There are few cocktails that feel more iconic and Oscar night-worthy than the old-school Hollywood classic, The Brown Derby. The cocktail hails from the heyday of Hollywood’s Golden Age and the Brown Derby restaurants at the heart of the scene. It’s also a simple three-ingredient shaker that you can easily make at home.
Aside from this refreshing cocktail’s deep Hollywood history, it’s also delicious. The blend balances bourbon, fresh grapefruit juice and honey syrup that delivers alcoholic whiskey vibes with a bright blast of sweet citrus with just the right amount of bitterness and soothing honey. Once you sip this one, it’s very easy to understand why this cocktail became so famous and loved in old Hollywood – and why it remains an ice-cold classic to this day.
Alright, let’s dive in and shake the perfect Oscars night cocktail!
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The Brown Derby
- 2 ounces. bourbon
- 1.5 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
- 0.5 oz. honey syrup
- grapefruit peel
I use Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon for this. It has that absolutely classic bourbon vibe that shines in a cocktail as classic as this. You get deep notes of spice, caramel and dark fruit that balance well with the tartness and sweetness of grapefruit and the smoothness of honey. Everything works.
What you will need:
- Coupe, cocktail or Nick and Nora glass (pre-chilled)
- cocktail shaker
- cocktail strainer
- Fine mesh screen
- paring knife
- Pre-chill your glass in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine bourbon, honey syrup, and freshly squeezed and strained grapefruit juice. Add a large handful of ice, attach the lid and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds or until the cocktail shaker is ice cold to the touch.
- Get the glass out of the freezer and strain the cocktail into it.
- Squeeze the oils from a grapefruit peel over the cocktail, rubbing the rim of the peel and the stem of the glass.
- Pour the zest into the cocktail and serve.
That bangs! The bright citrus and honey blend really well with the deep and classic bourbon. You get hints of Kentucky bourbon spiciness and cherry with hints of oak accented by tart grapefruit (it almost feels healthy!). It’s almost glazed by the soft honey notes that tie the whole drink together nicely.
Best of all, once you’ve already squeezed the grapefruit juice, you can shake these in about 30 seconds. It’s super easy and fast. That makes it the perfect drink to shake up while watching Sunday night’s awards ceremony.
https://uproxx.com/life/brown-derby-cocktail-oscars-2023/ The Brown Derby is our official Oscar night cocktail