Brown Derby – Original Recipe & History

Brown Derby
Brown Derby

The History Of The Brown Derby Cocktail.

The Brown Derby cocktail first appeared in the 1933 book “Hollywood Cocktails.” The Brown Derby was the house cocktail of the Los Angeles-based Brown Derby, a chain of formal high-end restaurants shaped like derby hats. Wilson Mizner opened the Brown Derby in 1926 to coincide with the release of the 1926 silent film “The Brown Derby,” starring Johnny Hines, Ruth Dwyer, and Edmund Breese.

Although this cocktail is commonly known as the Brown Derby, the exact recipe for the Brown Derby first appeared in the 1930 “Savoy Cocktail Book” as the “De Rigueur.” It could be a coincidence, but chances are the Brown Derby got the recipe from the Savoy. We will never know for sure, but two whiskey cocktails with the exact same proportions of grapefruit juice and honey being developed independently seem unlikely to me. But maybe they did.

Recipe Resources

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Brown Derby

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

300

kcal
Total time

3

minutes

How to make the Brown Derby

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice

  • 1 oz Honey Syrup

  • 2 oz Bourbon

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into a glass.
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Honey Hole – Beautiful Floral Cocktail

Honey Hole
Honey Hole

What Does The Honey Hole Taste Like?

The honey hole is a beautiful blend of floral flavors with spice. The flowery sweetness of the elderflower liqueur and honey are balanced well with the spiciness of the rye. You can choose to pour this neat if you want for a short, strong pre-dinner cocktail or serve it up tiki-style and pour it dirty for a refreshing sipper. Either is good, but I choose to do it tiki-style for the photo because it is terrific served this way, and I feel this style of pouring is underrepresented.

This is not a classic cocktail, but one I made for a friend’s wedding I bartended for. The bride was a big whiskey sour kick at the time and wanted that to be one of the drinks on the menu. They planned the wedding near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in a beautiful wildflower field, so I modified the cocktail to be floral. The bride pushed me to add the cocktail to the app and website and call it Jack’s honey hole, and while I enjoy a good dirty, off-color joke, I feel I should present the semblance of decency.

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Honey Hole

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

300

kcal
Total time

3

minutes

How to make the Honey Hole.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz Honey Syrup

  • 1/2 oz Elderflower Liqueur

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker, and add a scoop of crushed ice.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all
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Bees’ Knees – Original Recipe & History

Bees' Knees
Bees’ Knees

History Of The Bees’ Knees Cocktail.

The Bees’ Knees was invented by Frank Meier while working at the Hotel Ritz in Paris. The recipe was first published in his 1936 book “The Artistry of Mixing Drinks.” His original recipe is.

“In Shaker: The juice of one-quarter lemon, a teaspoon of honey, one-half glass of Gin; shake well and serve”

From my experience, half a lime or lemon is typically around a 1/2 oz (15mLs), so a quarter would be 1/4 oz (7.5 mLs). Also, a wine glass measured out to 2 oz (60 mLs), so half is 1 oz (30 mLs). The only change I made is I doubled the recipe to make the drink just a tad bit bigger since the original recipe is small.

What Does The Bees’ Knees Taste Like?

The sweet and sour flavors of the bees’ knees are spot on—just the right amount of honey and lemon. The honey adds a nice earthy floral sweetness to the bright sour lemon flavor. The gin mixes nicely, bringing a dry herbal quality to the drink that compliments while not competing with the lemon or honey. I tried making this once with vodka, and it was nowhere near as good as gin. I’ve also made rye and bourbon variations of this cocktail that are very good too.

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Bees’ Knees

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: French
Servings

1

servings
Calories

189

kcal
ABV

28%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Bees’ Knees.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1/3 oz Honey Syrup

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into a glass to remove ice shards.
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Violet Sling – Floral And Refreshing

Violet Sling
Violet Sling

What Does The Violet Sling Taste Like?

The violet sling has a lovely mild lavender and cardamom flavor that is quite nice. The cardamom adds a pleasant herbal warmth to the drink that compliments the Creme De Violette and keeps the drink from being one-dimensional. The small addition of honey had a lovely floral and earthy sweetness.

This is one of my recipes, and I hope you like it. I got the idea from an ice cream I had in Seattle, Washington, blowing me away. Lavender, honey, and cardamom sounded fun, and it was one of the best ice creams I’ve ever had. I structured it this way because I felt an old-time sling/toddy would express the flavors well and not make the drink too strong or boozy. Normal still water works well, too, but the carbonation gives the drink a more refreshing effervescent quality.

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Violet Sling

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

208

kcal
ABV

7%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Violet Sling.

