Brown Derby

Difford's Guide
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There are approximately 153 calories in one serving of Brown Derby.
Brown Derby image

Serve in a

Coupe glass


Grapefruit zest twist

How to make:

SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

1 1/2 fl oz Bourbon whiskey
1 fl oz Grapefruit juice (pink)
1/4 fl oz Maple syrup

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Some folk make this cocktail with honey syrup rather than maple syrup and honey does indeed make for a tasty cocktail. However, a Brown Derby is better when made with maple syrup, as unless you have a very full-bodied honey, maple syrup's 'tang' sits better with the bourbon and grapefruit combo.

This recipe will stand a much bigger slug of bourbon, particularly if using a more mellow honey. If you feel this way inclined, use a 3:1 honey syrup and as much as 60ml / 2oz bourbon.


When based on scotch whisky and sweetened with honeythis becomes a De Rigueur.


Said to have been created in the 1930s by a bartender at the Vendôme Café which sat at 6666 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The Vendôme was opened in May 1933 by William "Billy" Wilkerson, a real estate developer who also owned The Hollywood Reporter, the offices of which were a block away.

Although created at the Vendôme, this cocktail is named after another fashionable Hollywood restaurant of the era, the Brown Derby at 1628 North Vine Street. Due to its proximity to the movie studios, this branch of the Brown Derby was more famous than the original, smaller branch at 3427 Wilshire Boulevard, famous for being housed in a building shaped like a man's derby hat.

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