The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2017

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58  /  the tasting panel  /  march 2017 COCKTAIL HISTORY Derek Brown is Chief Spirits Advisor for the National Archives Foundation. Hey D.C., We're Coming for You! The Tasting P anel is proud to partner with the National Archives Foundation for our second Spirited Republic cocktail competition on June 29, 2017, in Washington, D.C. For more information, and to find out how your brand can participate, email I f you've ever had a particularly painful commute home, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you know that few things in life are sweeter than that first sip of wine after a long, agonizing day at the office. But the next time you're sitting in a sea of red brake lights feeling sorry for yourself, imagine this: At least you're not trudging through the American wilderness on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Talk about a long day! You better believe those intrepid adventurers deserved to crack open a bottle of vino as they huddled around a campfire after grueling hours spent mapping the new American territories bought in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. It's this universal, inherently human connection to the world of wine and spirits that piques the interest of so many cocktail historians, key among them Derek Brown, legendary barman and Chief Spirits Advisor for the National Archives Foundation. "When Lewis and Clark were setting out to chart the U.S., they took beer and wine with them. It's the little things like that which are really fascinating," says Brown, pointing to a receipt from the legendary journey that's housed in the National Archives. "Understanding the role of wine and spirits really helps you taste a piece of history," continues Brown. "We can't be there on the trip with Lewis and Clark. We can't go back and watch the Constitution being drafted. But we can have a drink from that time. It's a tangible way to experience a piece of history, today." With the goal of bringing the past to life via the glass, Brown and the National Archives Foundation are continuing their seminar series explor- ing various periods of history through the lens of the cocktail. Up next? Brown will be leading a seminar on March 25 that explores the long- standing relationship between America and Cuba, with cocktails like the classic Daiquiri as living examples of a historic cultural exchange. "Food and drinks have been essential to our history," continues Brown. "It's as important to understand as part of our collective past as anything else." For more on Brown's event series at the National Archives, visit Spirited History On display at the National Archives, a receipt showed that wine was an essential part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF THE UNITED STATES HONORS ITS SPIRITED PAST by Rachel Burkons Burkons / photos by Mark Finkenstadt

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