Ingredients

  • 5 dashes Cardamom Bitters

  • 1/3 oz Honey Syrup

  • 1.5 oz Creme De Violette

  • 1 oz Vodka

  • 6 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine All Ingredients except for the soda water in a glass with ice.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Top off with soda water.
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Navy Grog – Donn Beach Recipe & History

Navy Grog Donn Beach
Navy Grog Donn Beach

Donn Beach Navy Grog Recipe Vs Victor Bergeron’s Recipe.

Donn Beach and Victor Bergeron’s Navy Grog recipes are similar and practically the same drink. The only difference between the two recipes is that Donn Beach uses honey instead of allspice dram and has an ounce of soda water added. The Biggest difference is the ice. Donn Beach’s recipe calls for a shaved ice cone around the straw. Victor Bergeron’s recipe call for shaking the cocktail with shaved or crushed ice and then pouring the entire contents of the shaker, ice and all, into the glass.

Shaken With Shaved Ice Vs Ice Cone.

While both cocktails are shaken with ice, the Trader Vic version does a dirty pour and includes the ice, while the Donn Beach version strains out the shaken ice and uses an ice cone in the glass. Keep in mind the ice cone is only used in Donn Beach’s navy grog cocktail. No other cocktail uses it, so I wouldn’t spend any money on a dedicated ice cone maker. The navy grog wasn’t the only tiki cocktail to use ice uniquely. Fun decorative ice was regularly used in the classic tiki scene—ice cones, ice caves, dirty pours, ice frill, etc. I think the trader Vic dirty pour is more practical and makes more sense, but the ice cone does have a following.

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Navy Grog – Donn Beach Recipe

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

296

kcal
ABV

21%

Total time

3

minutes

Make A Classic Navy Grog Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice

  • 3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice

  • 3/4 oz Honey Syrup

  • 1 oz White Rum

  • 1 oz Black Rum

  • 1 oz Aged Rum

  • 1 oz Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into a lowball glass with a decorative ice cone and straw.
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Honey Syrup – Delicious & Easy Recipe

Honey
Honey

What Is The Difference Between Honey Syrup vs. Regular Honey?

Honey is SUPER sweet and a bit richer than simple syrup, so you want to dilute it. Trying to get honey to dissolve in a drink is like getting regular sugar crystals to dissolve. It takes a while and is somewhat difficult. So to make cocktails, you’ll want to make honey syrup. Just mix honey and water at a 2 to 1 ratio. 2 oz honey to 1 oz water. This dilutes the honey enough so that it will blend easily but still be sweet.

There are tons of different kinds of honey, all with subtle variations based on the flowers used, environment, and bee. However, it doesn’t matter once it’s mixed into drinks with citrus, liqueurs, and spirits. So pick get any kind and go with it.

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Honey Syrup

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

10

servings
Calories

150

kcal
Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a simple Honey syrup.

Ingredients

  • 200 grams Honey

  • 100 grams Water

Directions

  • Simply combine the honey with warm water and stir till the honey is completely dissolved.
  • Bottle and use like regular syrup.
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Cocktails That Use Honey Syrup

Pi Yi (Passion Fruit Syrup) – Recipe

Pi Yi
Pi Yi

What Does The PI YI Taste Like?

This is a fantastic spiced tropical juice-flavored cocktail. It’s one of my favorite tiki drinks and, in my opinion, is much better than many of the more popular tiki cocktails. The honey and juice perfectly match the strength of the rum and the spice of the bitters. Not much to say other than this is a must-try and one you will most likely make again.

Making A PI YI With A Fresh Pineapple.

The authentic way to prepare this was to scoop out a small pineapple and use the inside, blend it, and use its juice in the drink. Once the drink was shaken and done, it was poured back into the hollowed-out pineapple. To keep with tradition, I cut pineapple and used a small bit of blended fruit as the juice for this drink, which turned out good. I did not pour it back in since I wanted the drink to be visible in a glass. Also, I ate most of the pineapple on its own, and hollowing out a pineapple would give me way more than 1 oz of juice. My assumption is all the extra fruit and juice from the fresh pineapple was used in other drinks too, at Don The Beachcombers.

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Pi Yi

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

181

kcal
ABV

17%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Pi Yi.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice

  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice

  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup

  • 1 tsp Honey Syrup

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • 1 oz White Rum

  • 2/3 oz Gold Rum

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a shaker and add a scoop of crushed ice.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Pour the whole shaker into the serving glass. Ice and all.

Notes

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Hot Toddy – Colonial Recipe & History

Hot Toddy
Hot Toddy

The History Of The Hot Toddy.

Many of these old drinks that we still make today are hard to find information on—hot buttered rum, hot ale flip, buttered beer, toddies, etc. Most actual written recipes are from the mid-1800s and later. Books mainly were published for histories and stories, but skills and trades were just taught from master to apprentice. There were a few, but not like there is today. One tries to piecemeal as much as they can together.

