This Brown Derby Cocktail combines whiskey and grapefruit, with a splash of pomegranate, for a tart twist on a classic. It’s my favorite cocktail in the Autumn and Winter!
My favorite bar in Reno is one of the first bars I ever (legally 😬) went to. It’s dark and moody with an entire wall of crystal bottles filled with amber liquids. The bartenders wear vests, there’s a pool table in the corner, and it always smells like smokey whiskey. I have many favorite nights from this bar laughing way too loud with my friends, drinking one too many drinks, and then doing it all again the next weekend. I would say this happens less often now that I’m not in college, although it is still my favorite place to grab a drink after dinner on the weekend.
The first time I went there was my 21st birthday. It was a Monday, already pretty late at night, and considering this is not a college bar, we had the whole place to ourselves. I remember the bartender’s name was Charlie, and upon hearing that it was my 21st (and that I am obsessed with coffee), he pulled a dark bottle down from the shelf. It was a coffee-flavored liqueur, similar to Kahlua, but much better. We took a shot together, and then I continued to play pool with my friend. (Side note: It was my first time playing pool, and even though my friend still hasn’t admitted it, I know he let me win).
Over the years, I have gone to this bar time and time again, and I still think they have some of the best whiskey cocktails. Their old-fashioned is one of my all-time favorite drinks. But, one night in college, probably while wearing a LBD and some T-strap heels, I was not in the mood for an old-fashioned. I asked the bartender to make me a drink with whiskey. Any drink he wanted to make. I watched this tattooed, vest-sporting bartender with a mustache make a tiny orange-ish pink drink. He slid it across the bar, “Brown derby”.
And then my life changed, because never had I known that grapefruit + whiskey is the best thing ever. It has become my signature drink.
As much as I love going out, I don’t always feel like putting on pants (yay adult life). So, I decided to learn how to make a delicious brown derby cocktail just like my favorite bar. Because I wanted a pink drink, I added some tart pomegranate juice, and wowww. Grapefruit and pomegranate belong together. It has my favorite cozy autumn flavors I crave while still being refreshing. I’m going to bottle some up and bring it to allllll the parties.
On a side note, what are you being for Halloween? I thought about making Marc a hanging chad costume and breaking out my inner slutty pumpkin again, but idk. (Any How I Met Your Mother fans, or did that just go over everyone’s head??) It’s much more likely that I’ll revert to my usual Rosie the Riveter or go for a costume that I already have easily laying around my house. Any ideas? What should I beeeee?!
Brown Derby Cocktail
Pomegranate Brown Derby Cocktail
- 2 oz bourbon (I use Bulleit)
- 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
- .5 oz pomegranate juice
- .5 oz simple syrup
- Grapefruit twist + pomegranate arils, for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, and simple syrup. Add ice, and shake for about 20-30 seconds, until the cocktail shaker is frosty. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a grapefruit twist and pomegranate arils.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Inside Out by Spoon