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Behind the Bar at Mie N Yu

Bartender Xan Calomaris—who also tends at The Guards— dishes on celebrity sightings and the drink that’s sure to impress a date

Photograph by Chris Leaman

For our Great Bars 2011 package, we talked with some of Washington's veteran tapmasters and cocktail makers to see what life is like on the other side of the bar.  

On getting hit on at the bar: “Guys ask for my number. Or ask if my wedding ring is fake. I usually just smile and ask them how they feel about babysitting.”

What a guy should order for a girl to impress her: “Champagne that’s at least $40 a bottle.”

Least favorite drink to make: “An old fashioned involves muddling, bitters, sugar, all kinds of gross stuff, then it’s stuck on your skin for the rest of the night. A mojito is up there for high maintenance, too. That’s a note to anyone who goes to a bar: If you order a mojito, you’re automatically blacklisted.”

Celebrities you’ve served: “Laura Bush, Tom Daschle, Robert De Niro, Woody Harrelson. They’ll spend a lot more money if you don’t fawn over them.”

Most memorable conversation: “When a customer’s wife went to the restroom, he said, ‘Please don’t tell my wife I was here with someone else earlier.’ I said, ‘That’s why I didn’t say ‘Nice to see you again.’ ”

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