matthew arkin

Fabulous People: Matthew Arkin

Matthew Arkin is the co-founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Downtime Cocktails, which just released Batch 22 Classic Gold, A New American Aquavit. “Downtime Cocktails was founded almost three years ago after I created the initial recipe in my kitchen in LA, just for fun. Luckily, my two co-founders, Bruce Glassman and Marc Marosi, tasted it, loved it and thought we should bring it to market.” Learn about Matthew Arkin…

Hometown: Born in Brooklyn

First job: Acting in the 1969 short film “People Soup” with my brother Adam, directed by our father, Alan Arkin. I was 8 when we shot it, and it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short. I think that gave me a taste for competition at an early age.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: Finding out-of-the-way, hole-in-the-wall eateries; sitting on a bench at TreePeople park and watching the passersby; finding good walking neighborhoods.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: My kids. They’re the best people I know, but I can’t really take credit for them. I think they showed up that way.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Finding the courage to quit my law career and return to acting, which was my passion. I haven’t looked back.

Batch 22

Someone who inspires you and why: My buddy Scott Williams and his wife, Catherine Curry-Williams. They lost their son Shane to spinal muscular atrophy at two weeks, and then took that tragedy and used it as the impetus to start Shane’s Inspiration, an organization that creates inclusive playgrounds. It started in Los Angeles and is now expanding around the globe. I’m in awe of the energy and generosity of spirit that it takes to do something like that.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: I’m afraid my advice is going to be somewhat general because I do or have done many jobs, with career twists and turns–law, acting, teaching and now launching a spirits brand, with stints at everything from limo driver to bartender in between. I guess I’d say, whatever your goal is, set your sights high, and then work as hard as you can to get there but be kind to people along the way.

Favorite quote: “Here’s to cheating, stealing, fighting and drinking. When you cheat, may it be death. When you steal, may it be the heart of a woman. When you fight, may it be for a brother. And when you drink, may it be with me.”

What makes someone fabulous: A willingness to be open to new ideas, differing opinions and challenging experiences.

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