Serve inCoupe 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||Pink grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed)|
|1/3 fl oz||Maple syrup|
Some folk make this cocktail with honey syrup rather than maple syrup. Honey does indeed make for a tasty cocktail and is stipulated in the Brown Derby recipe that appears in George Buzza Jr.'s, 1933 Hollywood Cocktails. However, according to the 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book, when made with honey this cocktail is a De Rigueur Cocktail.
Whatever the name, I prefer this cocktail 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.
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.
The misguided belief that the Brown Derby should be sweetened with honey stems from a recipe in George Buzza Jr.'s, 1933 Hollywood Cocktails
BROWN DERBY COCKTAILGeorge Buzza Jr., 1933
1/4 Grapefruit Juice
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.
When considering what the original ingredients were in a Brown Derby it is not the sweetener that should be questioned but the base spirit and evidence for this comes from Esquire Magazine. The cocktail is first referenced in the magazine's "Painting the Town" column in 1935, "Amen Corner of Fifth Avenue Hotel gave me my chance to imbibe a Brown Derby amid politicians and litterateurs, who also eat there." Then, in 1939, a recipe for the Brown Derby appears in the title's "Potables" column.
2 parts dark rumMurdock Pemberton, Esquire, 1939
1 teaspoon maple sugar
Juice of one lime
Shake well and serve
Hence, for a true Brown Derby you may wish to use a dark rum in place of whiskey in the recipe above.