Member Spotlight -- 2016 Inaugural Super User Fred Yarm

3 1/2 years bartending and 10 years writing about cocktails; Boston chapter


Where did you grow-up, and what was it like there?

I grew up in Milford, CT, which was a pleasant small town on the coast that built up over the years. I actually lived a bit inland and was more likely seen fishing on a pond than going to Long Island Sound. Milford is known for being the home of Subway Sandwiches although my house was closer to the world Pez headquarters (under a mile away) in Orange, CT, than to the original Subway.



Favorite childhood memory?

Playing street hockey on our dead end street.



Where do you work and what do you do there?

I am the lead bartender at Loyal Nine in Cambridge, MA, and I am in charge of running the cocktail program besides regular bartender duties. I also am the main writer for the Cocktail Virgin blog which led to me writing Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book in 2012.



What is the most rewarding part of your career?

Getting to do a combination of working with my hands, interacting with people, and having the stresses of the work day go away at the end of every shift. And definitely having people leave my bar happier than when they showed up is a bonus!



What is your favorite bartending moment?

Serving an older gentleman a Martini who was so impressed with my technique and knowledge about the drink, that we exchanged cards and began an email correspondence. He was an ambassador from India (now emeritus and working in healthcare policy) who returned several times to learn about Martini variations; he would later thank me profusely by email each time.



What do you do to relax outside of work?

Cat herding, vegetable gardening, cooking, reading, and collecting vintage glassware.



Tell us about your dream vacation.

Actually going somewhere with my wife that did not involve a booze event or distillery. Perhaps returning to Spain or France. But who am I kidding, it would somehow involve a bar or other industry destination.



Favorite quote:

“One cocktail is just like one revolution: it just gets you organized for the next.” My bastardization of a Will Rogers quote that I put on my business card and below the table of contents in my book.



Advice you could offer to others:

Keep asking questions and learning, work hard at life, live honorably, and do not take no as an answer so readily.



Who do you look up to and why?

My brother has always been an inspiration to me for teaching me a lot about life and taking me under his wing to teach me about culture. He also figured out first how to turn a hobby (loving modern music) into a career of writing about it. That led him to write a book about grunge music called Everybody Loves Our Town that inspired me to write my own book a year or so later.



Tell us something unusual or unique about yourself that we might not know.

Despite being slender, I have played Santa Claus 7 times in my life. A combination of doing it for disadvantaged kids and performing at club nights in "Kung Fu Santa Claus" skits. Not at the same time, though.



What does the future hold for you?

I'm not very good at telling the future. If you asked me 5 years ago, I would have said that I'd be still working in biotech.



What is turns you on?

A smile.



What turns you off?

People who do not let you speak and prefer that you serve as a sounding board or conversational topic guide.



What noise(s) or sound(s) do you love?

Ocean waves and cats purring.



What noise(s) or sound(s) do you hate?

The white noise of someone else vacuuming and the sound of cats puking.



Which profession would you not like to try?

Anything that would involve an office and a desk job -- I did that for long enough.



If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

“Ice cream social at 3, happy hour at 5!”


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