GIN OLD FASHIONED for the non-bourbon drinker

gin old fashioned via lauren kelp | 30 second cocktailsGang, how is it not the weekend yet? Jeesh! I have been crushing hard on this gin twist on the classic Old Fashioned and I cannot wait to share. I had a gin based Old Fashioned at a bar downtown Chicago and was OBSESSED! It’s crazy good & if you are like me and just starting to dip your toes in to the whiskey well, this is a refreshing way to get the flavor without going crazy. So, how do you make it you ask? SIMPLE!

gin old fashioned via lauren kelp | 30 second cocktails

So the simple, 30-second recipe is this: Grab your gin, tonic, and the Cocktail Crate Old Fashioned mix and voila!

If you don’t know Cocktail Crate, you should. They are honestly the best pre-made mixers around (& no, this isn’t a sponsored post). We have a few on hand at all times and they are always a hit. You just add in your ice, gin, a bit of the mix, and a splash of tonic to make it bubbly & heyo, it’s party time!

For the more living room mixologist friendly recipe, see below. Both are great & I promise, you’ll be obsessed!

gin old fashioned via lauren kelp | 30 second cocktails

GIN OLD FASHIONED
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Oz Good Quality Gin
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 2 Sugar cubes
  • Zest of an orange or lemon
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. Divide the sugar cubes into 2 glasses.
  2. Saturate with bitters - give it a good couple shakes or so.
  3. Top with 2 shots of gin and muddle until the sugar breaks down and begins to dissolve in the mixture.
  4. Add as much ice as makes you happy and stir for about 45 seconds.
  5. Run the zest of the citrus along the top of each glass. Twist and squeeze to release some oil and drop into the mixture or skewer with blueberries and place on side of the glass.
  6. Bottoms up.

gin old fashioned via lauren kelp | 30 second cocktails

FRENCH 75 my favorite go-to fancy cocktail

Hello, hello my favorite festive babes! How are you doing post-holiday? I for one have had a very, very slow start to 2017. Burn out is real and 2016 was full of it. I am taking my time & easing back into the swing of things, but in true LK form, we thought we would kick things off with a fun cocktail. Meet my favorite celebratory libation – the French 75!

french 75 | lauren kelp

The French 75 is particularly special to me, because we had them at our engagement party many moons ago. They always remind me of something special and fun. No matter where I am or what I am doing, if I have something to celebrate, a birthday, something big at work, I whip up a French 75 and cheers to the magic.

Do you have a drink like that? I am always so curious about how people celebrate. I would love to know!

french 75 | lauren kelp

FRENCH 75
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons gin
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • ¼ cup chilled champagne
Instructions
  1. With a pairing knife, slice peel from lemon in long, thin spiral.
  2. In cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into chilled glass & top with chamapgne
  3. Curl lemon peel around finger to create twist at least 6 inches long. Garnish drink with twist and serve immediately.

french 75 | lauren kelpI mean…just look at it, she is so pretty! How can you go wrong with chilled champagne and gin? It’s like magic in a glass! Cheers, my friendsfrench 75 | lauren kelp


RASPBERRY CHAMPAGNE FLOATS the easiest & most festive way to ring in the new year!

Hello, hello, my festive party-throwers! How is your holiday season shaping up?! We’ve got a few days between Christmas and New Year’s to just catch our break, eat some more delicious food, and put in a few hours worth of work, before we are off to the next bash!

