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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

THE BEETLEJUICE COCKTAIL a deceptively delicious Halloween treat

Happy almost-Halloween, my favorite little goblins! Halloween tends to get a really bad rep, but it is truthfully one of my favorite holidays. My parents had these fabulous Halloween parties growing up – all of the furniture had sheets over it, candles everywhere, spider webs draped from every corner and column – it was an absolute blast. When you are post-college but pre-kids, it is a bit of an awkward holiday – I get it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an excuse to get the gang together! 

Whether you are having people over for a low key potluck or hosting a spooky cocktail party, it’s imperative that you have a good speciality cocktail! And, wouldn’t you know it, we have just the thing! Meet the delicious, deceptive, and all together bad (in a good way)…BEETLEJUICE
the beetlejuice cocktail. perfect for Halloween via Lauren Kelp

Large Candle Stick | Medium Candle Stick | Small Candle Stick | Edge Wine Glass | Gold Scale Tumbler | Corbin Cocktail Glass

the beetlejuice cocktail. perfect for Halloween via Lauren Kelp

Isn’t it fun? Perfect for a big pitcher or to whip up as your guests request them, either way – you can’t deny it’s totally spooky. The base is tequila, but it’s perfect for any cocktail lover. The el Jimador gives it a nice smokey base, but the mint and lime juice sweeten her right up. 

When I have a group over for a cocktail party, I love to break out a variety of fun glasses. If you have 20 of the same wine glasses, good on ya, but if not, bust out your favorites. So, what do you think? Ready to throw a party? We thought so! 

the beetlejuice cocktail. perfect for Halloween via Lauren Kelp

THE BEETLEJUICE COCKTAIL
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Parts el Jimador Tequila
  • ½ Part Green Mint Liqueur
  • ½ Part Lime Juice
  • ¼ Part Simple Syrup
  • 1 Sprig Mint Leaf
Instructions
  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with mint leaf.

the beetlejuice cocktail. perfect for Halloween via Lauren Kelp

-SHOP THE POST-

Thanks el Jimador for sponsoring this post

THE PERFECT MAKE-AHEAD FALL SANGRIA tailgating, house parties, or just to have on hand!

‘Tis the season for fabulously fall cocktails. Warm toddies, things with whipped cream on them, and autumnal as hell sangria. Sangria gets the rep as a purely summer cocktail and I just don’t think that is true. I know wassail is (basically) the cold-weather version, but why can’t we carry Sangria into fall and give it a little cinnamon kick?

Well, we totally did and it’s absolutely delicious. This little recipe is perfect for tailgating, watch day parties, porch hangs, or just to have on hand. Make it on a Friday (hey, that’s today…what a coincidence) and serve it all weekend long. Look at that, it’s just as easy as ever! While not truly a 30-second cocktail as it needs to sit, it is still just as easy!

Happy cocktail-ing, my friends!
the perfect fall sangria recipe via lauren kelp

Okay, before we get into it, let’s talk about these amazing high ball glasses. I am a total sucker for a good cocktail glass & these Thug Life highball glasses from Easy Tiger totally fit the bill. A little mid-century, a little funky, a whole lotta fun. Plus, GOLD!

the perfect fall sangria recipe via lauren kelp

FALL SANGRIA WITH CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 pitcher
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1½ cups apple cider
  • ½ cup apple brandy
  • ¼ cup Cinnamon Simple Syrup
  • 2 soaked cinnamon sticks (from Cinnamon Simple Syrup)
  • 1 Fuji apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 small green pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ small pomegranate, seeded
  • ½ orange, thinly sliced and each sliced halved
Instructions
Cinnamon Simple Syrup:
  1. Combine the 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan, bringing it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (3 minutes)
  3. Transfer the syrup to a container with a lid, add the cinnamon sticks and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor. Remove the cinnamon sticks and save to add to the sangria mixture
Sangria:
  1. In a large (fridge safe) container, combine the wine, apple cider, apple brand, cinnamon simple syrup, and thinly sliced fruit.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours
  3. Once ready, transfer to sangria glass (add in a handful of ice if you want) and add in the cinnamon sticks as a garnish

the perfect fall sangria recipe 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

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HOST A TEQUILA TASTING easy, fun, & informative

HOST A TEQUILA TASTING PARTY via Lauren KelpWell, howdy! It’s been a little quiet over here but it’s only because we’ve been busy working away on the best recipes, taste-testing those 30-second cocktails, and, truthfully, we’ve been rolling around and enjoying the last bits of summer. To keep that summer-vibe alive a little longer, we hosted the most fantastic tequila tasting party.

