Brown Derby Cocktail Recipe

There are many cocktails that are steeped in history, and the brown derby is one of them. Here is the Brown Derby Cocktail Recipe.
brown derby cocktail recipe


  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz Honey or Honey Syrup

Garnish: Grapefruit Peel

Required Tools

How to Make

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice
  2. Shake well for 10-20 seconds until well chilled
  3. Fine strain into a cocktail glass
  4. Garnish with grapefruit peel


The Brown Derby cocktail was created in the 1930s at Billy Wilkerson’s Vendôme Club in Los Angeles, California. He originally created it as a stiffer brunch cocktail that was able to “wake you up”. 

The cocktail, which is sometimes called the “De Rigueur,” perfectly balances three distinct flavors to create a delightful cocktail. The grapefruit and bourbon may seem like unlikely partners, but it is the honey syrup that pefectly brings together this cocktail.

Brown Derby Cocktail Variations

If you are looking for a variant or addition to this cocktail, you can try rye whiskey instead of bourbon, or try adding aromatic herbs such as sage or rosemary.

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