National Press Club

"Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters" Dinner at The Fourth Estate Restaurant

"Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters" Dinner at The Fourth Estate Restaurant

September 24, 2019 6:30 PM

Location: 4th Estate Restaurant

Derek Brown with Robert Yule, Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters

Travel through time with the cocktails that defined their eras at a multi-course cocktail party on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Fourth Estate restaurant.

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with at toast to birth of a nation with Fish House Punch and passed hors d’oeuvres, and continues with five additional cocktails from cocktail expert Derek Brown's new book, "Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World." The full menu is listed below.

Reserve here for this special night. Tickets include one book and are $85 per person or $160 per couple (Couples receive one book to share). National Press Club members receive a 15 percent discount. You must be signed in to access the discount.

Brown, a spirits and cocktail expert, is president of Drink Company, which owns Washington hot spots Columbia Room in Blagden Alley, rotating pop-up bar Pub, and Reverie. Columbia Room won the 2017 Spirited Award for the “Best American Cocktail Bar.” Imbibe Magazine named Brown “Bartender of the Year.” Playboy named him one of the “10 Entertainers, Thought Leaders and Heroes Who’ll Save Us in 2017.”

Co-author Robert Yule is a freelance journalist and vice president of Long Story Short, a creative content agency. He is the author of the blog, “Historic District.”


Our Founding Drinkers: 1490-1790
Fish House Punch (peach brandy, rum, cognac)

  • Tostones (plantains) with pineapple guacamole and shrimp
  • Indian samosas
  • Coconut shrimp

Birth of the Cocktail: 1790-1850 | The Golden Age: 1860-1910
Dry Martini (gin, dry vermouth, orange bitters)

  • Grilled New Orleans oysters with pancetta & Parmesan cheese
  • Cheddar cheese gougeres
  • Smoked salmon and cucumber

Lost Generation: 1920-1930 | The Found Art of Drinking: 1940-1950
Philly Sling (applejack, sloe gin)

  • Seared duck breast bruschetta, cream cheese and cherry glaze
  • Italian meatballs
  • Cheese stuffed mini-peppers

Tiki and Exotic Drinks: 1930-1970 | Drinking in the Dark Ages: 1970-80
The Getaway (Cynar daiquiri:  blackstrap rum, Cynar)

  • Tempura broccolini
  • Stuffed bok choy with spiced ground pork
  • Prosciutto wrapped shrimp

Rebirth of the Cocktail: 1980-90 | The Platinum Age: 2000-Present
Oaxacan Old Fashioned (Reposado tequila, mezcal, agave)

  • Grilled steak skewers, chimichurri dipping sauce
  • Walnut and cheese stuffed mushrooms
  • Stuffed jalapenos

Syllabub (Madeira, lemon juice and whipped cream)

  • Fruit skewers
  • Lemon cake pops
  • French macaroons
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