I love bourbon. Right now, I'm on an Elijah Craig 18 kick, since I got a bottle of that one for my b-day, but other times it's Rock Hill Farms, Booker's, or Eagle Rare. And whenever I see a bourbon that I haven't actually tried before (rare), I order that one. The thing is, I usually order my bourbon neat, I don't mix with it much. However, since its Mixology Monday (hosted by the fine gents over at Scofflaw's Den), I figured I better post a cocktail recipe or two with bourbon.
I've recently written recipes for some new bourbon cocktails, the Blackberry Julep and the Harvest Moon, so I thought I'd revisit a classic recipe instead.
The Brown Derby Cocktail
2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1-2 tsp Honey (depends on the honey, or use 1/2 oz Honey Syrup, if the honey's a bit much)
1 dash Grapefruit Bitters (wasn't in the original, but helps make it a true cocktail)
Combine ingredients in a shaker, stir well before adding ice. Add ice, shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
If you go the honey syrup route, I usually add 1 part hot water to 2 parts honey, then stir well and cool.
The history: this cocktail was invented at the Vendome Club in Hollywood in the early 1930's, and it was their signature drink for a time. It was named after a brown derby hat-shaped restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard (shockingly, called the Brown Derby Restaurant, which was a popular celebrity hangout in it's day). Unfortunately, neither place is still there, although according to the notes in The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff and Wikipedia, the hat is still there). Interestingly, the Brown Derby restaurant is considered the birthplace of the Cobb Salad.