Drink Recipes

How to Make a Brown Derby Cocktail Recipe

A classic American cocktail that originated in Los Angeles. The Brown Derby is a simple yet tasty drink usually preferred during brunch. It combines bourbon whiskey with sweet and sour counterparts to create an enjoyable cocktail every time.

Here’s What You’re Going to Need

The great thing about this cocktail recipe is it requires minimum equipment and ingredients. Here is what you are going to need:

Equipment Needed:

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Chilled Cocktail Glass
  • Jigger or Shot Glass

Ingredients Needed:

  • Bourbon Whiskey
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Honey Syrup
  • Grapefruit slice

Brown Derby Cocktail Recipe

Brown Derby Cocktail

A sweet and sour cocktail made with bourbon whiskey.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon whiskey, bourbon whiskey cocktail, brown derby, brown derby cocktail
Servings: 1 Serving
Calories: 154kcal
Cost: 2.50


  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Stemmed Cocktail Glass


  • 1 1/2 Ounce Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 Ounce Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/2 Ounce Honey Syrup
  • 1 Grapefruit Wedge *to garnish


  • First, mix together all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
    a bartender is pouring ice into a shaker over top of a table
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled stemmed cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a twist of grapefruit.
  • Cheers!



Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 46mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin C: 8mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheDailyDrink.ca or tag #thedailydrink!

History of Brown Derby Cocktail

The Brown Derby cocktail was originally called the ‘De Rigueur’ in many cocktail books and was named after a ‘hat-shaped’ diner in Los Angeles. The cocktail’s origins trace back to Vendôme Club on Sunset Boulevard owned by Billy Wilkerson.

Recipe Notes & F.A.Q’s

I don’t like grapefruit, what is a substitute?

If you don’t like grapefruit and prefer other mixes then there are a few close substitutes. The closest one is using orange juice combined with a splash of lemon juice instead.

How do you make honey syrup?

Honey syrup is just a mixture of water and honey. If you want to make the drink sweeter use a 3:1 honey to water ratio. The original recipe calls for a 1:1 ratio.

Recipe Size Conversion

Do you want to make this cocktail for a party or event? We have you covered. This calculator will tell you how many millilitres you need for every ingredient. All you need to do is type the number of drinks that you would like to make in total.

Some Other Ways This Drink is Made

This video is a more in-depth video about the Brown Derby cocktail. It’s easy to follow and is very informative.

In this video, they are using the original recipe which uses a 1:1 ratio for their honey syrup. You can alter this to make the drink sweeter if that’s what you desire.

Some other great drink recipes to try:

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