Derek Brown
Derek Brown is a writer, illustrator, bartender, and co-owner of acclaimed bars The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. He sits on the board of directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail. More +
  • Morning Cocktails Beyond Mimosas

    Mimosas and Bloody Marys aren't the only cocktails to drink before noon. A list of five other options.

  • Summer's Signature Cocktail

    The Rickey is light, refreshing, and has roots in the author's hometown: Washington, D.C.

  • Recipe: Lion's Tail

    A classic cocktail with bourbon, lime juice, and bitters, straight out of the cocktail archeology books

  • Unearthing Forgotten Cocktails

    "Cocktail archeologists" have helped uncover old recipes and revive neglected types of alcohol.

  • In Praise of Champagne

    The author explains why he could drink champagne all day--and offers a recipe for a favorite cocktail.

  • Why Bartenders Shouldn't Be Rude

    The author takes his fellow mixologists to task for being rude, offering tips for how to be a little nicer.

  • Bartending With a Splash of Star Trek

    The annual Tales of the Cocktail conference has more in common with a Star Trek convention than you might think.

  • The Story of a Legendary Bartender

    Prohibition ended the career of mixologist Henry William Thomas. Fortunately, his legacy lives on.

  • Easy Mixing: 5 Cocktails for the Lazy

    Summer is the season for cocktails that emphasize ease over complexity. Here, a list of drinks that are meant to be made quickly and enjoyed slowly, with origins from Spain to Bermuda to Washington, D.C.

  • Last Call: When a Favorite Bar Closes

    On par with breaking up with a long-time love is the feeling of losing a cherished drinking hole. The author mourns the loss of two of his favorite places to have a drink with friends and comes to terms with the fact that he will never find an exact replacement for either of them.

  • How to Sweeten a Cocktail

    Bartenders professional and amateur have a wide range of options if they want to add some sweetness to their drinks. The author offers a list of the best ways to make a cocktail sweeter, from plain sugar to maple syrup, along with tips on how to use each ingredient.

  • Why Your Bartender Hates You

    OK, bartenders don't really hate you. But sometimes customers forget to be polite--and so do bartenders. These are the stories of what can happen when that relationship gets strained, and how to fix it.

  • Goldilocks: Dread of Mixologists

    What happens when a customer turns up his nose at a drink the bartender thinks is perfect? It's not always pretty. A description of how mixologists react when they think their customers are wrong.

  • Happy Birthday, Dear Cocktail

    The cocktail, one of America's most beloved food creations, just turned 103 years old. Celebrate World Cocktail Week by learning about the drink's history--and mixing up this old fashioned recipe for Old Fashioneds, considered to be the first cocktail ever.

  • A Bartender's Defense of Blenders

    Blenders are messy, noisy, and they make a few bartenders mad. But they also make enticing drinks. The author explains why, despite all the criticisms of this kitchen tool, it's worth giving blenders a chance while mixing cocktails.

  • Dry Martini: The King of Cocktails

    It's everywhere and yet nowhere made with the proper sacrament. But when it's done right, that first sip will be of a cold, taut surface with a bracing chill, punctuated by pockets of bright citrus oils that cause the mouth to water profusely. Here's how to do the king justice.

  • What Makes a Great Bartender?

    It's more than just combining ingredients from a recipe. Here, ten tips for any home or pro bartender, from a master of the craft.

  • Where Do Crazy Drink Names Come From?

    Negroni? Corpse Reviver #2? Sloe Comfortable Screw on the Beach? We don't just throw "tini" on the end. Strangely named cocktails have strange stories behind them, some dating back generations.

  • What Makes a Cocktail Snob so Obnoxious?

    Sometimes those with the most distinctive tastes--and the most abrasive attitudes--make us better bartenders. Take the example of the recipe for the Sidecar. Once dictated by a famous beverage snob, is it much improved with a fresh attitude.

  • Margaritas to Martinis, the Magic Ingredient

    Salt can vastly improve a cocktail, especially one with sweet flavors. Innovations like salt-air and salt mixed with citrus zest have made this crucial little spice more prevalent than ever. Done right, you won't even know it's there.