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

  • 4 Oz Good Quality Gin
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 2 Sugar cubes
  • Zest of an orange or lemon
  • Ice
  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

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!


Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • Pimm's
  • Ice
  • Ginger Ale
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced lemon
  • Mint
  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 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

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!
  • 3 ounces Michter's American Whiskey
  • 1 large bottle of Grapefruit Soda (chilled)
  • 1 sliced lemon
  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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FRIDA MEZCAL MULES for the Frida in us all

Ooh guys, this is the cocktail you’ve been looking for – I just know it. The weather is heating up and you’ve been searching for that perfect cocktail to cool you down, spice things up, and whip up during those backyard parties. Well my party-lovers, look no further because it’s all about the Frida Mezcal Mule.

Technically, Frida has nothing to do with the cocktail, I just really like her so I thought I would name it after her. This cocktail is full of mezcal magic and it’s perfect for all your smokey whiskey drinkers, tequila mavens, and those of you looking to expand your booze breadth. It’s out of control good.

I fell in love with mezcal when we lived in Austin & there was this little hut behind a bar called Clive Bar that was a mezcal tasting hut. Truthfully, I walked in because I thought it was the bathroom (oops!) and walked out a changed gal.

Mezcal is smokey and magnificent and just tastes like adventure. Give this puppy & try and tell me what you think! I would love to know your other favorite mezcal concoctions! Drink up, babes.

Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup of Mezcal
  • ¼ cup of fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups of cold ginger beer
  • Several handfuls of crushed ice
  • Lime wedges, agave nectar, & sliced jalapeños for garnish
  1. Grab a large pitcher & pour in 1 cup of Mezcal, 2 cups of ginger beer, lime juice, and sweeten to taste with agave nectar & stir gently.
  2. Fill your Moscow mule glasses with crushed ice & pour the cocktail mixture in until about halfway full. Top off with ginger beer, a drizzle or two of agave nectar, and garnish with some jalapeño sticks*.
  3. *To get a jalapeño stick, just cut longways along the pepper instead of across it.

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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!

Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 drinks
Add a little bourbon to your cocktail mix
  • 4 ounces Michter's Bourbon
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  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!

THE MARIGOLD COCKTAIL delightfully romantic

DSC_1467TGI-freaking-F, you know what I mean? Sometimes Fridays come around and you’re like, “wow, that week went by so fast” and sometimes you’re like “HOW IS IT ONLY TUESDAY?!” So, clearly it was a Tuesday-like week for this gal and I am celebrating the oh-so-lovely weekend commencement with the most stunning cocktail around.

Clearly, I have a thing for edible flowers. I put them on doughnuts, in salads, and obviously, in tequila, but today’s love of edible flowers goes to a new level. This time we are creating a cocktail around a flower, specifically the marigold. Look at it – its so stunning. Packed with color & quintessentially summertime, this marigold cocktail reflects its namesake perfectly. Plus, it’s delicious.

So kick off those work-day shoes, put on some yoga pants, and pour yourself a fancy as f cocktail – you deserve it.

Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Delightfully romantic & perfect for a spring-time get together, brunch with friends, or a celebration. The Marigold Cocktail is always a showstopper.
  • Simple syrup
  • Marigold or Chamomile tea
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 ½ ounces gin
  • Champagne
  • Marigolds, for garnish
  1. Add all ingredients for the syrup to a small saucepan and gently bring to a boil. Reduce to a slow simmer and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat, let cool and strain.
  3. Bring water for the tea to a boil, add in one to two tea bags, & allow to steep for 10-12 minutes. Add lemon juice, simple syrup and thyme to the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add tea, gin and plenty of ice. Shake well. Strain into glass and top with a splash of champagne & a marigold.

