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BITCHIN’ BASIL LEMON DROP

IMG_6877Happy Friday, friends! Have anything fun planned for the weekend? If you’ve got people over, or if you just want to treat yourself to something other than your customary glass of wine, we’ve got the perfect little cocktail for you! Meet your new pre-spring favorite, the bitchin’ Basil Lemon Drop.

This little gem is made with Crop Organic Vodka & if you feel like you’ve heard us talk about it before, it’s because we are in love. I didn’t really know the difference between organic and non-organic alcoholic beverages, but now that I’ve tried Crop, I can’t go back. Give it a try & I promise you’ll taste the difference.

Either way, it’s Friday & we think you should celebrate! Give the Basil Lemon Drop a try & let us know what you think! IMG_6843

INGREDIENTS:

– 4 fresh basil leaves (a few extra for garnish)

– 3 cups of Crop Organic Vodka

– 1.5 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice

– 1.5 cups of simple syrup

– ice cubes

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Muddle basil leaves at the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Pour in vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a handful of ice.

2. Stir until nicely blended & pour. Garnish with extra basil leaves

3. Serve, sip, repeat!

* Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Chill until ready to use.

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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!

GRAPEFRUIT AND THYME GIN & TONIC

IMG_1774Well, happy February friends! ‘Tis the season of love and we decided to celebrate a little early with some festive cocktails. Today’s concoction is the Grapefruit and Thyme Gin & Tonic and my, oh my, is it divine!

Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, a sprig of thyme, and some delicious gin is just what you need to kick off a weekend. So my friends, grab a seat, scroll down, and enjoy!

PS – not a grapefruit fan? Don’t worry, we will have something fabulous & grapefruit free yet still festive & fun for you next week. Stay tuned!
IMG_1763INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 ounces (or 1 jigger) of gin
  • One grapefruit
  • Tonic
  • Fresh thyme leaves
  • Ice
  • Shaker

IMG_1752INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Cut half of your grapefruit in half & squeeze it into your shaker. Add in a handful of ice & a few springs of thyme.

2. Shake until cold & pour into a your favorite festive glass. I like coupes, cause they make me feel fancy 😉

3. Cut the other half of your grapefruit into wedges, add wedge and sprig of thyme for garnish.

4. Sip, serve, repeat!

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JAVA BISCOTTI MARTINI

BAP_8214Hello, hello! Happy freaking Friday! Didn’t this week feel like it lasted forever? Maybe it’s the funky weather or that we are starting to gear up for Holiday season, either way, you did it – you made it through the week, so it’s time to celebrate! Today we are whipping up something delicious and a little unique. If you like coffee or enjoy a delicious biscotti, this is absolutely for you! Meet the latest LK cocktail – the Java Biscotti Martini!

It’s delicious, it’s easy (as always), and it’s fun! Try this out at your next dinner party or tonight when you are on your couch catching up on all the episodes you’ve missed this week. Every Friday is better when martinis are involved. Scroll down & let us know what you think!

martini1BAP_8194INGREDIENTS:

-1 1/2 oz. Faretti Biscotti Liqueur
-3/4 oz. Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
-1 1/2 oz. freshly brewed espresso
-Martini glass, chilled
-One lemon

martini2 INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Measure ingredients & combine into cocktail shaker

2. Shake well & strain

3. Take a channel knife & garnish cocktail with a lemon twist. If you don’t have a channel knife, grab a pairing knife and cut slivers of the rind, twist, and garnish

4. Sip, serve, repeat!

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lauren kelp author buttonBELEN BUTTON

HALLOWEEN COCKTAIL | THE GRAVEYARD

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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…
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INGREDIENTS:

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

BAP_8055cocktail2INSTRUCTIONS:

-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.

