Autumnal Cocktail and Historical Chat with Derek Brown in the Famed Columbia Room + Gift Book

Derek Brown, Owner - Columbia Room & author "Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World."

D.C. bartender and spirits expert Derek Brown raises a toast to the fascinating history of the cocktail—and its place in America’s history as well. He, traces the potable’s birth, rise, fall, and eventual resurrection, spotlighting some of the men and women who made their mark on cocktail culture.  The history of the cocktail—the fascinating alchemy of simple alcohols into complex potables—is one that parallels that of nation in which it was invented. Drawing on his new book, Spirits Sugar Water Bitters, nationally recognized bartender and spirits expert Derek Brown follows the cocktail's birth, rise, fall, and eventual resurrection, tracing the contours of the American story in the process.


Brown discusses how events such as the Whiskey Rebellion, Prohibition, and the entry of Hawaii into the United States shaped the nation's drinking habits. He also spotlights stories of the great men and women who made their mark on cocktail culture, including America's distiller-in-chief George Washington and modern-day cocktail king Dale DeGroff, as well as lesser-known mixology heroes like Martha Niblo, the 19th-century New York proprietress famous for her Sherry Cobblers, and Frederic Tudor, whose ice-shipping business gave early drinks like the Cobbler and the Mint Julep the chill they needed.

Brown is president of Drink Company, which owns and operates D.C.’s Columbia Room, named best American cocktail bar in in the 2017 Spirited Awards, as well as PUB, a rotating pop-up bar. He has also served as chief spirits advisor for the National Archives.


DATE:     November 26, 2019

TIME:      5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

FEE:         $35. for HCW Members and their guests;

                $45. for nonmembers and their guests.

NOTE:    Copies of "Spirits, Sugar,  Water,  Bitters (Rizzoli)" will be given 
                 to each registrant. 

A special cocktail will be created with Machu Pichu Pisco which is owned  ansd operated by Melanie Asher HBS '03.  This program was recently offered by the Smithsonian Institution to a sell-out crowd. 

Following the presentation,  you may want to enjoy  other cocktails ( at your own expense) an Old Fashioned or Rickey, made from two of the book’s many recipes. 



5:30PM Tue 26 Nov 2019 ( Timezone: Eastern )


Columbia Room
124 Blagden Alley, NW
Washington, DC 20001 USA

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