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Brown Derby: A Refreshing Citrus Escape

Brown Derby: A Refreshing Citrus Escape
  April 30, 2024

Brown Derby: A Refreshing Citrus Escape

The Brown Derby is a delightful and refreshing cocktail with a rich Hollywood history.  Named after the famous hat-shaped restaurant of the same name, it combines bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup for a perfect balance of tart, sweet, and boozy.


1 ½ ounces bourbon (choose your preferred brand)

1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice (essential for the best flavor)

½ ounce honey syrup (recipe below)

Grapefruit slice, for garnish (optional)

Rabbit Hole Raceking Founders Collection – 750 ML

Honey Syrup Recipe:

½ cup water

½ cup honey


Honeycomb Magic:  If you don't have honey syrup on hand, create your own! In a small saucepan, combine equal parts water and honey. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey dissolves completely. Let cool completely before using.

Chill and Assemble: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup.

Shake it Up!: Shake vigorously for 30 seconds to combine and chill the ingredients.  Shaking helps release the fragrant oils from the grapefruit peel and ensures all the flavors are well-integrated.

Strain and Serve: Strain the vibrant concoction into a chilled coupe glass.

Citrusy Garnish (optional):  For a touch of elegance, add a grapefruit slice as a garnish.


Bourbon Bonanza: Explore different bourbons to discover how the unique characteristics of each brand influence the final flavor profile. For a lighter Manhattan, choose a wheated bourbon.

Grapefruit Variations: Pink grapefruit can be used for a sweeter drink, while ruby red grapefruit offers a tart and vibrant flavor.

Honeymoon with Honey: The amount of honey syrup can be adjusted to your taste preference. Start with ½ ounce and add more for a sweeter drink.

Non-alcoholic Twist: Want a refreshing mocktail? Combine equal parts grapefruit juice and lime juice. Add a splash of honey syrup or simple syrup for a touch of sweetness and top with club soda for some fizz.

A Citrusy Celebration:

The Brown Derby is a delightful citrus celebration. The bourbon adds a touch of warmth, the grapefruit juice provides a refreshing tartness, and the honey syrup balances the flavors with a touch of sweetness. It's a perfect cocktail for a warm afternoon or a delightful after-dinner drink. So grab your shaker, crank up the jazz music (because hey, Hollywood history!), and enjoy the refreshing escape of the Brown Derby!