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 flavors 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.
Mix your own Brown Derby Cocktail
Pour 45ml bourbon, 30ml fresh grapefruit juice and 15ml honey syrup (made from simmering one part honey and one part water and cooled) into a shaker, and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge or twist.
The mint julep has been promoted as the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. A widely popular cocktail, it is said to have originated in southern United States, around the 18th century. However, this style of drink goes even further back to the 15th century Europe, where a ‘julep’ was a way to make medicine go down easy.
Bourbon cocktails are much harder to make, compared to rye whiskey cocktails. Bourbon has a natural sweetness that can sometimes mar other flavors used in making cocktails. Whereas rye whiskey, with a drier and spicier flavor, usually serves as a far better base that give cocktails that extra punch.
The cocktail called “Hot Blooded” gets its name from the ingredients it is made from. A bright, fiery crimson, this concoction mainly comprises of hot peppers and blood oranges (and whisky of course), making it a drink with a refreshing bite. The state you are left in after finishing one such drink may also have something to do with its name!