Is it just me, or has this holiday season been a bit of a whirlwind?! This year, the hubs and I are taking it nice and easy for NYE (plus, it’s our 4 year anniversary!), but I love a good celebratory cocktail, so we whipped this little guy up!
The perfect New Years cocktail | Raspberry Champagne Float Perfect for something low-key, a girl’s night in, or any other occasion in which you need a fabulously fun cocktail/dessert in 30 seconds. Sister, this is it. Two scoops of sorbet (we used raspberry, but you could easily use lemon or another fun flavor), a little champagne, and you’ve got yourself a party!
The perfect New Years cocktail | Raspberry Champagne Float

RASPBERRY CHAMPAGNE FLOATS
Recipe type: Cocktail/Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 scoops raspberry sorbet
  • Champagne
  • Raspberries for garnish (fresh is always better)
Instructions
  1. Grab a few glasses, & scoop enough sorbet to fill glass halfway
  2. Pour champagne over the sorbet (slowly, it tends to bubble up)
  3. Garnish with raspberries & dive in!

The perfect New Years cocktail | Raspberry Champagne Float

MEZCAL HOT CHOCOLATE

‘Tis the season for hot chocolate & strong cocktails – am I right? Yesterday Chicago was colder than Mars. Let that sink in for a minute. CHICAGO WAS COLDER THAN MARS.

Naturally, the only way to cope with a frozen tundra is to have boozy treats waiting when you get home. I have re-discovered my love for hot chocolate (I know, I know, what is wrong with me? Why did I ever stop loving it?!) and adding a little kick of mezcal has made it all the more amazing.

mezcal hot chocolate recipe Now, now, for all those leery about mezcal – don’t be. It’s actually amazing & delicious and when slipped in some cozy hot chocolate, a little whipped cream, and a dash of chili or nutmeg – it’s a game changer. This mezcal hot chocolate concoction is like a 30-second version of the rich and delicious Mexican hot chocolate but…again, it takes 30-seconds, it’s awesome and warms the body right up.

I mean, how can you not give it a try?!
mezcal hot chocolate recipe

MEZCAL HOT CHOCOLATE
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 oz Mezcal (we used El Silencio)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz milk
  • 3 oz baking chocolate
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • Cinnamon, chili, nutmeg, & other spices to taste
Instructions
  1. Pour mezcal, vanilla, milk, baking chocolate, & sugar into a saucepan and heat on low/medium, stirring constantly, until chocolate & sugar are melted.
  2. Whisk the mixture to give it a nice froth (or just put it in your blender for a hot second)
  3. Pour into a mug, add some whipped cream & top off with some spices.
  4. Enjoy!

mezcal hot chocolate recipe

GINGERBREAD LATTE

If the Pumpkin Spice Latte is the drink of fall, then this Gingerbread Latte is absolutely the winter version. Nice and cozy with all the spices and fragrances of the season and perfect to serve warm or over ice (and easy to adapt for a happy hour twist) – what could be better? If you are looking to spice up your morning coffee order, this is absolutely it!
Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelpAs much as I love spend $6 every time I walk into a coffee shop (said no one ever….), it’s nice to keep your wallet tucked away and play living room barista. This sassy little coffee order totally plays into my fantasy of being a rockstar barista. I get to play with spices, froth some milk (okay, it’s totally unnecessary for the recipe, but it’s fun, so I do it), and serve it up in a fun glass. Plus, you know how much I love when things can get a little boozy & this is an adorable drink to serve at your next home happy hour. Everyone will be like, oohmygosh, you are such a rockstar barista slash mixologist, what do I even bring to this friendship cause you are so cool and good at everything awesome.

I mean, what could be better?!

Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelp

GINGERBREAD LATTE
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons strong coffee
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, heat your almond milk over medium heat. Once warm (just under boiling), add spices, brewed coffee, and honey & mix well
  2. Serve in a fun mug & top off with a little ground cinnamon, or for a happy hour twist, add a shot of your favorite libation!

Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelp Well, snow bunnies, what do you think? Ready to cozy up by the fire with one of these delicious Gingerbread Lattes? I mean, let’s be real, what’s not to like! Can’t wait to hear what you think! xo, LK

Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelp


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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

THE RODEO HONEY

Hi LK readers! My name is Chloe Mackintosh, you can usually find me at Boxwood Avenue where I share my journey as a girl relocated from Miu Miu to moo moo. I live on a ranch in a dusty old cow town of 99 people, with nothing more than a general store and a whole lot of cowboy hats. I started Boxwood Avenue as a way to share old-world traditions that have been forgotten in modern day life – things like preserving, sewing, and gardening.

