Top Hat

This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here.

Get Our Recipes Sent To Your Inbox
Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Cocktail History

The Top Hat is a Sips From Scripts original cocktail that was created in 2021 for our wedding at Villa Bellezza Winery & Vineyards in Pepin, Wisconsin. The recipe is a very simple variation of the Brown Derby, a vintage drink from the 1930s, that adds rosemary, grapefruit, and peppercorn-flavored bitters to the classic’s mix of whiskey, grapefruit, and honey.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Bourbon: This is a type of whiskey made in the United States with at least 51% corn, grains, malted barley, and water. We used Buffalo Trace Distillery Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey because it has a delicious whiskey spice with notes of orange peel, herbs, honey, leather, and oak. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey.

Grapefruit Juice: This is the liquid juice of a grapefruit. We used freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.

Honey Syrup: This is a sweetener made with honey and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s simple recipe.

Rosemary, Grapefruit, & Peppercorn Bitters: This is a food product made with rosemary, grapefruit, peppercorn, botanicals, and alcohol. We used Crude Bitters “Rizzo” Rosemary, Grapefruit, & Peppercorn Bitters.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Tasting Notes

The Top Hat has deeply sweet aromas of bourbon and honey, a woodsy taste of honeyed whiskey mellowed with lightly citric grapefruit, and an aftertaste of bright honey and the slightly peppered spirit.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: For those who didn’t stick to wine or beer at our wedding, the Top Hat was a hit; the wedding party alone may have consumed a fair portion of ones served. To this day, the original menu card showing this drink even lives on our home bar, for whenever we feel like raising another one to our love.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Full disclosure, for those of you who didn’t already realize, this is essentially just a Brown Derby with some special bitters. That said, weddings call for neat drink names, and we thought this classic recipe, paired with delicious bitters from our friends at Crude Bitters & Sodas, capped off with a fancy name would be just the thing for our own. The recipe is incredibly tasty: deep, woodsy, sweet, and flavorful, and while we didn’t use Eagle Rare at our wedding, we decided that this commemorative drink called for the best we had on the shelves.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I’m still not the biggest fan of serious whiskey drinks, but it really doesn’t get much more palate than this one. The Top Hat holds a special place for us because, as Alex said, it was one of the cocktails served at our wedding; that said, it’s an incredibly delicious twist on the Brown Derby though. And I can guarantee that bourbon drinkers will enjoy it quite a bit. Give it a try, and let us know what you think!”

Recipe

AuthorSips From Scripts

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Grapefruit Juice
 2 dashes Rosemary & Peppercorn Bitters

Method
1

Add bourbon, grapefruit juice, honey syrup, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ¾ oz Grapefruit Juice
 2 dashes Rosemary & Peppercorn Bitters

Directions

Method
1

Add bourbon, grapefruit juice, honey syrup, bitters, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Top Hat

Make It a Mocktail: Use Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the whiskey to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

More Whiskey Cocktails

If you like this whiskey-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Mountain Man Cocktail Recipe

Mountain Man: A bourbon cocktail made with lemon juice, peach liqueur, ginger syrup, maple syrup, and candied ginger

Boo Radley Cocktail Recipe

Boo Radley: A bourbon cocktail made with Cynar, cherry liqueur, a lemon peel, and an orange peel

Stone Fence Cocktail Recipe

Stone Fence: A bourbon cocktail made with apple cider, Angostura Aromatic bitters, and mint

Falling Leaves Cocktail Recipe

Falling Leaves: A rye cocktail made with Amaro Montenegro, toasted fig syrup, chocolate bitters, and an orange slice

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-02-26.

Leave a comment