Recap: Festival of Lights and Boxing Day at the Spare Room

The Spare Room Beverage Director Naomi Schimek

The Spare Room Beverage Director Naomi Schimek

Recently The Spare Room in Hollywood celebrated the Festival of Lights otherwise known as Hanukkah by inviting some of LA’s top Jewish bartenders including Kate Grutman, Alex Straus, Karen Grill, Josh Goldman, Josh Lucas and Jordan Gold to guest bartend. The Spare Room’s Naomi Schimek and Diana Gettinger added to the mix.

The evening also featured DJ Samantha Ronson, a dreidel tournament and latkes.

L'Chaim I'm Not a Bartender

L’Chaim Not a Real Bartender

Marc Rose, the co-owner of the Spare Room offered shots of Manischewitz and Miller High Life. I suppose that’s why he called it, “L’chaim Not a Real Bartender.” Ahaha, the puns were only just beginning from there.

Kate Grutman showing her motherly side

Kate Grutman showing her motherly side

Kate Grutman, formerly of Sotto and Soho House, kicked off the night with Guns & Moses. This isn’t quite like her previous Guns & Moses.

Guns N Moses

Kate Grutman’s Guns N Moses

This Guns & Moses is based off a Negroni that has swapped out sweet vermouth for Manischewitz, everyone’s favorite kosher wine. I decided to go with bourbon instead of gin for this drink.

Kate is at a new, deliberately unnamed spot on Fairfax. I would love to visit but apparently it’s reservations only and they can only be made by calling a private number– which I don’t have. I’m so glad I was able to have a drink then from the whimsical Kate at Spare Room.

Guns & Moses – bourbon, Manischewitz, Campari

Don't Jewish You're Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?

Diana Gettinger’s Don’t Jewish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me

One of the best puns was Diana Gettinger’s Don’t Jewish Your Girlfriend was Hot Like Me. It’s a lovely drink that’s a bit spicy.

Don’t Jewish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me – Caliche rum, pineapple, citrus, jalepeno tincture, mint, cayenne pepper

Joshua Lucas

Joshua Lucas

The magicians were up next. Josh Lucas and Jordan Gold offered a couple of drinks for their round. I opted to try Josh’s Slip of the Bris. I may love latkes but I was just a little bit unsure of Jordan’s drink, Chanukkamikaze, that featured atomized latke oil. I would love to know who got the Chanukkamikaze (Caprock gin, apple sauce, sweet onion syrup, garnished with sour cream, fried onions and atomized latke oil) but we headed out at this point.

Slip of the Bris

Slip of the Bris

Josh’s Slip of the Bris was really good. This would make a nice appertif cocktail.

Slip of the Bris – vodka, Herzog sauvignon blanc, eau de vie figue, clarified syrup, salt, bubbles

Other cocktails that evening:

Alex Straus – The Chosen Spritzer – Akvinta vodka, Manischewitz, lemon, club soda

Karen Grill – Lox, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels – Glenrothes Scotch, coffee-infused East India sherry, cinnamon syrup, milk, garnished with cinnamon and cinnamon raisin bagel chip

Naomi Schimek – Jewphoria – Herzog cabernet, seasonal fruit, raw sugar, black tea, citrus

Josh Goldman – Challah If You Beer Me – Journeyman bourbon, infused with bacon, honey, lemon, Dogfish head beer

Naomi always does such a wonderful job with events.  The whole night was so much fun. I wish I was in town for the next special event, Boxing Day at the Spare Room.


The $20 donation gets you games, music and bottomless punch and bites. The proceeds goes to Hospitality Kitchen who feeds, cares and are advocates for the homeless people of Downtown Los Angeles.

Boxing Day, Thursday, December 26

8-11 PM


The Spare Room

Mezzanine Level of the Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 – 323-769-7296

© LA Cocktails // The Minty  2013



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.