In the Guest Kitchen…
It’s hard not to be inspired by someone who exhibits a palpable passion for his work. I had the pleasure of meeting Derek Brown recently. Those unfamiliar might call him a bartender, but upon further examination there is just so much more. I was immediately struck by his deep and broad knowledge, as well as his calculated and thoughtful approach to his craft. Derek’s interest in the history of cocktails and the stories that go with them is remarkable. He is fastidious about not only every ingredient that goes into the glass, but also the barware and accessories needed to create a perfectly memorable drink.
I’m delighted to present Derek as my next guest in The Guest Kitchen. When I learned that he’s a regular juicer and spends much of the month of January drinking fresh-pressed juices, I invited him to create a fresh juice “cocktail” for my readers. You might be disappointed to learn I’ve asked a renowned cocktail master to whip up some juice. But you really shouldn’t be. The recipe he’s created and shared with us is as carefully balanced and smartly constructed as any of the cocktails for which he’s become known.
I also asked Derek to share a few of his no-fail drink-making secrets with us. I enjoyed being his guest one morning (outside usual business hours!) in the Colombia Room, a long, narrow tasting room featuring a fine collection of drinkables – many made in-house – each hand-crafted with precision and care. I relished the gorgeous red number he made, pictured above. The beautiful presentation, including a fresh bouquet of mint leaves and the most adorable stainless steel spoon/straw I’ve ever seen, only added to the allure.This is a guy who loves what he does and does it well. I’ll drink to that.