Bringing Brandy Back

Aidan Demarest Ressurects a Classic at First & Hope


Aidan Demarest, one of the best-known figures in the LA cocktail scene, sits across the table from me, and grimaces at my ice tea. It's the first night of service at First & Hope, his supper club project with chef Shelly Cooper, a place built for Champagne concoctions and brandy-based throwbacks.
     "I have magnums of Champagne back there," he says. But until he gets a liquor license, the corks will remain unpopped.
     "LA has such arcane rules in the paperwork, like 'no prostitution' and 'no gambling.' They're still rules for places that had dance hall girls. They told me we can't have live sex acts on stage, and I said, you know, you should just come see the place."
    The license arrived eventually, but it hardly turned this corner into the red light district. First & Hope sits in the elbow of a mini-mall in the shadow of the Walt Disney concert hall; it's tucked between a Subway and a frozen yogurt store. What's unassuming outside is theatrically posh within: White table cloths, chandeliers, hostesses in melted-steel satin. Even the lights along the room dividers move and shift like stage lights.
     "The jury's still out for me on these," he says, as the glow turns from gold to red. "I think my mood changes too much with the lighting."

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  • Snooth User: Philip James
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    1 12,575

    I used to drink Brandy Alexanders (sweet tooth), but migrated to Brandy Sour's (real egg white please). Most places can make a Brandy Sour, even if its just with the sour mix, and for the poorly stocked places the Whiskey Sour is always an fall back option.

    Jun 09, 2010 at 12:40 PM

  • Snooth User: Carly Wray
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    196958 864

    I love that real egg whites are making a comeback. There's nothing better for cocktail texture!

    Jun 10, 2010 at 11:04 AM

  • Snooth User: dane s
    498189 14

    I agree 100%, if you are making a sour it has to have egg white!

    Jun 18, 2010 at 11:25 AM

  • Snooth User: Wendy Crispell
    Hand of Snooth
    72835 4,719

    I always used a good quality vanilla ice cream with a bit of whole milk and blended them. It gave it a rich texture without being to milk shake like. Then grated some fresh nutmeg over top, Awesome!

    Jun 26, 2010 at 11:20 AM

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