Great Nights Out: The Designer Mixologist

Naomi Schimek makes garden-fresh libations at First & Hope

You specialize in “farm-to-glass” cocktails. What are those?
We use high-quality ingredients from local sources. It’s a drink, not a salad, right? Yes, but it’s not that different. I visit farmers’ markets and make my own syrups and purees from fruits and vegetables. I cut herbs from my garden—sometimes I’ll even pick from trees growing on the street. 

Like our grapefruit tree?
Actually, I made a nice twist on limoncello with some beautiful grapefruits I got last winter. Customers will also come up with their own combinations. Once a lady wanted a drink with red plum, cilantro, and ginger. I added Plymouth gin, and it was delicious.

It sounds time consuming.
It is! But I work at another downtown spot, Bar 107, where I serve beer and wear combat boots and jump up and down to the Clash. I love both. 

First & Hope Downtown Supper Club, 710 W. 1st St., downtown, 213-617-8555.