Year in Review: Top 5 Cocktail Experiences of 2011

Derek Brown, owner of DC's The Passenger and one of the cocktail world's brightest luminaries, took to the pages of The Atlantic to share his Top 5 Cocktail Experiences of 2011.

Over the course of the year, Derek visited some of the country's (and the world's) best bars in order to sample the cutting edge of mixology. It's a difficult job, but Derek took the hit for us.

Among his favorite drinks he encountered: the Martinez Sour, as prepared by Justin Pike at The Tasting Kitchen in L.A., a Rob Roy, as mixed by Arash Hanjianpour at Candelaria in Paris, and the Cold Hot Chocolate from Craig Schoettler at Aviary in Chicago.

Derek opines that the trend for high-end cocktails shows no signs of abating; if anything, it's now become part of the mainstream. Good news for those of us who love fine spirits. (Even if it makes our livers a little sad.)

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