Nov. 17, 2022

TCGP S2 E4 - The Mindful Bartender with Derek Brown

On this episode of THE COCKTAIL GURU PODCAST, bar legend, cocktail historian, and award-winning hospitality entrepreneur Derek Brown shares his journey from building a personal brand at the Columbia Room in Washington, DC, and penning a landmark book on cocktail history to leading the no- and low-alcohol cocktail movement with hosts Jonathan & Jeffrey Pogash. Plus enjoy this week's Tipple Time brought to you by Emilio Lustau, Plantation Pineapple Rum, and The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley.

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This week on The Cocktail Guru Podcast, we sit with bar legend, drinks historian, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur, and no- and low-alcohol cocktail pioneer Derek Brown!



Business Website



Mindful Mixology: A Comprehensive Guide to No- and Low-Alcohol Cocktail with 60 Recipes (2022) (

Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World (2019)



Press & Media

"Mindful Mixology with Derek Brown" - Modern Bar Cart Episode 2017 (no date) (

"Bartending While Sober Is Pretty Hardcore" - Food & Wine (November 2, 2022) (

"What DC’s Cocktail King Did After He Stopped Drinking" - InsideHook (March 25, 2022) (

"Derek Brown on Taking a More Thoughtful Approach to Drinking—and Bartending" - Plate (January 23, 2022) (

"Cocktail pioneer Derek Brown’s new message: Sophisticated drinks don’t require alcohol" - The Washington Post (January 14, 2022) (

"How One of the Nation’s Top Bar Stars Became a Champion for Not Drinking" - Washingtonian (October 29, 2020) (

"Going 10 Rounds With Award-Winning Bartender Derek Brown" - The Daily Beast (October 23, 2017) (


THE COCKTAIL GURU PODCAST is produced by 1st Reel Entertainment and distributed by EatsDrinksTV, a service of theCenter for Culinary Culture—Home of The Cocktail Collection, and is available wherever fine podcasts can be heard. The Center for Culinary Culture—Telling the Story of Food & Drink…One Taste at a Time.

Check out the full episode show notes at The Cocktail Guru Podcast.

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Derek Michael BrownProfile Photo

Derek Michael Brown

Director of Education

Derek Brown is the Director of Education at Spiritless and a passionate advocate for no- and low-alcohol cocktails. Formerly of the Columbia Room, named “Best American Cocktail Bar” by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation's Spirited Awards in 2017, Brown is the author of Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World and Mindful Mixology: A Comprehensive Guide to No- and Low-Alcohol Cocktails.

Brown has written for a number of publications on spirits, cocktails, and well-being—from The Washington Post to Vox—and been featured in numerous magazines, websites, and news outlets for his work on spirits and cocktails. Additionally, Brown served as Chief Spirits Advisor to the National Archives Foundation and is a Distinguished Fellow at Catholic University’s Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship. In 2020, Drinks International named Brown one of the "Bar World 100," a list of the top beverage figures effecting positive change in the global bar industry. Brown is a founder of The Cocktail Collection (formerly The Museum of the American Cocktail).