The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelpOver the past year, I have become friends with Lauren, and she was kind enough to invite me over to share a little bit of Boxwood Avenue with all of you! I am so very excited to meet you all!

The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelpEvery Friday, I share a cocktail recipe and call it #ToastingFromAfar, since I am literally toasting from afar, usually with a goat in my lap. I like to get inspired by seasonal ingredients depending on what can be found around the ranch, but I almost always stay away from gin. The strong flavor of a gin and tonic makes my stomach turn, I’ve only ever had one gin & tonic, but it was enough to turn me away from them forever.The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelp

But, it was a Friday, and I was out of vodka, wine, rum, and tequila, and the gin was calling my name. So I gave it a shot; skipping the tonic (which, in my opinion, has a terrible flavor) and opting for fresh honey from our hives. As I took my first cautious sip, I thought, “I hope I don’t have to chug this,” but dare I say, the gin was good.The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelpI could taste a prominent flavor of honey – one of my favorites – whose sweetness was cut with the lemon juice. The faint flavors of gin lingered only in the background, and didn’t overpower the cocktail. I guess you can say I am now a fan of gin, but then again, anything mixed with honey is sure to be a hit. This is one of my new favorite cocktails, and with only three ingredients, it’s just as easy to make, as it is to drink.The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelp

Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 oz quality gin
  • 1 oz honey
  • Optional: Lemon LaCroix
Instructions
  1. Warm honey in a saucepan or microwave.
  2. Pour the honey into a cocktail shaker and shake very well with the gin. Do not add ice yet!
  3. Use a spoon or wire whisk to scrape any honey that may have settled at the bottom of the shaker. Stir until all of the honey is dissolved.
  4. Finally, add the lemon juice and a few ice cubes, and re-shake.
  5. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve. Top with lemon LaCroix if desired.

The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelp


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PIMM’S CUP the perfect transition cocktail

Every year my family goes up to the east coast & spends a week or two in Martha’s Vineyard. When we were kids, it used to be the whole summer, and slowly, as time has passed and with summer camps, traveling sports, college schedules, and now jobs, our time on the Vineyard has been whittled down to just a few days.

One of my favorite memories of this island is sitting outside on the deck with my parents & sipping Pimm’s Cups. My father has British roots and there is something still very English about the island, so fixing a Pimm’s Cup at the end of the day and sipping it on the porch watching the sun set was a fun little family homage.

Now that summer is slowly winding down, I wanted to share one of my favorite end of summer cocktails – the delicious & oh-so-easy Pimm’s Cup. Enjoy!

 

PIMM'S CUP
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • Pimm's
  • Ice
  • Ginger Ale
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced lemon
  • Mint
Instructions
  1. Add a handful of ice to a tall Collins glass & pout in one jigger of Pimm's, 3 of Ginger Ale, a slice of cucumber. Stir to combine.
  2. Add mint & lemon as a garnish


illustration by Rebecca Bradley

GRAPEFRUIT GIN & TONIC

Grapefruit gin and tonic cocktail recipe via lauren kelpHey pals! Elizbeth here and I’ve got a fun little cocktail twist for you! Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not one to mess with the classics. I like a gin and tonic just like the next person but I do think it is begging for a little twist. Maybe I’m wrong but you might just want to give this a try. The grapefruit juice compliments the gin so nicely! It’s worth a try!

