This is my bourbon brown derby cocktail, a timeless classic among vintage Californian cocktails of the 20th century! (Remember the last century?)
Just looking at the brown derby makes one think of the olden days: the time of Hollywood royalty like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and the old Brown Derby diner in Los Angeles, for which it is named. I don’t know if my mother ever drank this cocktail but I’m sure she would have loved it. It was definitely of her era.
The ingredients in this drink are delightfully balanced. It’s a lovely mix of bourbon, grapefruit juice and honey syrup.
How to make the brown derby cocktail
There are only 3 ingredients in this recipe. The “hardest” part about making this brown derby cocktail is boiling the water for melting the honey to make the honey syrup.
So, we have Knob Creek bourbon, grapefruit juice and the honey.
Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice.
Measure out 2 ½ ounces of bourbon and add it to the shaker.
Pour out 2 ounces of grapefruit juice and add it to the shaker.
Heat some water and while waiting for it to boil, squeeze in 1 ounce of honey in the measuring glass. Top it with 1 ounce of boiling water and stir until the honey is melted.
Now you can either make the honey syrup a half hour before you make the cocktail or you can just pour it in after the honey dissolves in the hot water, as I did. The mixture only melts the cubes a little, so you don’t have to worry about spoiling the temperature.
Pour the honey syrup into the shaker, cap it and shake for 30 seconds.
I take two coupe glasses and strain the liquid into them. You can use whichever glassware you prefer. Cut a strip of grapefruit skin, twist it, and drop it in the cocktail for garnish.
Your finished drink should be a lovely golden orange color. As stated, the brown derby a timeless drink. You will feel elegant and classy drinking it out of a coupe.
Oh, and it’s delicious as well.
Here’s the vertical view.
And of course, the aerial view.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I enjoyed sipping the brown derby cocktail!
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And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!
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Bourbon Brown Derby Cocktail
- 2 ½ ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces grapefruit juice
- 2 ounces honey syrup (1 ounce of honey mixed with 1 ounce of boiling water)
- 2 pieces grapefruit rind (twisted)
- Fill cocktail shaker ½ way with ice
- Add bourbon, grapefruit juice and honey syrup
- Cap shaker and shake 10 shakes
- Strain into coupe glasses and add the garnish
- Pick up glass