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Showcasing the best bartenders in the DMV!





1211 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009


Mr. R. R. Bowie was the founder of the Black Mixology Club in Washington, DC in the year 1900 and was its first president. We pay homage to the vast amount of bartender talent that goes unrecognized.  For DMV Black Restaurant Week, we recognize the history of the bartender is as STORYTELLER, the one who educates the guest in an entertaining way.


WHAT: The DMVbrw R.R. Bowie Cocktail Club Competition, is the official DMV Black Restaurant Week bartending competition.  The best spirits and mixed drink themed showcase featuring African and African-American bartenders in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area will pay tribute to the bartenders of the past with cocktails (each drink is inspired by a historical recipe created by a black bartender, or was common to the era) and other categories.


WHEN: Monday, November 4, 2019 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm



                 BEN'S NEXT DOOR, 1211 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009


WHY:  DMV Black Restaurant Week (DMVbrw) is November 3rd-10th, 2019 and features black owned restaurants, chefs and allied restaurants located in the DMV focusing on locations that are Metro accessible. During the week, diners will receive an option of prix-fixe meals or speciality items at a discount as a way of drawing attention to what's offered all the time at these restaurants allowing for branding and promotion of the business. The DMV has a vast amount of bartender talent that goes unrecognized.  We are not only storytellers, we are active participants in this cocktail history. 



Contestants will be tasked with creating 2 (two) original cocktails that embody very important aspects of Black drinking culture in America.


Cocktail 1: Meet Me in ‘The Trappe’


In 1975, a few well-to-do brothers formed The Foxtrappe Towne Club in Washington, DC.  It was an inclusive space but since the times were the times, it became world-famous as the place to be for Black “who’s who” in DC to mix, mingle, network, and dance the night away.  Located at 1601 R St, NW,DC, this exclusive club became a beacon of black excellence and even had a membership card for its members.  Your ‘Meet Me in The Trappe’ cocktail must be able to tell a story and incorporate the rich history of this DC landmark.  


​Cocktail ​2:​ To the Ones That Paved the Way


Despite what the history books have taught us, Black people have had an integral part in building this country.  Cocktail culture has been no different. The second cocktail must be an original cocktail inspired by at least one of these classic Black bartenders:

-R.R. Bowie

-Tom Bullock

-Cato Alexander

-Jim Cook

-John Dabney





  • Participants must submit 2 cocktail recipes pertaining to each cocktail category

  • Recipes must be submitted by email to by Sunday, October 13th, 2019 at 5:00pm.

  • The committee will review all recipes and select the best innovative recipes to compete in the competition. The committee will confirm their selection by Friday, October 18, 2019.

  • Recipes shall be expressed in ounces, drops, or dashes and scaled for a single serving.

    • The only exception to the single-serving rule is if your cocktail is being served in a punch-style.  Then it must be expressed in both singe-serving and multi-serving units

  • Recipes must include a detailed description of the garnish if there is one.

  • The base spirit MUST be at least 1.5oz Founding Spirits Vodka, Whiskey, or Amaro in both cocktails

    • For a full list of Founding Spirits offerings, please visit

    • Samples of Founding Spirits products will be available to you before competition

  • You must incorporate at least .5oz of a Blue Henry Spirits mixer or a Blue Henry garnish.

    • For a full list of Blue Henry offerings, please visit

    • Samples of Blue Henry products will be available to you before competition

  • Cocktails must not exceed the legal amount of liquor per serving by DC law (3 oz per serving)




  • This Competition is open to ANY bartender currently working in the bar, restaurant or spirits industry residing in the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area.

  • Bartenders will need to arrive and have their tasting station setup between 4:30PM-5:00PM on November 4th, 2019 to compete. (late arrivals will be disqualified).

  • Bartenders are able to use and are encouraged to bring their personal bartending tools.  However, there will be a selection of tools available to use as well. 

  • Bartenders will prepare 1 cocktail per judge.  There will be 4 (four) judges. Which means a total of 8 cocktails per contestant.

  • This is a timed competition.  Bartenders will be given 15 minutes to create and explain their signature cocktails.

  • Competitors are responsible for any and all ingredients and garnishes outside of Founding Spirits, Blue Henry, or Luxardo products.

  • Judges will score based on:

    • Taste (Balance, Usage of Ingredients)

    • Presentation

    • Originality

    • Story Behind the Cocktail

    • Technical Skill




  • First Place - $500 

  • Second Place- Yelp! & Luxardo Prize Pack



All contestants that agree to participate will have a photo shoot and/or video creating their drink and talking about their inspiration for the cocktail.  These will be posted on DMVBRW and participating sponsors’ social media sites.






EVENT CHAIR Andra “Aj” Johnson


Sponsored By:


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