Author Archive for Derek Brown

Pickled Cocktails, Pickled People

If you’ve ever cared to ask my opinion on the Dirty Martini, you’d find a generally gregarious and soft spoken me replaced by an opinionated jackass shouting down the masses for their frivolous tastes. I know that’s undoubtedly pretentious but all bartenders are allowed one hated drink be it the Mojito or Fuzzy Navel. It […]

The Home Bartender Advantage

According to industry stats, we’re all drinking more at home. But I can assure you that the worst way to beat the recession is by becoming a home bartender. The home bartender is a peculiar creature, one that collects, buys and builds their dream bar piece by piece at ghastly expenses and long toiling hours. […]

Red Eyes and Cold Beer: A Primer for Drinking Beer & Tomato Juice

Happy DC Beer Week! I’ll leave beer to the experts, but it’s worth mentioning that beer is used in more than a few cocktails. Below is my favorite "beer-tail" for a Sunday morning (or Monday morning if you choose). It was about two or three years ago that I decided it was time to switch […]

On Whipped Cream and Cocktails

...[H]umanity in its infinite advancement sometimes still drags its knuckles when it comes to quality imbibing, especially in restaurants. Is anyone else astounded that the very first thing you’re likely handed in a dining establishment is just plain crap?

So You Want to be a Cocktail Nerd? Pt. III

One of the truly defining characteristics of being a cocktail nerd is making your own ingredients–syrups, tinctures, cordials and–the granddaddy of them all–bitters. Bitters are essential to the cocktail, which, incidentally, was first defined in 1806 in a Hudson, New York newspaper called the Balance & Columbian Repository as containing spirits, water, sugar and bitters.

So You Want to be a Cocktail Nerd? Pt. II

I don’t know exactly how it happened but the city is suddenly teaming with those bleary-eyed searchers who would take down glass after glass in a quest for the perfect flavor-to-buzz ratio that has been dubbed the cocktail movement. Recently a woman sat down at my bar and asked for an old cocktail from the […]

So You Want to be a Cocktail Nerd? Pt. I

To get the cocktail-speak down you have to realize that Prohibition was not the cause of cocktails, which is a common misconception, but the demise of them. The Golden Age of Cocktails was prior to prohibition during the late 19th century, approximately between 1860 and 1917.