Truthfully, it happened by accident (as all tequila happenings should) and it turned our night from a fun hang out with friends to a night we all still laugh about! It all started because we were talking about our favorite types of tequila and why we liked them, which (naturally) turned into a “mine is totally better than yours!” convo. So we decided to settle it, once & for all! We Drizly-ed over the top three tequilas (according to the group) and had ourselves a little tasting!
HOST A TEQUILA TASTING PARTY via Lauren Kelp

We all decided upon three tequilas to try & staged a little friendly competition. Judged based on flavor, finish, and how cool the bottles label was (hey, that is totally how you decide what to bring home – don’t lie!) and voila! An easy little at-home tequila tasting fest. Here are our three contestants:

1. Espolón – This was my pick for favorite tequila & I have to say, I think I won some people over. It has won a ton of awards, it is affordable, and you really can’t beat the taste. Perfect for palomas, margaritas, or just to sip on a hot Saturday in the summer. Plus, how cool is their label?

2. el Jimador – This tequila is smooth, full bodied (I don’t really know what that means, but it makes sense when you try it), and great for mixing up margaritas. Use this tequila if you are mixing up a cocktail that has strong flavors (like a peach basil margarita or, one of my favorites, the blood orange marg) There isn’t anything crazy about the taste, but it gets the job done & it’s decent for the price.

3. Herradura – Truthfully, I had never tried the Herradura Silver but I have to say, I really enjoyed it! Almost like a mezcal, it’s smokey and has a more complex finish than I am used to. Another good sipping tequila and one that I would use in a super simple mixed drink as to not overpower its flavors.

HOST A TEQUILA TASTING PARTY via Lauren KelpIf you aren’t in to sipping tequila, here is the ultimate frozen margarita recipe. Our old neighbors in Austin, Michelle (who has a hysterical podcast) & David, used to whip these puppies up and it was like catnip. We couldn’t stay away! Grab some lime-ade (the cheaper the better, really) & get to blending!

PIMM-TOWN MARGARITAS
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
The absolute at-home margarita there ever was! Whip them up in a snap or pre-make a batch for a big group. Either way, you'll be happy you did!
Ingredients
  • 2 Frozen Limeades
  • Tequila
  • Ice
  • Limes
Instructions
  1. Pour limeade into blender. Add 2 cups of ice
  2. Fill 1 empty limeade container with tequila and add to blender
  3. Blend until perfectly slushy and wonderful. Squeeze limes & serve!

HOST A TEQUILA TASTING PARTY via Lauren KelpSo, what do you think, my little party people? Ready to host a fun tequila tasting bash this weekend? I mean, it really couldn’t get any easier!

Have your friends bring their favorite bottle, provide some limes, a little salt, and maybe a score card (if you feel like getting fancy) and hop to it!

Find one you like? Share! We are always on the look-out for new and delicious tequilas, so comment below and share your favorite. Happy tasting!
HOST A TEQUILA TASTING PARTY via Lauren Kelp


Photography by Aimée Mazzenga

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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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THE BOURBON SIDECAR summer is better with bourbon

There is something about bourbon in the summertime that just seems to make everything alright. You know what I mean? If you’ve been following along, you know that we have been exploring the realms of whiskey based cocktails over the past few months with the help of our friends at Michter’s & it’s been a blast. I always thought of whiskey & bourbon as cooler weather spirits but thanks to gems like today’s Bourbon Sidecar – I have been proved wrong.

Do yourself a favor – swing by and pick up a bottle of Michter’s Bourbon, call some friends over this weekend, and whip up a few of these Sidecars. Ridiculously easy to make & always delicious, the Bourbon Sidecars are quickly becoming a “sip on the patio” weekend drink at the Kelp house. Give it a try & tell us what you think!

BOURBON SIDECAR
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 drinks
 
Add a little bourbon to your cocktail mix
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces Michter's Bourbon
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
Instructions
  1. Fill your shaker with ice & add in your Michter's bourbon, Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  2. Shake until the shaker is frosted (about 15-20 seconds or so)
  3. Strain into your glass & enjoy!


lauren buttonThis post was sponsored by Chatham Imports. We are obsessed with their products & they are a must-have for our bar carts. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!

PEACH BOURBON SMASH perfect for a warm summer night

Peach season is approaching & there are few things I love better than stone fruit cocktails. Between stone fruit sangria, peach & basil gin + tonics, lavender peach bellinis, and now this insanely delicious peach bourbon smash – your summer is about to get a whole lot sweeter!

Even if you aren’t typically a fan of fruit based cocktails, the bourbon buffs up this beauty & the fresh thyme gives her a hint of an herbal taste. The combination is undeniably delicious and the best part is that it takes less than 5 minutes to make!

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PEACH BOURBON SMASH
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 oz. Bourbon
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Dash of simple syrup
  • Ripe peach
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. Add your bourbon, lemon juice, & simple syrup to your cocktail shaker.
  2. Cut your peach in half & squeeze the non-pit side into the shaker. Get all that good juice & pulp your can muster. Strip a few sprigs of your thyme leaves into the shaker as well.
  3. Shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds & pour into a bourbon glass over ice.
  4. Garnish with a wedge of peach & a sprig of thyme

So, what do you think? Ready to run out and get yourself some peaches? We’re stalking our local farmers market for a good haul & when it’s time, these peach bourbon smash will be on repeat all summer long!