In a 1769 book, “A Dissertation On The Oleum Palmae Christi,” by Peter Canvane mentions adding medicines to “warm milk punch, common punch, or toddy, in which a hot poker has been quenched.” as ways of administering medication to those who complain about the taste. (Total side note. All the older English writing has the long “S” character ( “ʃ” ), but I changed it to a standard “s” in the quote, it looks kinda like an f, but it’s just another symbol for s that we don’t use anymore. That’s why the Declaration of Independence looks like they spelled everything wrong.) In a 1783 fictional book “Smyth’s Tour of The United States” by J.F.D. Smyth notes that his character likes to “take a draught of Bumbo, or toddy, a liquor composed of water, sugar, rum, and nutmeg.” There was also a funny romance story from 1741 I found, where a beautiful lady walks into the kitchen and asks the lord of the house for a toddy. “Would you like it hot or cold? warm I replied.”

All silliness aside, the point I am trying to get at is that there is no actual formal recipe to make a toddy but the parts and qualities. There are as many toddies as there are people. The parts matter, so based on the works I referenced, let’s break those parts down.

  1. The first reference points to the colonial American way of heating drinks. Not by using a stove but by using a hot fireplace poker, often called a toddy rod or loggerhead. In a home setting, a stove probably was used as it was already fired up for cooking food, but in a tavern, it was more efficient to place iron rods in the already running fireplace. Rather than having a stove run all night to be ready for the occasional warm drink, they could dip the toddy rod into the drinks people request warmed.
  2. The second reference gives us the ingredient of the toddy. The four parts are water, sugar, rum, and nutmeg. Now any spice will do, but it is worth noting that only nutmeg is mentioned in the early 1862 Bartenders’ guide when adding spice toddies.
  3. The third reference shows us that toddies were served both hot and cold and sometimes warm. Now I am willing to bet that a cold toddy was not a heated one. Commercial refrigeration was not invented until the 1850s, so access to ice blocks was mainly limited to businesses. And while they did have ice houses that saved ice for most of the summer (some stayed in use up to the 1930s), something as special as the ice was not going to be wasted on a single drink.

So for this hot toddy recipe, I will stick to those points. It used only rum, water, sugar, and nutmeg. It was heated up with a toddy rod. Almost every recipe you find has lemon juice added it to add to its medicinal qualities, but since that is not traditional to the 18th or 19th century, I will leave it out and stick to the classic structure. On a fun side note, did you know the original name for the muddler was the toddy stick? That’s right, It was based on the pestle from the mortar and pestle but made of wood so it wouldn’t shatter glass cups. The shape was perfect for smashing together fruits, spices, and sugar cubes.

Do Hot Toddies Actually Help You Feel Better When You Are Sick?

So the short answer is, I guess… sure. The long answer is it depends on what ailment you hope to relieve. Western medicine has come a long way since the 18th century, but there are three reasons a person makes a hot toddy today other than tasting good. 1). When they have a soar throat. 2). When their sinuses are congested, and 3). It just feels nice to cozy up with one during the winter. The main health benefit of a hot toddy comes from honey; if you use sugar, you are missing most of the benefits of a hot toddy. Honey is pretty awesome nectar and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In some lab studies, if it is found to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines, this combined with the warm steam from the drink can help reduce congestion as that is an inflammation of the sinuses. Or you can pop some Sudafed during the day and Benadryl at night, as those are some of the present-day gold standards of over-the-counter anti-inflammation medication.

Ignoring mechanical irritation of one’s throat like screaming a bunch, the most common reason for a sore throat is an infection, and the body’s natural response to infection is inflammation. So again, it’s honey with that anti-inflammatory response, or you could pop an ibuprofen or naproxen as they would be a more effective treatment. And the last point is it just feels good to cozy up with one, and it does. Being cozy makes you feel happy, but did you also know that nutmeg is a hallucinogen. The dose is so low that it’s hard to credit any effect on the brain to the nutmeg, but it does contain myristicin, making people trip in large amounts. Maybe that good feeling is just a psychedelic nut and alcohol-induced surface. Some people are susceptible to nutmeg and its active chemicals and get pounding headaches from even the smallest amount. So don’t ever use too much nutmeg, don’t use it to get high, and be careful as it can be dangerous in large doses. Make wise choices.

I will be using a traditional toddy rod, or as it is also called a loggerhead, to warm the hot toddy. A stove works too, but a toddy rod imparts a slightly toastier final flavor. If you are curious to learn more, check out this fantastic article that goes into early American toddy culture.

