Brown Derby



Brown Derby

  • 2oz bourbon (I used Rowan’s Creek)
  • 1oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • .75oz honey syrup (1:1 mix of honey and water, this helps the honey dissolve better when mixed)

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe.


I remember my first time going to a speakeasy bar. There was no menu at all, and each drink was crafted only after a conversation with the bartender about flavor preferences. I watched the bartender customize a drink for me and was intrigued beyond no other. I was told they knew more than 300 recipes by memory and I was just in complete awe. As a home enthusiast, it’s hard (for me) to commit recipes to memory given the infrequency of making each drink. With that in mind, one of the goals when I started my page was to familiarize myself more with the classic cocktails (which is also why I infrequently create my own recipes). So, here we go, let’s dial it back to the 1930s.


The Brown Derby. Most “classic cocktails” are quite simple, using a limited number of ingredients, and this is definitely a classic that’s been revived with the modern craft cocktail movement. It’s sweet, slightly citrusy, and surprisingly spirit forward…perfect for those occasions when you’re not looking for a tart “light” cocktail, but yet not in the mood for a super spirituous one. It somehow straddles in between with the fresh citrus aroma from the grapefruit (without the tart zing that lemons/limes bring) and the strong backbone of the bourbon.