News Article

National Archives Foundation Kicks Off Event Series with Chief Spirits Advisor Derek Brown

February 27, 2017

WASHINGTON – As part of its partnership with award-winning bartender and Chief Spirits Advisor Derek Brown, the National Archives Foundation today announced a new 2017 event series focused on the role of alcohol in America’s history.

The series will kick off with Cocktails in Cuba on March 25, 2017. The United States may have invented the cocktail, but it wasn’t long before it became entwined with the island nation of Cuba, especially through the invention of two of the world’s most recognized libations—the Daiquiri and Rum & Coke. Military intervention, organized crime and literary giants, all in the shadow of revolution, mark the fascinating history of these drinks. Experts, along with one of Cuba’s most renowned bartenders, Julio Cabrera, will discuss cocktails, Cuba and the United States, past and present. This event, which will include a reception before the seminar, will be moderated by Brown, and sponsored by the 86 Spirits Company. Registration is open now and filling up fast, more information is available online here.

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Chief Spirits Advisor Derek Brown with this new series,” said Patrick M. Madden, executive director of the Foundation. “Derek’s passion for history pairs perfectly with our mission to connect people to America’s story in exciting and unexpected ways.”

“From landing on Plymouth Rock in search of beer to creating the cocktail, the story of America could be easily told through the drinks it has both consumed and condemned. The chance to tell that story – not just with documents but through experts in the field – is unprecedented. I’m grateful to be a part of it,” said Brown.

The event series will also include Global Spirits: American Cocktails, on June 29, 2017. Hosted by the National Archives Foundation and The Tasting Panel MagazineGlobal Spirits: American Cocktails, will kick off several days of festivities celebrating July 4, 2017. Top mixologists will be tasked with the creation of an original cocktail inspired by classic American cocktails. As the bartenders blend their concoction for judges to taste, they will describe how they were inspired to create a modern take on an American classic. Guests will have the opportunity to taste exclusive cocktails created by eight of the top bartenders from around the country. A final event, Culinary Cocktails, will be held in September 2017 (details to follow).

In 2015, the National Archives Foundation and Brown partnered on a series of events in conjunction with the then-National Archives exhibit, Spirited Republic. Brown also curated a ten-part History of the Cocktail Series to discuss the role of spirits in U.S. history. Spirited Republic explored the federal government’s efforts, successes, and failures to change our drinking habits, from whiskey rations to the Continental Army to the Whiskey Rebellion to Prohibition and beyond. The exhibit used nearly 100 National Archives records and artifacts to show the evolution of the government’s alcohol policy over time, and to illustrate the wide variety of views about alcohol held by Americans.


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About the National Archives Foundation

The National Archives Foundation is an independent nonprofit that increases public awareness of the National Archives, inspires a deeper appreciation of our country’s heritage, and encourages citizen engagement in our democracy. The Foundation generates financial and creative support for National Archives exhibitions, public programs, and educational initiatives, introducing America’s records to people around the U.S. and the world. Learn more at:

About the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, so people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at:

About the National Archives Museum

The National Archives Museum, created by the National Archives in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, has transformed the visitor experience at the National Archives’ Washington, DC, building, and includes the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the David M. Rubenstein Gallery and its Records of Rights permanent exhibition, the award-winning Public Vaults permanent gallery, the William G. McGowan Theater, the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery for special exhibits, the Boeing Learning Center, the Digital Vaults online exhibit, and the DocsTeach website. These components make the rich resources of the National Archives accessible to Americans nationwide.