PLUM SAKE GRANITA

Plum Sake Granita | Lauren KelpHello, FRI-YAY! Are y’all doing anything fun to celebrate the end of a good week? Anyone else feel like this week was particularly long? Either way, good week, bad week, we’ve got a delicious new cocktail concoction that is perfect for celebrating the weekend! It’s a frozen delight and it’s packed full of flavor. Don’t be leary, this is a serious crowdpleaser! See the skinny below – xoxo, LK


Who says the cocktail hour has to come at the start of the meal? There’s nothing like an after-dinner beverage to gather all your guests together one last time before the end of the night…it’s the perfect time to serve something smooth and velvety and spiked with just a little something. If that after-dinner crowdpleaser happens to be a luscious, fruity frozen dessert, even better! Mix up a batch of Plum Sake Granita the next time you want to end a meal in style, and you’ll have an instant classic on your hands. The best part? Unlike other frozen desserts like sorbets, you won’t even need an ice cream maker to put together this spoon-able cocktail!

I honestly can’t get enough of plums while they’re in season–there are so many varieties to try, but the rich golden sweetness of black plums always blows me away–and blending them with a dose of sake, or Japanese rice wine, is a winning combination. Since sake is lighter in alcohol than other liquors (percentage-wise, it’s more like a wine), it won’t drown out the lovely, delicate sweet tartness of the plums OR send you off to bed feeling overly boozy. Every scoop of this Plum Sake Granita is simply a smooth, satisfying end to your evening!

Plum Sake Granita | Lauren Kelp

INGREDIENTS:

– 3 black plums

– 1 1/2 cups water

– 3/4 cup sugar

– 1 cup sake

INSTRUCTIONS:

– Peel and slice three plums, removing the pit as you go.

– Place plums in a saucepan with water and sugar, bring to a boil then simmer on low for 5 minutes.

– Add sake to plums, let cool.

– Puree mixture in food processor or blender until smooth.

– Pour mixture in a lidded plastic container and freeze. After about an hour, scrape the whole mixture with a metal spoon until it softens into fluffy ice crystals, then re-freeze. Scrape until fluffy once more before serving, then enjoy!

Plum Sake Granita | Lauren Kelp


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APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELPOh dear friends. It is indeed the weekend and celebrate we must! I’ve only recently jumped on this whiskey train, and I must admit I waited way too long. I can’t say I’m tough enough to order a Johnny Walker straight up, I can definitely get behind a good whiskey based cocktail.

The best thing about this particular concoction? It’s super simple! We here at LaurenKelp.com believe that eating, drinking, and entertaining is, above all else, supposed to be fun! You’ve heard us say it a million times – who cares if the sauce is runny or the chicken is  little burnt? Having friends and family there to laugh off the mishaps with is truly the best part!

So if you’re anything like me and prone to drop the ball every now and then (i.e. forget to thaw the meat in time or over-salt the brussel sprouts) be sure to have this yummy little cocktail up your sleeve! It’s easy, refreshing, and a mega crowd pleaser!

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS:

-5 fresh mint leaves

-1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

-1 apricot cut into wedges

-3/4 oz. simple syrup

-2 oz. Knob Creek Whiskey

-ice

-1 sprig fresh mint

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves, lemon juice, apricot wedges, and simple syrup.

-Add whiskey and ice to shaker.

-Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

-Strain cocktail through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass (over ice if desired).

-Garnish with fresh mint sprig.

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELP

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELP


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JACK RUDY COCKTAIL & GIVEAWAY

giveaway0011HIP HIP HOORAY, it’s FRIDAY!! Ooh and do we have the perfect thing to celebrate – a GIVEAWAY! It’s no surprise that we love a good cocktail here at LaurenKelp.com, so to celebrate summer, the end of a work week, and the start of new adventures, we are giving away this Jack Rudy Cocktail set! Scroll down below for Jack’s signature Gin & Tonic recipe plus instructions on how to enter this awesome giveawaygiveaway0013

Take it from the pro’s & make Jack’s signature cocktail – the Simple Gin & Tonic

In a small cocktail glass combine:

-2 oz. Gin of choice (we prefer Hendricks)
-.75 oz. Jack Rudy Tonic
-4-5 oz. soda water

giveaway0012Want your very own Jack Rudy set? WHO DOESN’T!

