Saying that “history helps to define us, it helps us to know really who we are,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton unveiled a plaque yesterday at the J.W. Marriott to honor the rickey, the cocktail created more than a century ago at Shoomaker’s bar, which once stood at the same location.
The Columbia Room’s Derek Brown and members of the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild, which has been pushing for wider recognition of the rickey, were in attendance for the unveiling. Others guild members there to toast the cocktail included Chantal Tseng from Tabard Inn, Owen Thomson from ThinkFoodGroup and Brown’s brother, Tom Brown, from The Passenger. (Tom Brown, by the way, was still sporting a cast from an ATV accident in June, which has kept him away from the bar for weeks.)
“It really exceeded my expectations,” Brown said after the unveiling. “To see it come at least this far down the line, it’s awesome. It feels great to connect with the city... I think it brings us together. It’s awesome to see a Congresswoman embrace that...It’s great to see people from all walks of life embrace that.”
“We are steeped in history. We have museums dedicated to history,” Norton noted before revealing the plaque. “We are the kind of people, we in D.C., that if we find a place where history was made, we plop a plaque on it.”
She got a good laugh with that line.
“Or if it turns out to be the Marriott, which stands where the old Shoomaker’s stood before it and created our official cocktail, we drink to [to the place] and resolve to continue this wonderful historic tradition.”
The best part of the rickey celebration? You can get half-priced rickeys at the J.W. Marriott’s 1331 Bar & Lounge through July.