DC Toasts was founded with the goal of promoting excellence in bartending through diversity and education, by celebrating those who have made significant contributions to bartending but whose stories have gone virtually untold. Stories like Dick Francis who as a Black man was born a slave in the early 19th century, but rose to become a freeman and bartender to Congress–where he hob-knobbed with the most powerful men of his generation–and whose son graduated as a doctor from Howard University. We will have cocktail stations throughout the venue helmed by the District and Nation’s top bartending talent, serving historic recipes and telling the story of bartenders like Dick Francis.
In addition to cocktails, we will have live music from The Chuck Brown Band whose signature Go Go sound, a hypnotically danceable genre deeply rooted in funk and soul that he developed in the early 70’s, originated in the District of Columbia.
We will also announce the D’Ussé “Tom Bullock Award for Distinguished Service,” celebrating people within the spirits & bartending community who have made significant charitable or social contributions. Tom Bullock was the first Black bartender to publish a cocktail book prior to Prohibition. The award will be presented by Tom Bullock’s grand nephew, Darryl Bullock.
This event is a benefit for the Museum of the American Cocktail.
ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: Derek Brown, Dale DeGroff, Jill DeGroff, David Wondrich, Phil Greene, Colin Asare-Appiah, Jim Meehan, Duane Sylvestre, Alisa Cohen, & Angie Salame.
RESEARCH COMMITTEE: Research on historic Black bartenders was conducted in conjunction with our research partner, the DC Public Library Special Collections, and led by David Wondrich, award winning author of Imbibe! and Punch, along with historian Garrett Peck, author of How Dry We Weren’t: Prohibition in Washington D.C., and writer Derek Brown.