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Angostura bitters is gearing up for the 2013 Angostura Bitters Global Cocktail Challenge starting with the U.S. Finals in Chicago on October 18, 2012. We are excited to introduce you to one of our three U.S. finalists, Sean Frederick.

Name: Sean Frederick (@seanfrederick on Twitter and Instagram, follow him OnTheBar)

City: Boston

Bar: Citizen Public House; Oyster Bar (@CitizenPub on Twitter)

5 things To Know About Sean:

1. Oh, Boston, you’re my home. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my dad taking me into the city for the day, to see the Celtics at the old Garden, or to catch the Sox at Fenway. There’s something magical about working in the shadow of one of the last true neighborhood ballparks in the country, where everyone from the DJ to the relief pitchers are among your regular guests. That we have a reverence for a creaky, cramped, century-old stadium tells you a lot about our values in Boston: We’ve got a lot of history here, and we don’t run around tearing it down out of sheer convenience.

2. My style? Classic. When it comes to crafting drinks, I’m not one to shun new ingredients, tools, or methodology, but I do retain a bent toward the classics. Fads can come and go, so when drinks like the Old Fashioned or Manhattan stand the test of time, I never tire of introducing them to guests in a whole new light. It’s also why I’ve been known to stash bottles of Angostura bitters at the homes of friends and family, for when the occasion arises.

3. I enjoy mixing people as much as I do drinks. We’re lucky to host a diverse crowd at Citizen, which is still a neighborhood bar despite it’s proximity to Fenway. To me, building relationships with and among regulars in the neighborhood is one of the privileges of the job. In an era where you might not know the first name of your next-door neighbor, I’m glad that our bar can be that ‘third place’ between work and home, where you can strike up new friendships with the people who live and work around you.

4. You’re allowed to talk politics at my bar. It’s often said that while on-the-job, politics is an untouchable subject for bartenders. But, when you’re serving some of the most engaging and opinionated bar-goers in the country, what fun is that? At any given moment, there could be a newspaper editor, a Ph.D. biochemist, a pediatric surgeon, a Harvard professor, and a half-dozen fellow bartenders, all sitting elbow-to-elbow at the same bar. If a political discussion crops up, I enjoy prodding it along. Because I studied journalism in college, I avoid taking sides, but people might be surprised to know the guy making their drink reads The Economist, too.

5. I learn something new every time I sit at a bar. I am a product of my peers in Boston, who are among the most talented, passionate, and hospitable professionals in their field. Before I became a bartender, I was fortunate to enjoy the service of great bartenders at great bars, who each – whether they realize it or not – informed my style and sensibilities once I stepped behind the stick. That process continues today: whether in Boston, New York City, New Orleans, or New Hampshire, when I sit at someone’s bar, I always try to glean something that helps me become better at my job. Whether it has to do with producing drinks or interacting with guests, the learning process never stops.

Cheer for Sean in the Angostura Bitters Cocktail Challenge U.S. Finals in Chicago on October 18, 2012! Follow #AngosturaBitters and get live updates from @AngosturaHouse on Twitter and on our Facebook page.

Meet our other U.S. Finalists:

J.R. Starkus

Alex Renshaw