The Derby Recipe

Michael Dietsch

At least three different cocktails bear the name Derby, to commemorate the long bond between drinking and betting on horses. This version comes from the Bartender's Guide by Trader Vic, filtered through Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. It marries bourbon with sweet vermouth, orange curaçao (I used Grand Marnier), and lime juice, to produce a drink that's dry, tart, peppery, and subtly herbal.

Recipe Facts

Active: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serves: 1 serving

Rate & Comment


  • 1 ounce bourbon whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier or orange curaçao
  • Lime wedge or mint leaf, for garnish


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add bourbon, lime, sweet vermouth, and Grand Marnier and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedge or mint leaf.

Special equipment

cocktail shaker and strainer