If you're looking for a classic cocktail that feels new and exciting, try the Boxcar. It's a gin drink that'll make you feel like you're on top of the world. Unless you don't like gin, then I'm sorry to say that you won't enjoy this one as much.
The Boxcar is a gin and vermouth cocktail, but the addition of Campari gives it a more bitter flavour. It's like a Negroni with less sweetness. As well as being great on its own, it makes a fantastic summer cooler too.
To get the recipe right we turned to an expert in classic cocktails – The Artesian at Harrods in London. The bar is renowned for its high-quality ingredients and unique concoctions, which are all created by the team of bartenders who work there – all highly trained in mixology! "The Boxcar was one of our favourite drinks back when we were working at other bars around London," says Bar Manager, George Sadikovski.
"We wanted to include it in the Artesian's repertoire as soon as possible because not only do we love it ourselves but also because we know that guests will absolutely love it too." A lot of care goes into making this drink right according to George: "It has three elements that need to be balanced perfectly for them to truly shine; gin (we use Tanqueray), vermouth (Dolin) and Campari. And if you don't strike this balance just right then each element will fight for attention."
We're going to share both versions with you here so you can get your taste buds going before popping down to your local Artesian or ordering one online from Harrods' new cocktail delivery service now… First up is the original version made with Dolin Dry Vermouth alongside Tanqueray Gin (say no more) and Campari. This is deliciously bitter yet fruity, with floral notes coming through from both ingredients giving off an earthiness that leaves your mouth watering for more after every sip.
Next up is our recommended recipe below: Using Punt e Mes instead of Dry Vermouth delivers a deeper colour while delivering even richer fruitier flavours than dry vermouth alone due to its slightly sweeter flavour profile than most Italian vermouths – perfect against sharp bitterness from Campari; meanwhile Tanqueray 10 still delivers that robust base layer underneath both pungent sweetness and herbs picked up from using Punt e Mes; finally Campari adds some herbal bittersweetness along with other rich red berry flavours creating something completely new altogether whilst retaining two key characteristics of a Negroni – sweet/bitter balance combined with fruity aromatics delivered by Campari's vibrant red fruit character alongside aromatic bittersweetness picked up from Punt e Mes & Gin camparifio siciliano.
Recipe: The Boxcar
25ml Tanqueray Gin
25ml Punt e Mes Vermouth
Method: Combine ingredients over ice and stir gently for 20-30 seconds before straining into a chilled rocks glass or short tumbler and topping with ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
Alternatively, use larger measures to make a longer drink, or combine all three ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake for 15-20 seconds to fully combine flavours before straining into your serving vessel of choice. Garnish as described above before serving with a large straw for sipping ease!
We would recommend using the second recipe rather than the first due to its heightened balance of sweet/bitter flavours which are so key to making this drink shine as a true classic! If you're looking to impress your friends when you next have an event, this is perfect because of its wonderfully balanced flavour profile which will please palettes across the board – something that is hard to come by in such drinks that are more often than not very much one note (sweet/bitter) drinks…