Mixologist Derek Brown of Mockingbird Hill - Biography

Washington, DC

August 2010

Derek Brown has one of those dream jobs that your high school counselor never tells you about. He drinks for a living. He’s a cocktail and spirits writer, spirits judge, and owner of bars Mockingbird HillThe Passenger, and Columbia Room, as well as the upcoming Eat the Rich. In between, he travels around the world learning and teaching about how drinking is an integral part of our culture and values.

Brown has developed celebrated beverage programs as a bartender and sommelier and consulted for some of Washington, D.C.’s and the country’s finest restaurants and bars, including The Gibson and Komi. He has also taught at the prestigious L'Academie de Cuisine and CulinAerie. Brown has received numerous accolades for his bartending, teaching, and wine stewardship, including being names one of “Five Top New Sommeliers” in the country by Wine & Spirits magazine in 2007, 2008 “Sommelier of the Year” by DC Modern Luxury magazine, and “Bartender of the Year” by Washington City Paper in 2009. In 2012, he was the only bartender to be nominated for James Beard’s “Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional.”

While he’s made drinks at the White House, been featured in the Wall Street Journal, and clinked glasses with Martha Stewart, he’ll tell you that his greatest pleasure is introducing others to that great Manzanilla Pasada he had while sitting by the ocean in San Lucar de Barrameda eating seafood, or the small production XO Cognac he drank while taking a barge down the Charente with friends.

Related Features