First Call: The Living Room's Charlatan

Photo by Peter Mumford
First Call is a weekly Voracious feature in which we walk into a bar and ask the bartender to make us his or her favorite drink.
Where: The Living Room,

1355 East Olive Way, 708-6021.

As its name suggests, The Living Room aims to be a homey hangout for all those Capitol Hillers whose places are too small or too cramped to relax in. Or, more simply, for all of us who happen to lack a full bar at home. Tucked into an intimate space heading downhill on Olive Way, The Living Room is close to Faire Coffee, in the spot recently vacated by The Anne Bonny. At the resin-topped bar, you'll be seated under a low-ceiled loft, surrounded by dark wood, and seated atop high stools. (If you want a bit more privacy, upstairs there are couches and a fireplace.)

The barkeep is Monika Proffitt, who owns the place with her partner, Clay Roach. She's been bartending for years, on and off (she's a visual artist, too) between other gigs, and recently decided to make a go of it. After putting many long days into the remodel of the space, the two opened their bar at the end of October.

I ask Monika to make me her favorite drink. She crafts a concoction that has yet to be named. One option: The Roofy.

"Some people might be put off by the name," Monika allows. "But in this neighborhood, people have a sense of humor, don't you think?" (Her t-shirt reads: "I fucked your boyfriend." She's both proud and abashed to be caught in it. No question, her sense of humor is intact.)

Proffitt mixes a near-sweet cocktail composed of Lillet Blanc, Korbel Brandy, a dash of Warre's Ruby Porto, topped with a bit of bubbly (Zardetto prosecco brut) and a twist of orange ($9). The Charlatan (the name that's since been decided on) is a strong one. Calling it The Roofy, I suggest, might offer fair warning.

A brown cocktail touched with a hit of pink, this drink'll warm you on a chill winter's night. The Charlatan has a sweet start, but is not over the top syrupy. It's got a nice slippy texture, and finishes cleanly with a hit of sourness.

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