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Hot Toddy

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

180

kcal
ABV

10%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a vintage style hot toddy.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Honey Syrup

  • 2 oz Gold Rum

  • 5 oz Water

  • light dusting Nutmeg

Directions

  • Combine honey and rum into heat resistant or ceramic mug.
  • Either add hot water and stir or add room temperature water and dip a hot toddy rod in. Stir with the rod as the water boils.
  • Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

Recipe Video

Notes

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Peach & Honey – Classic Recipe

Peach and Honey Cocktail
Peach and Honey Cocktail

Pulled from Harry Johnson’s 1882 bartender’s manual, this fantastic cocktail should never be served to babies. While honey may seem safe and wholesome enough, not to mention loved by Pooh Bears, it has bacteria that can be fatal to children under one year of age. Play it safe, and don’t mix any alcoholic cocktails for your children. Just stick to the laws in the country you are currently in.

On a less silly note, Harry Johnson was an early pioneer in mixology and contemporary to Jerry Thomas. Harry Johnson (what a name, huh) was born in 1845 in Prussia. In the early 1860s, while Otto Von Bismarck began marching the Prussian army westward to help unify the separate German states and set the stage for WWI, Johnson made his way to San Francisco. He bartended and mixed eastward from San Francisco to New Orleans and eventually New York, opening bars and publishing his guides. Even though Jerry Thomas is the more famous of these two early mixologists who published their works, Harry Johnson’s works contain a level of technical precision one expects from Germans.

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Peach and Honey

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

162

kcal
ABV

34%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Peach and Honey cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp

  • Honey Syrup
  • 2 oz

  • Peach Brandy

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

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Hot Mulled Apple Cider – Traditional Recipe

Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail
Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail

Mulled Apple Cider came around 40 – 50 AD when the Romans made it to what is modern-day England. Brewed apple cider was a popular Celtic drink in the area, and the invading forces brought it back to Rome. The Romans had a tradition of brewing herbs into their wine (Hippocras) for flavor and medicinal properties. They applied that to cider, thus creating mulled or spiced cider. Read my apple cider ingredient description first but pick the cider you want based on what you want your final product to be most like and how you want to layer your flavors. I think the sparkling cider apple juice stuff is way too sweet. I save that for the kids. The orchard unfiltered apple juice stuff is pretty good but just a little too sweet. So you can’t add your sweeteners like maple syrup or honey etc. This limits your ability to add complexity. I prefer to make this with a semi-dry cider beer or still apple wine. These give you room to build more of your flavors and bring an excellent brewed and aged taste that the unfiltered stuff lacks. Regular cider-style beer works well for this too. The bubbles dissipate after a few minutes, and you just left with essentially a still apple wine. So before your next holiday party, get a variety pack of ciders. See what you like, and then buy a six-pack of the stuff. Also, a six-pack is almost equal to 3 bottles of wine, so keep that in mind, and don’t just add all six beers or adjust accordingly.

Next up is spices. Long story short, just read my mulling spices description. It can be summed up as not adding too much and sticking to just four different spices. Think cooking; you wouldn’t add a shit ton of salt or pepper to your fried eggs. It would be too much, so you do a light sprinkle. The same thing with this: add 2 or 3 cloves, three cinnamon sticks, etc. A little bit goes a very long way.

Next up is cooking. Most folks do this in a crockpot, so I would just set it to warm. High, low, and simmer are all too hot. Alcohol burns off at 173 f (78 c), and high, low, and simmer all go to around 180 – 200 f. High gets there faster than low and simmer, but warm only goes to 160 f. You can do a slow cooker if you want, but keep in mind that you will burn off most of the booze even at a warm temperature if you cook it for a long time. I think it boils better if you do it faster in a regular stovetop pot. Turn on the fire, pour it into the pot and quickly bring it to heat. If you have a thermometer, stop around 160 or till you start to see a light vapor coming off the top. Once your hooch is up to temp, drop it to low, add your sweetener and spices, and then cook for just 20 minutes. Most of the good flavors in your spices will come out in those first few minutes. Turn off the heat, add your bourbon, and serve. And that’s it. Serve it, put a lid on it, put it in a thermos, reheat it when you want more a little later, but stop the long-term higher temperature cooking. Some folks cook this stuff for hours, but I think that’s a little excessive. You won’t get any more good flavor out of it, and you will burn off the booze.

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Dry Mulled Apple Cider

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

149

kcal
ABV

15%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a dry, boozy mulled apple cider.

Ingredients

  • 6.5 oz Honey

  • 1 bottle Apple Cider Wine

  • 8.5 oz Bourbon

  • 2 whole All Spice Berries

  • 3 whole Cloves

  • 1 peel Orange Rind

  • 1 whole Cinnamon Stick

Directions

  • Combine spices, honey, and wine in a stove top pot and heat to 71c (160f) or till vapor starts to appear.
  • Maintain this temperature and cook for about 20 minutes. Don’t over cook this as the flavors will become too strong and most of the alcohol will burn off.
  • After 20 minutes turn off the heat and remove the spices.
  • Add the fortifying spirit to the mulled wine and serve.

Notes

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