While he became something of an accidental cocktail book author, Frederic Yarm’s research for his new book, “Drink & Tell,” has been going on for almost six years. The Somerville resident began recording the drinks he had been making at home in 2006, and soon thereafter started the now well-followed Cocktail Virgin blog (http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com), detailing his every tipple at bars throughout the city. The book, he says, “represents the last five or six years of the Boston cocktail scene’s development.”
Compiling more than 500 recipes from some 40 bars throughout the city, the book is a great tool for the home bartender looking to branch out. But there’s also a mostly comprehensive breakdown of the must-try bars mapped out by neighborhood.
“Many of these bars are organized in clusters and make for good bar crawling, or as backup plans if one is unexpectedly packed or closed for the night,” he says. “With the map, it becomes apparent that jumping from one cluster to the next sometimes is not that far or time consuming, either.”
Yarm, a biologist by trade, says “working in the lab has taught me how to document recipes and be comfortable handling liquids,” so the crossover to the boozy science field was easy. There’s no substitute for learning from the best, however, whose expertise he’s compiled here. That’s one of the surprises he learned about the city’s bartenders, he says, “how willing they were to teach technique, explain what they were doing and talk about spirits. ... The collegial, sharing atmosphere helps to make Boston a great cocktail town.”