A collection of seasonal recipes and stories

red grapefruit & rosemary brown derby


Winter is magical. I generally have to be reminded of this. Often. Having grown up south of the Mason-Dixon line, I don’t have a natural affinity for things like ice and snow and frostbite, but other people do, namely my Midwestern husband and his Midwestern friends. We had company last weekend— friends from Chicago who came up to ski. And they did ski a little, but mostly I think they came up to open our back door, take deep breaths of frigid northern air and shout, with arms outstretched, “Who wants to go walk barefoot in the snow?” (no takers)

On Sunday afternoon while everyone skied I made après-ski cocktails. I stood by the windows in our cozy kitchen absentmindedly squeezing grapefruit juice as I admired the sparkle and shimmer of soft winter sunlight on freshly fallen snow. When the skiers returned, flushed and exhilarated, I mixed the grapefruit juice with rosemary-infused honey and the warm, comforting notes of bourbon and set a jug out on the counter. And the skiers said, “Oh thank you, but I like my bourbon straight,” and, “Hmmm, I’m not really a big fan of bourbon,” and, “Oooh, that looks great; I think I’ll have a beer.”

Midwesterners. I tell you what.


So I’ve been drinking Brown Derbys all week and reveling in the vivid sparkle of late winter. Grapefruit and bourbon and rosemary would taste perfectly nice any time of year, but the bright, herbaceous sweetness is particularly lovely against the bracing chill of February. This is a late afternoon cocktail, a sipping sort of cocktail, a cocktail to enjoy with friends. And if you decide to go tromping about barefoot in the snow, you’ll want a few of these in you for sure.

recipe adapted from Bridget Albert & Mary Barranco’s Market Fresh Mixology

13 responses

  1. Love it! Love the story, the humor, the photos.. and especially the drink recipe.. I’m going to have to make myself a batch of these and just see if I offer to share with anyone!

    February 18, 2012 at 12:57 am

  2. Hilarious! I am such a fan of your rosemary-rhubarb gin cocktail (people still ask me about it and it’s my most re-pinned thing on Pinterest – don’t worry, I always give the link to your site) – and this recipe sounds equally amazing.

    We don’t have any snow here at all – warmest winter ever – but the drink still sounds like it would hit the spot. :)

    February 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    • It’s actually a fairly mild winter here, too, but still cold and snowy. I love that rhubarb cocktail! This year I need to make a bunch of back-up batches to freeze. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that last summer.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm

  3. Ooh, what a lovely twist on the brown derby, one of my favourite more unusual bourbon drinks.

    I will try this for sure!

    Good post.

    February 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

  4. Beautiful post and pictures. Unfortunately I don’t drink…so I’ll just enjoy the pictures!

    February 26, 2012 at 5:02 am

    • Oh, too bad! The syrup is very nice with the grapefruit juice and a splash of club soda, too.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      • Oh, that’s good to know too! Thanks!

        February 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

  5. nish

    Lovely. Yummy. I think FL may need a spring version of this concoction. Any takers?

    February 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm

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