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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!

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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
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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

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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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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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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.

FRIDA MEZCAL MULES
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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!

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!

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.
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THE MARIGOLD COCKTAIL
Author: 
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.
Ingredients
  • Simple syrup
  • Marigold or Chamomile tea
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 ½ ounces gin
  • Champagne
  • Marigolds, for garnish
Instructions
  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.
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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!

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ROSE & CUCUMBER COCKTAIL spring has sprung

IMG_9564You might have noticed that we have a thing for gin and tonics around here. First it was the Peach & Basil Gin & Tonic, then came the Grapefruit & Thyme Gin & Tonic, and now we’ve got the most delicious of them all (well, so far) the Rose & Cucumber Gin & Tonic.

Perfect for spring, the pairing of the rose and cucumber is out of control. Mix it with the earthy flavors of Farmer’s Gin & you’ve got yourself one heck of a cocktail. I love this gin because, not only is it organic, it’s got a really delicious earthy taste to it – perfect for pairing with herbs and fruits. Okay, okay, enough about the pairing, it’s time to kick back, relax, and celebrate the weekend with your new favorite spring cocktail!

IMG_9528INGREDIENTS:

– Rose lemonade

– Farmer’s Gin

– Sliced cucumber

– Tonic water

*Makes 2

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a cocktail shaker, throw a handful of ice, two jiggers full of Farmer’s Gin, three jiggers of rose lemonade and gently stir

2. Pour mixture into two glasses & top off with tonic water. Garnish with a few slices of cucumber.

3. Sip, serve, repeat!

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This 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!