Derek Brown on Taking a More Thoughtful Approach to Drinking—and Bartending

Jason Wilson

By the time Derek Brown arrived at the top of his profession—owner of successful D.C. bars, author, nationally acclaimed cocktail expert—booze had become an all-or-nothing proposition, one of two extremes: He drank heavily, or he didn’t drink. 

“The lifestyle of a young bartender and bar owner, awash with all the trappings of rock stars except worldwide fame, had led past late nights into early mornings and—too many drinks...