What are your other favorite peach-based cocktails?


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RHUBARB ROSE MEZCAL MARGARITA the prettiest drink you ever did see

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Are y’all ready for the most stunning twist on the classic margarita? Swap out your tequila for mezcal & switch things up with rhubarb and rose & prepare to be sipping pretty poolside all season. This drink is out of this world & we can’t wait to make it our new staple! xoxo, LK

Hello, Camille here! Last spring I spent time in London and Paris with my best friend for a work and leisure trip. Eating at local classics and hotspots is also a favorite part of my travels as I come home with a lot of inspiration for new recipes to try at home. This trip was no exception! My food highlight of the trip was all the dishes and drinks featuring rhubarb, including a rhubarb mezcal margarita at Wahaca, a fun and colorful Mexican restaurant in London.
Rhubarb is in season from late spring through summer, making a rhubarb margarita a delicious spring cocktail to enjoy all season! I’m also loving adding floral flavors and edible flowers to just about anything I can right now. They are an easy and delicious addition to lots of recipes. Plus they look absolutely stunning! I added a touch of rosewater to the margarita to give an extra feminine and spring touch. This recipe is delicious without the rosewater for anyone that isn’t a fan of floral flavors.LB-9886

RHUBARB ROSE MEZCAL MARGARITA
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Rhubarb Simple Syrup
  • ¼ - ½ tsp Rosewater (optional)
  • 4 Large Limes
  • 4 Shots of Mezcal (1 to 1.5 oz per shot)
  • Dried rose petals (optional)
  • Coarse salt
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. Make rhubarb simple syrup in advance, allowing time for it to cool. I used
  2. this simple recipe
  3. and added some lemon zest (optional). The extra simple syrup is great on ice cream, yogurt, tea cake, or in sparkling water/seltzer.
  4. Rim glasses with coarse salt. Run a lime wedge along the rim of the glass first to help the salt stick!
  5. Juice the limes and add the fresh juice, mezcal, 4 ounces of rhubarb simple syrup, rosewater if you're using (if you're unsure if you like the flavor of rose, start with less and add more to taste), and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine and chill.
  6. Pour into 4 glasses. To dress up your drinks, add a lime wedge or my favorite, a sprinkle of dried rose petals (available at Whole Foods or usually any local grocery or specialty food shop that has dried lavender). Enjoy!

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recipe creation by Camille Wynn | photography by Lindsay Brown| styling by Alana Stipech

10 CINCO DE MAYO MARGARITAS this will get your fiesta-ready in no time!

pour-shotHello, party people! I have to confess that I love Cinco de Mayo more than most. Maybe it’s the time I spent in the Southwest or maybe it’s just because it signifies that summer is coming and that means backyards bashes, front porch hang-outs, and being poolside. Either way, everyone loves a good fiesta so pull out those party trays, round up some friends, and get to celebrating because today we are sharing 10 (TEN!) of the most delicious Cinco inspired beverages. We’ve tried them all & yes, they really are as good as they look! Try some now & save some for later – this list is going to be a summer go-to!


salt airSALTY AIR MARGARITA

Airy & decadent, count us in! This is a delicious upgrade from the classic.

wm003WATERMELON MARGARITA

Almost too pretty to drink, this watermelon margarita is perfect for a hot day and a thirty crowd.

rosemary margROSEMARY GINGER MARGARITA

Have you ever heard of a more fabulous pairing? If it’s got ginger in it, it has to be healthy right? Either way, count us in!

peach basil margPEACH BASIL MARGARITA

Ooh yes, it really is as good as it sounds. Slightly slushing and delectably delicious, this cocktail is perfect for a garden bash.

mezcalPRICKY PEAR MEZCAL MULE

Hot pink, perfectly spicy, & with just a bit of ginger this mule has earned a spot on our margarita list no problem!

blood orange margBLOOD ORANGE MARGARITA

For those of you that want to step up your margarita game, but don’t have time for simple syrup or infused tequila, this is absolutely the cocktail for you.

white peachWHITE PEACH MARGARITA

Five minutes and a little prep work and you’ve got yourself something absolutely magical!

grapefruit margGRAPEFRUIT MARGARITA

To us, this is the classic margarita so it’s got to make the list. Perfectly balanced and remarkably delicious – just like a classic should be!

coconut margCOCONUT CREAMSICLE MARGARITA

Slightly orange flavored with a hint of coconut, this puppy might just be your go-to cocktail.

spicy grapefruitSPICY GRAPEFRUIT MARGARITA

We all love a good grapefruit marg, but infuse it with jalapeño tequila and you’ve got a match made in heaven.


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