Perfect for the weekend with friends, after a long, hot day, or for sipping by the pool. Thirty-seconds & a little juicing and you’ve got yourself one heck of a cocktail! Enjoy Grapefruit gin and tonic cocktail recipe via lauren kelp

GRAPEFRUIT GIN & TONIC
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 Ounce of Gin
  • 1 Tablespoon of grenadine
  • Tonic Water
  • Crushed Ice
Instructions
  1. In a glass jar fill with crushed ice.
  2. Add in grapefruit juice, gin and grenadine.
  3. Top the rest of the glass with tonic water and stir well.
  4. *Note diet tonic water is great for a skinny cocktail!

Grapefruit gin and tonic cocktail recipe via lauren kelp

30-SECOND GRAPEFRUIT WHISKEY SOUR

Grapefruit Whiskey Sour via Lauren KelpWell, howdy party people! Hope your week is getting off to a fun start. We don’t normally share cocktails on Tuesdays but I thought I would make an exception for all of you who are hosting a dinner party, happy hour, get-together or just need a fun drink to spice up the week!

I am hosting a fun little gals get-together on Thursday and wanted to whip up a cocktail that was delicious, unexpected, and , to be honest, had a pretty color & this Grapefruit Whiskey Sour totally fits the bill. Slightly sweet thanks to the Whiskey, a little tart from the grapefruit, & a whole lot of delicious. This will turn anyone who says they aren’t a Whiskey drinker into a believer – that I can promise you!

Grapefruit Whiskey Sour via Lauren Kelp

GRAPEFRUIT WHISKEY SOUR
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Perfect for summer, gorgeous in color, and absolutely delicious, this Grapefruit Whiskey Sour is just about the best cocktail going this summer!
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces Michter's American Whiskey
  • 1 large bottle of Grapefruit Soda (chilled)
  • 1 sliced lemon
Instructions
  1. Fill two glasses with a few ice cubes, add the whiskey (I did a jigger and a half for each, but it's totally up to you & your size of glass), & top off with cold grapefruit soda. Stir gently.
  2. Add a lemon wedge on top for garnish
  3. Serve, sip, repeat!

Grapefruit Whiskey Sour via Lauren KelpSo boys & girls, what do you think? Couldn’t be easier – right? Literally pour in some Whiskey (but, treat yourself & make it a good Whiskey, specifically Michter’s – you deserve it), some chilled grapefruit soda (Trader Joe’s or your local grocery store has a great one), pop in some ice, & add some lemon wedges and you are good to go!

Couldn’t be easier, couldn’t be more delicious, and couldn’t be more fun to make. You are well on your way to become Master of the Home Bar – I can feel it!

Grapefruit Whiskey Sour via Lauren Kelp


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BASIL INFUSED TEQUILA LEMONADE a summer staple

basil infused tequila lemonade, perfect for summer entertaining via Lauren Kelp

Well howdy, weekend warriors! How was your weekend? Full of fun cocktails, delicious brunch recipes, and other summertime activities, I hope! Now that summer is in full swing our penchant for entertaining has been kicked up another notch & that means we get to play around with recipes like this one! One of our favorite foodies, Elizabeth, whipped up this basil infused tequila lemonade & it’s just about the best things we’ve ever had in our whole lives. I mean, just look at it. It’s stunning! Scroll on down to find the best make-ahead recipe that is sure to ‘wow’ any crowd!

basil infused tequila lemonade, perfect for summer entertaining via Lauren Kelp

BASIL INFUSED TEQUILA LEMONADE
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 Ounces of basil infused tequila
  • 8 Ounces of lemonade
  • 1 Tablespoon of agave nectar
  • Soda Water
  • Basil Leaves
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. In a cocktail shaker combine tequila, lemonade, agave nectar, ice and basil leaves. Pour into a chilled glass with ice and float soda water over top. Garnish with basil leaves + lemon wedges.
Note:
  1. For infused tequila add one cup of tequila in a mason jar and a handful of torn basil leaves. Seal tightly and leave in the refrigerator for 5-7 days until desired flavor is met.

basil infused tequila lemonade, perfect for summer entertaining via Lauren Kelp


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