The Brown Derby

SO ready to run for the roses today. I love watching The Derby..It's the world's greatest horse race! And all though I won't be a spectator headed to Churchill Downs today in my extravagant hat for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby...I will be celebrating with a cocktail in hand from the sofa cheering on Patch. 

The Kentucky Derby and the Mint Julep: two iconic and inseparable images that tell the story of bourbon and the fastest two minutes in sports entertainment as if they were one. There’s just one problem: the horses change every year, so why shouldn't your cocktail of choice? I mean I am really asking over here! And trust me, I adore a good classic Julep. I mean how can you go wrong with ice, mint, bourbon, and sugar?! So I am not at all saying the Julep is boring but why not be an underdog and drink something a little different today?! 

There are still some strict rules. A good Derby cocktail still must be bright, refreshing, and provide at least an opportunity for hydrating in the Louisville sun. You gotta hydrate before you regulate ladies and gents!  The cocktail must also not lose sight of heritage and tradition. That' s so important.

So my dears I present to you the delicious Brown Derby. I stumbled on this recipe from Gourmande in The Kitchen. I love simple cocktails with fresh ingredients! All you need is bourbon, grapefruit, and honey! History has it that this particular cocktail was invented at the Vendome Club in Hollywood in the early 1930’s and was named after the famous hat-shaped restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. called the Brown Derby a popular celebrity hangout at the time, the place to be and be seen.



  • 1 ½ oz Bourbon 
  • 1 ½ oz Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
  • ½ oz Honey Syrup (made from equal parts water and honey brought to a simmer and cooled)
  • 1 grapefruit slice, for garnish


  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled champagne coupe or cocktail glass garnish glass with sliced grapefruit.

Super simple. And super fresh.....they go down quite nicely !