DSC_1543recipe adapted from Anthropologie | photography by Jeena Studios

MAKE YOUR OWN MARGARITA TABLE always be fiesta ready with this easy DIY

IMG_4512Maybe it’s because we live in Austin & Arizona, but I have found that our house is always fiesta-ready. If we ever find ourselves needing to make margaritas for 20 friends who just happen to drop by unannounced, we are prepared! Think what you will, but as an entertaining blogger, I feel like that is a mark of success 😉

Margaritas are kind of like a cup of coffee, in the sense that everyone likes theirs a little different. Salt, no salt, extra lime, with a spicy kick, the list goes on – it’s all based on preference. That is why we are showing you how to set-up the perfect “make your own” margarita table . This is fantastic for summer get-togethers and is insanely easy to reproduce. Whether your festivities are inside or out on the porch, this little entertaining trick will get you out of the kitchen and keep you mingling like that entertaining maven that you are.

STEP ONE: the set-up

No matter the occasion, it’s important for the bar to be easily accessible but not the center of attention. Depending on where you want your guests to spend their time (outside in the yard, on a shaded porch off the kitchen, etc.) find a little spot that will allow your guests to mix up their perfect marg with ease.

A dining table works perfectly as a DIY margarita table or if you are tight on space, an entryway table or even pushing a few end tables together to create a designated margarita area will do the trick perfectly.

diy marg oneSTEP TWO: the mixings

Margaritas are having a serious moment on the cocktail stage & we couldn’t be more excited. While we aren’t knocking the classic margarita mix angle (hey, Trader Joe’s has a great one!) we are encouraging you to let your hair down and go wild with your mixings!

Grab some fresh grapefruit juice, squeeze up some blood orange juice, or even go super nuts and try out watermelon juice! Need some inspiration? We’ve got ten (10!) of the best margarita recipes that are serious crowd-pleasers, plus (per usual) they are easy to whip up!

IMG_4543STEP THREE: the fixings

Now it’s time for the decoration! Make sure to cut up little lime wedges & have a few salt dishes out, for your pro-salt rim friends. I love adding wedges of grapefruit, jars of honey or agave, and sparkling mineral water to top things off. Maybe throw some hot sauce on the table to really spice things up! Just have fun with it. Found some stir sticks you think are fantastic – add those too!

The best part is decorating a table so your guests feel encouraged to try something new & have fun!

Writing a recipe on a card and having it sit up on the table is another fun tip. Or, for your guests who don’t like to get their hands dirty, I always have a pitcher of pre-made margarita to help ease people into the make your own concept. Above all else, have fun!


lauren and sylvia


IMG_9757Okay party people, it’s confession time. Before this little party, I had no real idea how to make a martini. Sure, I’ve had the drink-your-dessert Java Biscotti Martini & even the seasonal, boozy Pumpkin Spice Martini but never a real “shaken not stirred” martini. But, thanks to these insannnnely cool copper martini glasses from Mark & Graham, we decided to have ourselves a little martini making party.

You know that we love any excuse to throw a party, so why not do it around something fun and totally random! I am usually a gin & tonic gal, but sometimes you just get in the mood for a fancy martini. So, we rounded up some friends, set up a bar, had two easy, but fun recipes, and had ourselves a little party! Feeling inspired to throw your own martini making party? We’re showing you how!

IMG_9683First things first, let’s set up the bar! My biggest hostessing tip is to set up a well-stocked bar that is tucked away but still central to where you want everyone to hang out. People like to get up, walk around, and mingle, but no matter what they will always hang out by the food and the booze.

TIP 1: For your fabulous martini making party, stock your bar with an extra bottle (or two, depending on your headcount) of the main ingredient of your martinis (typically, either vodka or gin).

TIP 2: Pre pour your mixer (in our case, lemon juice) in a fun container – this allows you to keep those ugly drink containers tucked in the fridge & allows your guests to just pour, shake, and serve.

TIP 3: If you are serving martinis with garnish, have a bunch made up & out for your guests to quickly grab. This encourages your guests to garnish their cocktails, plus the look fantastically festive!

TIP 4: Have a little ice bucket (and tongs) out so you don’t have to keep running back and forth to the kitchen filling the cocktail shaker with ice. Fill up your bucket once (maybe twice) and you’ve got a self-running cocktail station!




