Drinks

De Rigueur Cocktail

De Rigueur Cocktail.

Bourbon, grapefruit and honey – an exceedingly delicious affair, created in the 1920s.

60 ml Woodford Reserve bourbon
30 ml grapefruit juice
20 ml Alnatura Forest Honey Syrup (1 part honey : 1 part sugar syrup (2:1))

Preparation: Shaken.

We first became aware of this drink when we found it in Meehan’s Bartender Manual. There it is called Brown Derby. This is the name under which it first appeared in 1933, but in our opinion it is not an accurate description, because we found only seven printed recipes, three of which describe something completely different under the same name. Moreover, it turns out that the Brown Derby is nothing other than the De Rigueur Cocktail, published as early as 1925. We found not only four publications of the latter, but 23. As it turns out, both can be prepared with a wide variety of whiskeys, so that we can conclude that both names describe one and the same drink. We clearly give preference to the older and more common name – De Rigueur Cocktail.

The “Up in Mabel’s Room”, published in 1940 and 1950, is nothing other than a De Rigeur Cocktail.

The following diagram shows how the recipes have changed in terms of the whiskey used. We look at both the Brown Derby and the De Rigueur cocktail:

De Riguer Cocktail - whiskey used.
De Riguer Cocktail – whiskey used.

What also stands out when looking through the recipes is the amount of honey. In the oldest recipes, the honey content is set at 25%. This is of course a lot and results in a very sweet drink. Perhaps sweeter drinks were generally preferred in those days, but it is more likely that grapefruits are grown much sweeter today. Accordingly, the amount of honey must of course be reduced today. So you have to adjust the recipe depending on the grapefruit used to achieve a pleasant sweet-acid ratio.

The drink also stands and falls with the whiskey used. We chose the Woodford Reserve Bourbon because its fruity aromas harmonise wonderfully with the grapefruit and honey.

We could not find out why the drink got its name. In French, “de rigueur” means literally “in strictness”.  The term is also used in English where de rigueur is something considered necessary if you wish to be accepted socially. [1] Since the earliest publication is from a book published in London, it may well be that this drink was invented in England.

Sources
  1. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/de-rigueur?q=de+rigueur de rigueur.

 

De Rigueur Cocktail.
De Rigueur Cocktail.

Historical recipes

1925 Robert Bucky & George Stone: The Buckstone Book of Cocktails. Seite 22. De Rigueur Cocktail.

1/2 Scotch Whisky, 1/4 grape fruit juice, 1/4
Honey.
Shake and strain.

1927 Judge Jr.: Here’s How. Seite 29. De Riguer.

HARK, ye lads! Here’s the
very latest drink! Three of
these will knock you for a row
of aspirins:
1/2 scotch;
1/4 grapefruit juice;
1/4 honey;
cracked ice.

1928 Judge Jr.: Here’s How. Seite 38. De Riguer.

HARK, ye lads! Here’s the
very latest drink! Three of
these will knock you for a row
of aspirins:
1/2 scotch;
1/4 grapefruit juice;
1/4 honey;
cracked ice.

1930 Anonymus: Cocktails by Jimmy. Seite 34. De Riguer.

2 parts Scotch Whisky
1 part Honey
1 part Grapefruit Juice.

1930 Harry Craddock: The Savoy Cocktail Book. Seite 58. De Rigueur Cocktail.

1/2 Whisky.
1/4 Grape Fruit Juice.
1/4 Honey.
Cracked Ice.
Shake well and strain into
cocktail glass.

1932 Jimmy: The Green Cocktail Book. Seite 34. De Riguer.

2 parts Scotch Whisky
1 part Honey
1 part Grape-fruit Juice

1933 Anonymus: Hollywood’s Favorite Cocktail Book. Nach Seite 16. Brown Derby.

1/2 Whisky
1/4 Grapefruit Juice
1/4 Honey
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Brown Derby. Anonymus, Hollywood's Fovorite Cocktail Book, 1933, after page 16.
Brown Derby. Anonymus, Hollywood’s Fovorite Cocktail Book, 1933, after page 16.

1933 Anonymus: O’Dell’s Book of Cocktails. Seite 58. De Riguer Cocktail.

1/2 Scotch Whisky, 1/4 Grape Juice,
1/4 Honey.

1933 Harry Craddock: The Savoy Cocktail Book. Seite 58. De Rigueur Cocktail.

1/2 Whisky.
1/4 Grape Fruit Juice.
1/4 Honey.
Cracked Ice.
Shake well and strain into
cocktail glass.

1934 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 112. De Rigueur Cocktail.

1/2 Whiskey
1/4 Grapefruit Juice
1/4 Honey
Shake well with cracked ice and strain.
Use glass number 1

1934 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 35. Brown Derby.

Whisky . . . . . . . 1/3 jigger Honey . . . . . . . 2 spoons
. Grapefruit . . . . 2 spoons
Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass and serve.

1934 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 59. De Rigueur.

Whisky . . . . . . . . 1/2 jigger Grapefruit . . . . . 1/4 jigger
. Honey . . . . . 1/4 jigger
Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass and serve.

1935 O. Blunier: The Barkeeper’s Golden Book. Seite 94. De Rigueur.

1/2 Rye Whisky
1/4 Grapefruit Juice
1/4 Honey

1936 Anonymus: Cocktails, Drinks and Snacks. Seite 15. Brown Derby Cocktail.

1 oz. Rye
1 oz. orange juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Ice, 20 shakes, strain into cocktaii glass, add sprig
of mint.

