|The Brown Derby on Wilshire|
|The Brown Derby on Hollywood and Vine|
Allegedly, the Cobb Salad was invented there, made by owner Bob Cobb as a midnight meal for Sid Grauman (Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, Grauman's Chinese Theatre).
The Brown Derby Cocktail, however, was not invented there. Instead, it came from a competitor called the Vendome Club, also in Hollywood. According to Dale DeGroff's Craft of the Cocktail, this recipe dates to 1930.
|The Vendome Club, Hollywood|
The ingredients may sound strange at first, but bear with me. The flavors work well together - you get a very fleeting, candied sweetness, followed by a much more nuanced honey taste, then a pleasing bitterness introducing the whiskey's spiciness, and at the end, an incredibly dry finish - and it is a very simple drink to make. No fancy Italian liqueurs or hard-to-find bottlings. All you need is some fresh grapefruit juice, some honey, and some bourbon. For this drink I happened to use Old Grand-Dad 114 proof bourbon, which worked well. I had a grapefruit that was getting a bit soft, so I squeezed it for fresh grapefruit juice. And to make the honey syrup, all you do is mix one part honey with one part warm water, and stir until the honey dissolves.
The Brown Derby Cocktail
- 2 oz bourbon (or rye)
- 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 oz honey syrup (recipe here)
Shake the ingredients with ice, until very cold. Strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy. Easy peasy, nice and tasty.