1 1/2 ounces vodka

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/4 ounce lavender simple syrup

Fresh lavender sprigs


1. Fill your cocktail shaker with a handful of ice & add in the vodka, lemon juice, and lavender simply syrup.

2. Shake well & strain into a chilled martini glass

3. Garnish with fresh lavender sprig & sip, serve, repeat!



1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
Pinch of granulated sugar
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
Ice cubes
Lemon peel


1. Add a handful of ice to your cocktail shaker & pour in vodka, triple sec, pinch of sugar, and lemon juice.

2. Shake well & pour into chilled martini glass.

3. Garnish with a twist of lemon and serve, sip, repeat!

m&g_2So, your bar is all set & stocked, you’ve got two fabulous recipes to serve up & all things point to a fabulous martini making party! Need some fun goodies to stock your bar? Mark & Graham has loads of fantastic bar & homeware options, plussss almost everything is customizable so they are great for gifts or keepsake items.

All I am saying, is when you have your party, invite me, Mark & Graham, and you’ll be hosting these weekly! Cheers, my friends!



lauren and sylvia

balloon & tassel by Oh Shiny Paper Co.lavender martini adapted from food & wine


IMG_7330Maybe you haven’t gotten enough of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities or maybe you are just tired of Bailey or Guinness cocktails, either way, this happy little cocktail is sure to kick your celebrations off with a lucky start! Hosting a fun get-together this St. Patrick’s Day? Make sure you stock up on the ingredients below! We used Gin (because I love it so), but feel free to swap it out for your favorite Vodka!


– Favorite gin or vodka

– Elderflower Lemonade (Belvoir makes a great one)

– Tonic

– Ice

– Lemon

– Sugar & yellow food coloring for sugared rim



1. Pack your cocktail shaker full of ice and pour in two jiggers of your favorite gin or vodka & 2 jiggers full of the Elderflower lemonade.

2. If you want to rim your glasses, cut a wedge of lemon and rum around the rim of glass. In a food processor or small bowl, pour in some sugar & a few drops of yellow food coloring. Mix or blend until throughly blended. Pour into a shallow dish & flip your glass upside down in dish to rim. Slowly twist the glass back and forth to ensure the rim is evenly coated.

3. Stir the cocktail in the cocktail shaker a few times & slowly strain into each glass. Top off with  bit of tonic & garnish if you wish.

4. Sip, serve, repeat!

* Makes 2 cocktails*


lauren and sylvia



If you’ve been following our spooktacular Halloween cocktail concoctions (and we hope you have!), you’ve seen the Scary Bloody Mary, the (dangerous, but lovely) Josephine, and the (fan favorite) Pumpkin Spice Martini. As Halloween is right around the corner, we thought we would kill this series (see what I did there) with another fun treat. Meet the Graveyard!

Typically known as a Reverse Manhattan, this delicious Halloween cocktail will keep those goblins & ghouls coming back for more! So whether you are laying low or hosting a monster mash, the Graveyard is a must have. The best part? It’s made with the oldest whiskey in America! Don’t worry, it won’t break the bank but it will impress your friends & your taste buds. In fact, that’s why we love it. Killer flavor for a steal – we are in! See the full recipe & get inspired to make your own below…


-2 oz. vermouth (preferably Foro)
-1 oz. rye whiskey (preferably Michter’s)
-2 dashes Angostura bitters
-1 Amarena cherry


-Pour your Foro vermouth, Michter’s rye whiskey, and  bitters in an ice-filled shaker

-Stir gently

-Strain into an old-fashioned glass with a large ice cube; garnish with an Amarena cherry

-Serve, sip, repeat!

BAP_8101BAP_8127Thinking about making The Graveyard this Halloween (or tonight, let’s be honest)? Let us know! You know the drill – try it out & tag us! We (seriously!) would love to see your concoction, so make sure to tag @laurenkelp! BAP_8151

lauren kelp author buttonBELEN BUTTONThis post is sponsored by Michter’s Whiskey but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.