Food and Drink, Night Life, We Love Drinks

Event (P)Review: On the Town with Dale DeGroff

Dale DeGroff 1
All photos by the author

Dale DeGroff returns Thursday night for what I’ve been told is a bigger and better On the Town show, this time featuring pianist Dan Ruskin. This article, originally published last year, is a good preview for this year’s show.

The fact that you probably already know what a Cosmopolitan cocktail is, and most likely even have a mental picture of the sort of person you imagine would drink it, owes its existence to King Cocktail. Widely credited as the bartender who made it popular (if not ubiquitous) from behind the bar at the Rainbow Room in the 1980s, DeGroff has a long history both with his leg up in front of the bar and as the all-seeing, all-hearing master of ceremonies behind it. The “On the Town” seminar is a chance for him to tell a sample of the stories he has collected – or been a part of – since he moved to New York four decades ago.

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All Politics is Local, Food and Drink, History, The Daily Feed, The District

On This Day in 1934 …

Photo courtesy of daveinshaw
Faith and Insurance
courtesy of daveinshaw

As you might know by now, we’re big fans of the DC Craft Bartenders Guild’s annual Repeal Day Ball, which celebrates the national repeal of Prohibition. What you might not know is that DC’s local prohibition law remained on the books for a few more months after the national repeal.

Today is the anniversary of the repeal of prohibition in DC. According to Garrett Peck’s book Prohibition in Washington, DC, DC’s repeal went into effect just after midnight on March 1, with some 200 licenses hand-delivered by police and other DC officials. The first recipients? The National Press Club, who still have license ABRA-000001 [PDF].

Know of any official or unofficial celebrations? Post ‘em in the comments.

We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: On the Town With Dale DeGroff

Dale DeGroff 1
All photos by the author

Monday I attended a talk by noted (some might say legendary, and they might not be wrong) bartender Dale DeGroff. Arranged by and benefitting the Museum of the American Cocktail (also behind the Hotel Cocktail seminar Jenn attended), the talk had the simple title On the Town with Dale DeGroff and an equally simple, but delightful, construction.

The fact that you probably already know what a Cosmopolitan cocktail is, and most likely even have a mental picture of the sort of person you imagine would drink it, owes its existence to King Cocktail. Widely credited as the bartender who made it popular (if not ubiquitous) from behind the bar at the Rainbow Room in the 1980s, DeGroff has a long history both with his leg up in front of the bar and as the all-seeing, all-hearing master of ceremonies behind it. The “On the Town” seminar is a chance for him to tell a sample of the stories he has collected – or been a part of – since he moved to New York four decades ago.

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Crime & Punishment, History, Life in the Capital, The District, We Love Drinks

Breakin’ the Law: Prohibition in DC

Garrett Peck
Garret Peck (photos by the author)

Wednesday night I attended a talk on Prohibition in DC by local author Garrett Peck. He’s got a new book on the subject, developed as a result of his research for his first book, along with the knowledge he’s amassed leading the Temperance Tour. Much as it is now, DC was a playground for politicians who wanted to try out new rules. Prohibition was thus imposed on the District in 1917 by politicians who, privately (and sometimes publicly) didn’t themselves care much for or about the law.

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The Daily Feed, We Love Drinks

We Love Books About Drinks

Photo courtesy of
‘Temperance Fountain’
courtesy of ‘NCinDC’

It may come as a surprise to you that I have time to read in between all those trips to the Passenger for brunch, but it’s true. It probably won’t come as a surprise, though, that I’ve been reading a lot about drinking and prohibition lately. Two DC area authors have new books on those subjects.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed, We Love Drinks

Give me that Prohibition Beer

Photo courtesy of
‘Interior of saloon, Everett’
courtesy of ‘UW Digital Collections’

This is a shameful moment for me.  Coors, the brewer that brought us the swill that’s “as cold as the Rockies” has developed a beer that I’m a touch excited about.  Maybe excited is too strong a word.  I’m intrigued. Batch 19, a new lager from Coors, is being tested in DC at a few select locations.  The beer is modeled off of a pre-prohibition era recipe and promises “a bold hoppy flavor that is surprisingly well balanced.” DC is one of five cities in the country that Batch 19 is being shipped to, so, at the very least drinking it will be a unique experience.  As to the actual quality of the brew, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. You can get Batch 19 starting this month at Iron Horse, the Saloon, 18th Amendment and We the Pizza.