Mixologist Naomi Schimek of The Spare Room - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

July 2011

Naomi Schimek’s Southern California garden might look like any other kitchen garden. But where her gardening peers might clip a few herbs here and there before dinner, Schimek is using her garden as a source for homemade herbal liqueurs and tinctures—the stuff of artisanal, flavor-forward, and contemporary cocktail magic. And because the Vermont-native (and one-time Montreal resident) is now happily ensconced in Southern California, she can keep her garden going year-round. Meaning the tinctures and liqueurs keep flowing.

Over the course of her career, Schimek has worked under such cocktail connoisseurs as Marcos Tello, Chad Solomon, Christy Pope, and Audrey Saunders. But with more than two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Schimek is by this point an expert in her own right. And she’s worked the full spectrum of the scene, from old-school dive bars (where Schimek can hold her own against even the most spirited clientele) to LA’s upscale mixo scene—she’s currently maintaining the bar at The Spare Room at Hollywood’s palace of swank celebrity, The Roosevelt Hotel.

Schimek has been featured in several local and national publications; LA’s Brand X Magazine praised her for “seriously adept and inventive cocktail craftsmanship.” She is a member of the LA Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, Sporting Life, and Los Angeles Guerrilla Gardeners. And when she’s not tending bar, she’s tending to her two teenage daughters, keeping her garden possum-free, and pursuing her passions for old cars and new dresses, most likely to a rock n’ roll sound track.