There’s nothing more sophisticated than sipping on a glass of a classic Brown Derby cocktail. Invented at the Vendôme bar in Hollywood in 1930, this smooth blend was named after the iconic chain of restaurants in 20th century Los Angeles. These were widely popular back in the day, and stood out for their distinctive ‘derby hat’ shape.

Although the cocktail’s ingredients and preparation are the definition of simplicity, its elements combine to create an infusion of flavours that are highly refreshing and delicious.

Perfect for a Sunday brunch, the splash of grapefruit lends a zing to wake you up sufficiently, yet pleasantly. Honey balances out the tartness of the citrus, and the bourbon, of course, makes the drink exactly what it is. Feel free to use whatever brand you have at hand.


  • Bourbon – 45ml
  • Grapefruit juice – 30ml
  • Honey syrup – 15ml (simmer one part honey one part water to make the syrup)
  • FOR GARNISH: Grapefruit wedge or twist

The Process

Pour the bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup into a shaker.

Fill the shaker with ice and shake well.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a grapefruit wedge or twist, and enjoy the tangy blend