December 12th, 2010
08:00 PM ET
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D.C. bartender Derek Brown has served the President and the First Lady and now he’s serving us, offering step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect holiday drink.

Brown’s reservations-only cocktail laboratory, The Columbia Room, is actually a bar within a bar. An intimate setting with just 16 seats, the cocktail club is hidden inside another popular D.C. bar, The Passenger, co-owned by his brother Tom. Together they serve up classic cocktails on a nightly basis.

“When people come into The Columbia Room, we really take care of them,” says Brown. "To us, making a great cocktail isn't enough. It has to be a great environment. It has to be great service. It really has to be about putting people in the right mood.”

Brown takes time with each of his guests, making the perfect drink according to their palate’s preferences. He shared his secrets with Eatocracy by teaching us a recipe for a traditional mulled holiday wine, Yule Glögg, and serving up a festive cocktail, The Jack Rose.

If you don’t have a holiday drink tradition, you will after this.

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Filed under: Bite • Cocktail Recipes • Holidays • Sip • Spirits

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