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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 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

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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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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!

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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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