[BETTER KNOW A BARTENDER] Republique’s Shawn Licklitter
The Larchmont area is home to some of Los Angeles’ best bars and restaurants, but how well do you know the bartenders who help keep the party going?
This month The Ledger sits down with Shawn Licklitter, bar director at Republique, to discuss his career and favorite drinks.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee.
What brought you to L.A.?
I was a touring musician for about ten years and whenever the band and projects I was working with fell apart, I’d come out here to do songwriting.
What kind of music did you do?
Modern rock and hard rock.
How long have you been bartending?
It’s been off and on. I started in college, and throughout playing music, it afforded me the ability to come back off a tour and then I could bartend for a weekend. So off and on for about 15 years.
What drew you to bartending?
Being in college. I was originally working at a UPS on third shift at three in the morning. I’d do 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. and then go to class at 9, go to sleep and do it all again. I thought, I could back this up and start bartending. Then I could go from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., sleep for a good six hours and then go to class. It made things a lot easier.
What were you doing at UPS?
It was just something I could do for six hours a day or night and get paid well while writing music. I was a music major in college. That only lasted about a year.
What is the funniest, weirdest or most interesting thing you’ve seen in your bartending career?
I had a stalker. Before I worked at Republique, I worked at Bouchon in Beverly Hills. I had a stalker, not romantic, but just obsessed with coming in and talking about food, talking about booze. It got to this crazy place where she would tell these insane stories and that would make people uncomfortable in the bar. It got to the point where I had to tell her she couldn’t come in any more. Then she found me here! I don’t know how. Seriously, like legitimately two years later she walks in and asks for me. She must have seen a publication or something like that.
We appreciate that you’re brave enough to sit down for an interview with us.
Haha. Yeah, it’s rough.
What is a drink you love to make for yourself, what do you like about it, and how do you make it?
My favorite has to be the Improved Whiskey Cocktail. The whiskey cocktail started off as what’s now known as the Old Fashioned. So this would be the improved version. It’s just one of those cocktails that’s just what I want to sit back and sip when I get off of work. Since I grew up in Tennessee, it’s more about whiskey than anything else.
Improved Whiskey Cocktail
1 dash Absinthe
1 Demerara sugar cube
1 barspoon Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Angostura Bitters
2 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
Rinse a rocks glass with a dash of absinthe for flavor. Add and muddle the sugar cube, maraschino liqueur and bitters into a paste. Add one large ice cube and the rye. Stir and garnish with a lemon twist.