Pouring Reign: Twelve buzz-worthy Boston bartenders spill all

Will Isaza – Fairsted Kitchen

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Photo Credit: Adam Detour

I’VE PRAISED FAIRSTED FOR ITS EXTRAORDINARY HOSPITALITY ETHOS AND OFTEN SAY THAT HOSPITALITY IS AS IMPORTANT IN BARTENDING AS TECHNICAL CHOPS. HOW DOES FAIRSTED CULTIVATE IT?
If someone wants to make a career in this industry, hospitality should be the first priority. I’ve always loved meeting new people and interacting with many different personalities; it’s cool to have a job where I do that nightly. Fairsted’s owners want every guest to feel as though they’re eating and drinking with family. That only works because we have that sensibility as a staff.

DRINK MORE CUSTOMERS SHOULD ORDER?
Vieux Carré.

MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT?
A couple at my bar got into a huge argument and proceeded to start their divorce over dinner. I gave them a couple of shots and told them to love each other. The woman immediately started crying and left. Whoops.

INGREDIENT MORE CUSTOMERS SHOULD TRY?
Rum and rhum agricole.

IN-HOUSE CODE WORDS?
“Getting Crowed”: We treat our VIP guests to a shot of Old Crow Reserve.

MEDIA RECOMMENDATION?
Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts (1953), on how to be the life of any party.

GUILTY PLEASURE?
Daiquiris all around, please.

FAVORITE DIVES?
Sligo (Somerville). O’Leary’s (Brookline) is a black hole of greatness.

FAVORITE CURRENT TREND?
Bottled cocktails and beer cocktails.

WHAT SHOULD OTHER BARS DO BETTER?
Focus more on helping me have a great time, less on feeding me information. I’m mostly there to drink and eat, not to be educated.

YOUR BAR BUCKET LIST?
Bar High Five (Tokyo). Two I’ve already hit: the Floridita and Bodeguita del Medio, both in Havana. The bartender at Bodeguita said, “Here is the first mojito you have ever had; all the rest have been merely an imitation.” Paired with a Cohiba, it was the best bar experience I’ve ever had.

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