editor, Erskinne Gwynne. Gwynne most likely was the original inventor of the drink or at the very least, was highly involved. His magazine, The Boulevardier, is also where the cocktail’s name originates.
The original published recipe calls for equal parts of the ingredients: 1/3 Campari, 1/3 Italian vermouth, 1/3 Bourbon whisky. But has since been adapted to most commonly the recipe listed below.
1 1/2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Garnish: orange coin or lemon twist
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a orange zest or lemon twist. Note if you are using an orange, avoid the fruit and minimize the amount of pith; you want the oils gently squeezed onto the drink and around the edges of the glass.
I personally prefer rye in place of bourbon depending on my mood. It adds more of a bite to the cocktail, however if you want a more balanced and sweeter libation I would go with the original recipe listed above. Experiment with your bourbon options, too. For instance, a Wheated Bourbon compared to a Rye Bourbon when making this cocktail will provide you with two very different experiences.
If you like more of a bitter and dry cocktail, an Old Pal is another great cocktail to consider! I think the sweetness here in the Boulevardier does well to overall round out the palate when pairing with a cigar.
Now, the Wynwood Factory Fresh cigars are something very new. Factory Fresh boasts sending freshly rolled cigars that are packed and shipped on the same day. I have the description of this process, its effects and goals from their site listed below. I find it interesting how the resting time is referenced and have always enjoyed having my cigars rest for at least a week or two in my humidor at home, even if it came directly from a shop. You can of course smoke them immediately, but I love comparing how things change and where they are most stable and consistent. I think it is a great point and I love the focus of a personally customized experience.
It makes me think of my Belgian beers, like the bottle conditioned St. Stefanus which is encouraged to be enjoyed at different lengths of time depending on the experience you desire. It can be enjoyed right away, or with some time you are rewarded with new and exciting tasting experiences. I love watching something develop. There’s something about tasting the transitions of flavors in a drink or cigar that not only makes you more involved, but makes you a part of the story and to better appreciate the products history.
The Wynwood Factory Fresh cigars also are unique in their art! This design from artist Evoca1 on the box you see above is my current favorite. I love how art, taste, and culture are all united here very well.
“Factory Fresh cigars are delivered to you directly from the roller’s table. They are rolled, packed into boxes and shipped to you on the same day.
Traditionally, cigars are made and sent to an aging room where they will sit for a period of 4 – 6 weeks. This is the way it has been done for many years but there is one major flaw: The cigars then leave that “safe” environment and travel to different conditions across the world, whether it be dry climates, humid areas, or the heat and cold. Each one of these different situations affect the way your cigars will taste and smoke.
Factory Fresh gives you the opportunity and power to age your cigars specifically according to the environment and conditions that will match your very own taste and preference. One of the manufacturers’ greatest pleasures is the taste of fresh tobacco. A cigar right off of the rolling table has a unique spice and sweetness that progressively tapers off as the cigar ages. For about one week after being rolled, it retains this unique flavor profile and then it slowly mellows out.
To test this out, simply light the cigar and take a couple of puffs. Next, take a sip of water and take a couple of more puffs. Do you notice how different the flavor is? This is precisely the effect that moisture has on your cigars.
We want you to determine exactly how you want your cigars to rest.
Although Wynwood Factory Fresh Cigars are made to be smoked immediately or even within 7 days of their receipt, your preference may be to wait one week, two weeks or a full year. Most appreciate that sweet flavor with that added umph, but the choice is yours. Let them rest on your own terms!
Set your own moisture level (the recommend is 70 %). Whether you want your cigars a bit more crispy at 60 %, or you like them nice and tender at 70 %, the choice is yours. You will not have to worry about the wrappers suffering any trauma from the long journey from factory to boat to airplane to warehouse to UPS truck to store shelf.
We normally don’t think about this but the wrappers go through a lot.
It is very important to remember to not allow the cigars to be in environments with fluctuating temperatures or humidity levels. This can cause them to expand and contract, which can cause the wrappers to break.
Sit back, relax, and Enjoy your Factory Fresh experience.”
I’m excited to see how the cigars transform with added rest. I’ve been enjoying the ones I’ve smoked thus far, both at my local cigar shop and the ones I’ve been resting at home. For consistency of comparison, I keep picking up the corona gorda in each line (La Coneja, Rout, and Granada).
All of these cigars are a blend of Corojo Ligero, Habano Seco, and Pelo De Oro. The amount of ligero differs between each with La Coneja having the least amount and the Granada having the highest amount. Time will tell, and I’m excited.
Wynwood Factory Fresh Cigars:
La Coneja (white foot band):
30% Corojo Ligero
10% Pelo de Oro
Rout (black foot band):
40% Corojo Ligero
30% Pelo de Oro
Granada (red foot band):
70% Corojo Ligero
10% Pelo de Oro