As a kid, the attic was a dark and spooky space we tried to avoid. Now, as libation loving adults, The Attic, in Sherman Oaks, doesn’t scare us one bit.
Situated above the lively bar/restaurant The Sherman, The Attic is a stylish, intimate speakeasy specializing in custom cocktails. Opened in March 2016, in what used to be home to Tunnel Bar, The Attic features a stylish Edison bulb-studded brick archway above the bar, mirrored walls, red leather couches and even a little patio space in the back.
“You almost don’t feel like you are in the valley when you are here,” says co-owner Theo Mavro. “It kind of has a New York feel.”
As cool as the bar looks, what makes it exceptional is the talent behind it. Expert bartenders pride themselves on creating personalized cocktails that are unique and delicious. Guests are encouraged to choose their spirit and flavor preference and let the mixologists work their magic.
“Whatever you want, rye, mezcal, tequila, gin, vodka or something smokey or citrus, we can make it for you,” says bartender Victoria Ortiz, known fondly as “Ninja.” “We like to play around.”
“We never want anyone to be shy, we can give you exactly what you want,” says another bartender David Horn. “And we have so many unique ingredients on hand, from things like hibiscus bitters to Ancho Chile liqueur. It gives you a chance to try a bunch of new drinks and gives us a chance to mess around and discover new recipes.”
If the idea of helping create your own cocktail is daunting and you need a little bit of guidance, The Attic does have a limited set cocktail menu.
“We keep the menu small because we are known for making custom drinks based on people’s tastes. We limit it to one drink per alcohol.”
Above: Princess Leia Cocktail
One of the most popular drinks on the menu is the Princess Leia, which is a sweet sophisticated cocktail made with Altos Blancos Tequila, firewater bitters, fresh honeydew, lime, and agave.
Above: Yass Queen Cocktail
The Yass Queen is an exotic, fun and floral concoction made with Tito’s Vodka, Creme de Violette, lemon, and pineapple. The Basil-isk Venom is a crisp, peppery but refreshing cocktail with Beefeater gin, house-made basil lemonade, and bubbly water.
Above: Basil-isk Venom
Ninja loves when someone orders the Pinky Please, a pretty pink but potent drink made with Bulleit bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol and lemon.
Above: Pinky Please Cocktail
“It has the same ingredients as the classic cocktail The Paper Plane, but I named it the Pinky Please as my way of checking what males can handle a pink bourbon served in a coupe and who can say it out loud,” says Ninja. “I’ve had guys say to me ‘hey can I get the bourbon drink’ and I laugh and say ‘you’ve got to say the name.’ If someone orders it without shame, I know I’ve got their back.”
Above: Ninja Warrior
The limited menu also includes Ninja’s signature drink, the Ninja Warrior, made with Don Q Añejo Rum, ginger syrup, honey, lime and flamed 151 Rum.
“When we first opened we had no menu, but it got to the point that the drink I kept making for bartender’s choice became so popular, people started calling it the Ninja.” she says. “I’m Puerto Rican so I love my rum.”
While the limited menu changes throughout the year, bartender’s choice is always offered. The Attic also offers Whiskey Wednesdays, which is a chance for mixologists to mess around with dark spirits from new distilleries each week.
“We love to try new things” says Ninja. “And when we have a chance to light something on fire, we do. We’ll give you some pyrotechnics.”
The Attic details
14633 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (818) 485-2200, atticatthesherman.com, @atticatthesherman
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
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