1936 Bill Edwards: Drinks. Seite 35. De Rigueur.

2 parts Scotch Whisky
1 part Honey
1 part Grapefruit Juice.

1936 Elvezio Grassi: 1000 Misture. Seite 38. De Rigueur Cocktail.

Agitare nel shaker con ghiaccio:
50% Whisky
25% Grappa
25% Miele
Servite nel bicchiere con ghiac-
cio-neve.

1937 United Kingdom bartender’s Guild: Approved Cocktails. De Rigueur.

50% Whisky (Vat 69).
25% Grape Fruit Juice.
25% Honey.
Cracked Ice.
Shake and strain into cocktail glass.

1938 Hyman Gale & Gerald F. Marco: The How and When. Seite 108. De Rigueur Cocktail.

1/2 jigger Whiskey
1/4 jigger Grape Fruit Juice
1/4 jigger Honey
Shake well
Strain into Cocktail Glass

1940 Crosby Gaige: Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide. Seite 133. Up in Mabel’s Room.

1/2 part Rye Whiskey
1/4 part Grapefruit Juice
1/4 part Honey
Shake with cracked ice and strain into
cocktail glass.

1940 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 112. De Rigueur Cocktail.

1/2 Whiskey
1/4 Grapefruit Juice
1/4 Honey
Shake well with cracked ice and strain.
Use glass number 1

1948 Trader Vic: Bartender’s Guide. Seite 263. Brown Derby Cocktail.

1 oz. bourbon 1 tsp. honey
. 1 tsp. grapefruit juice
Shake with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

1948 Trader Vic: Bartender’s Guide. Seite 267. De Rigueur Cocktail.

1 oz. bourbon 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
. 1/2 oz. honey
Shake with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

1950 Ted Shane: Authentic and Hilarious Bar Guide. Seite 23. De Rigueur.

1 part Grapefruit Juice 1 part Honey
. 2 parts Bourbon
Shake with cracked ice and strain.
For self-inflicted De Rigueur Mortis.

1950 Ted Shane: Authentic and Hilarious Bar Guide. Seite 34. Up In Mabel’s Room.

1 part Grapefruit Juice 1 part Honey
. 2 parts Bourbon
Shake with cracked ice and strain.

1953 Anonymus: Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts. Seite 127. Brown Derby.

2 parts dark rum
1 teaspoon maple sugar
Juice of one lime

1956 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official bartender’s Manual. Seite 97. De Rigueur.

1/2 Whiskey
1/4 Grapefruit Juice
1/4 Honey
Shake well with ice and strain
into glass.

1957 Henri Barman: Cocktails et qutres boissons. Seite 38. De Rigueur.

Shaker, glace
1/2 Whisky
1/4 jus de pamplemousse frais
1/4 miel
Bien frapper au shaker et
passer dans verre à cocktail.

1957 Lawrence Blochman: Here’s How. Seite 22. De Rigueur Cocktail.

2 parts rye 1 part grapefruit juice
. 1 part honey
Shake hard with cracked ice, strain, pour.

1976 Harry Craddock: The Savoy Cocktail Book. Seite 58. De Rigueur Cocktail.

1/2 Whisky.
1/4 Grape Fruit Juice.
1/4 Honey.
Cracked Ice.
Shake well and strain into
cocktail glass.

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 239. Brown Derby.

Cocktail Glass Shake
1 oz lime juice
1-1/2 oz dark rum
1 tsp maple syrup

Variation
1-1/2 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz grapefruit juice
1 tsp honey

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 267. De Rigueur.

Cocktail Glass Shake
1-1/2 oz whiskey
1/2 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz honey

1979 Fred Powell: The Bartender’s Standard Manual. Seite 28. De Rigueur.

1 jigger Whiskey
1/2 jigger Grapefruit Juice
1 Teaspoon Honey
Shake with ice and strain.

2011 Jim Meehan: Das Geheime Cocktail-Buch. Seite 81. Brown Derby. 6 cl Maker’s Mark Bourbon; 3 cl Grapefruitsaft; 2 cl Honigsirup.

2014 David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, Alex Day: Death & Co. Seite 140. Brown Derby. 2 ounces Elijah Craig 12-year bourbon; 1 ounce grapefruit juice; 1 teaspoon lemon juice; 1/2 ounce acacia honey syrup; garnish: 1 grapefruit twist. Seite 276. Acacia honey syrup. 2 cips acacia honey; 1 cup water.

2016 André Darlington & Tenaya Darlington: The New Cocktail Hour. Seite 107. Brown Derby. 60 ml bourbon (Four Roses); 30 ml grapefruit juice; 15 ml honey syrup; garnish: grapefruit wedge. Seite 242. Honey syrup. Equal parts of honey and water.

2017 Jim Meehan: Meehan’s Bartender Manual. Seite 313. Brown Derby. 2 oz. Maker’s Mark bourbon whisky; 1 oz. grapefruit juice; 0,75 oz. honey syrup. Seite 292. Honey Syrup. 16 oz. filtered water; 24 oz. honey. Skim over medium heat until honey dissolves.

2018 Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, David Kaplan: Cocktail Codex. Seite 133. Brown Derby. 2 ounces Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon; 1 ounce grapefruit juice; 1 teaspoon lemon juice; 1/2 ounce Honey Syrup. Seite 45. Honey Syrup. 540 grams acacia or wildflower honey; 100 grams warm handfiltered water.

explicit capitulum
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About

Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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