Southern Efficiency

According to JFK, Washington, D.C. is a place of “Southern efficiency and Northern charm.” And while he was using it to describe the politics of the Capital, we rather liked the idea of Southern efficiency--lazy Sunday afternoons with Bourbon in hand, Country Captain on the stove while listening to Bluegrass. Turns out that Washington, D.C. has many identities but has always held on to a little bit of the South.

Southern Efficiency is a Southern food and whiskey bar created by James Beard Award nominated bar owner Derek Brown and award-winning oysterman Travis Croxton, specializing in the breadth of Southern whiskey and off the beaten path Southern recipes. The spirits menu is curated by  bar manager Paul Taylor with an eclectic group of whiskies ranging the gamut from traditional Bourbons to whiskey from craft distillers. Paul has also created a whiskey-focused cocktail menu that includes classic cocktails alongside cocktails on tap. The food is true to form Southern cooking from pimento cheese to our fried chicken sandwich.


Derek Brown has one of those dream jobs that your high school counselor never tells you about. He drinks for a living. He's a cocktail and spirits writer, spirits judge and owner of acclaimed bars Mockingbird Hill, Eat The Rich, Southern Efficiency, and the twice James Beard award nominated Columbia Room. In between, he travels around the world learning and teaching about how drinking is an integral part of our culture and values.


JP Fetherston knows whiskey. He cycled throughout Scotland, visiting 27 different distilleries before apprenticing at Bruichladdich under Master Distiller Jim McEwan and his team. But that wasn’t his first trip. He’s also traveled throughout the United States, sampling the best of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. Before focusing on whiskey, he was a bartender and research director at Columbia Room in Washington D.C., consistently ranked as one of the top cocktail bars in the country. JP has masters degrees in history from both the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.