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Derby Cocktail Recipe

Sep 06, 2017 | Post By Danny Mahoney
2 people voted 4 stars.

There are two distinct versions of a Derby Cocktail, and we’re going to give you both of them because they’re quite different yet equally pleasing.

The first is made with gin and the flavour is only slightly tempered by the addition of peach bitters and mint. It’s the one listed by the International Bartenders Association as an unforgettable. Like the Aviation and Casino, it’s a drink for gin lovers only. For this one, think the Epsom Derby or Queen’s Plate.

Image of Derby   Drink

The second is a deep brown cocktail with an interesting blend of whisky and grapefruit juice. Along with an icy Mint Julep, it’s what you want to be drinking at the Kentucky Derby. Most Brown Derbys are sweetened with a honey syrup, but going the extra mile and adding maple instead will reward you with an added layer of distinct flavouring.

First of all, here’s the recipe for making a Gin Derby cocktail:


  • 60ml Gin
  • 2 dashes of peach bitters
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • Mint leaves to garnish


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
  2. Tear the mint leaves and place in the glass
  3. Add all other ingredients
  4. Stir gently
  5. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  6. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf


  • Mixing glass
  • Ice
  • Chilled cocktail glass

Now the recipe for making a Brown Derby cocktail:


  • 45ml Bourbon whiskey
  • 30ml pink grapefruit juice
  • 15ml honey syrup or maple syrup
  • Grapefruit slice to garnish


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add all ingredients
  3. Shake gently
  4. Strain into a cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Ice
  • Cocktail glass



Photo of Danny Mahoney

Danny is a Melburnian liquor enthusiast and ex bartender turned web developer. Although an avid whiskey drinker he likes to practice the arts of cocktail making and mixing drinks. Danny believes there are always new concoctions just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.


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