Here’s what you have to do to be entered:

1. Follow us on Instagram

2. Leave a comment on the Jack Rudy Cocktail picture & VOILA, you are entered!

3. Think a friend would be interested? Tag them as well!

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WATERMELON CHAMPAGNE

WATERMELON CHAMPAGNE - Lauren KelpHAPPY FRIDAY! Constance here! For some reason I can’t seem to shake Jennifer Grey’s line from Dirty Dancing–it’s been in my head all week, and I haven’t watched that movie in years. The more I think about it though, what better way to crash a good summer party? ‘I carried a watermelon…’ Who wouldn’t be friends with the gal who brought the watermelon?

Cocktails + watermelon + friends + sunshine. What more do you need for a good summer? And summer is officially here, friends…..or at least it is for us desert dwellers. It hit 115 here this week, and literally the ONLY thing that sounds even somewhat appealing to me for dinner is, you guessed it, watermelon. In true LaurenKelp.com tradition, we’re throwing a little dinner shindig tonight, and I was in desperate need to find an easy, not super sweet, minimal effort cocktail for the masses. Mission accomplished with this watermelon champagne. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and scroll down to the ‘Instructions’ portion of the post…

Told you.

I hope you love it as much as we do! Happy weekend, friends!

WATERMELON CHAMPAGNE - Lauren KelpINGREDIENTS:

-2 oz. fresh watermelon juice

-3 oz. champagne

-fresh mint leaves to garnish

WATERMELON CHAMPAGNE - Lauren KelpINSTRUCTIONS:

-Pour 2 ounces of watermelon juice into chilled champagne flute or glass.

-Top with 3 ounces of fine champagne or brut.

-Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

WATERMELON CHAMPAGNE - Lauren Kelp


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WATERMELON MARGARITA

WATERMELON MARGARITA - Lauren Kelp

In our home, we’re firm believers in celebrating regularly. What do we celebrate on a regular basis? Tacos. With about 95% of the population. But hey, there’s a reason everyone’s doing it. If you haven’t jumped on this train yet, we highly suggest you do it…..and soon!

So, as you can tell, this post isn’t about the next best taco recipe, but about it the cocktail that was made for tacos. All hail the margarita! After a long term relationship with the jalapeno & cucumber version, my husband so kindly suggested that we mix things up a bit. And what better way to ring in summer than by adding a little watermelon to everything! This Watermelon Margarita is new favorite of ours & is so light and refreshing. PLUS! it pairs perfectly with grilled Mahi-Mahi tacos with pineapple salsa (recipe coming soon!).

WATERMELON MARGARITA - Lauren Kelp

INGREDIENTS:

-3/4 oz. fresh watermelon juice

-1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

-2 oz. tequila

-3/4 oz. Cointreau

-1/4 oz. agave nectar

-cocktail salt for rim if desired

-lime wheel to garnish

WATERMELON MARGARITA - Lauren Kelp

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Rim a cocktail glass or margarita glass with salt and place in the freezer to chill.

-Add the watermelon juice, lime juice, tequila, Cointreau, agave and ice to a shaker.

-Shake for about 30 seconds to chill.

-Strain into your margarita glass, float lime wheel to garnish and enjoy!

WATERMELON MARGARITA - Lauren Kelp


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THE BEST RED SANGRIA RECIPE

RED SANGRIA - Lauren Kelp

Sangria is an absolute summer staple. There is nothing quite like a cold glass full of ripe fruit to get you through those balmy July days and cooler August nights. Sangria meets everyone’s needs – the wine drinker loves it, the beer drinker enjoys it too, and for the gal that only drinks cocktails, she can’t say ‘no’ either. But with so many recipes and various iterations of this summer classic, how do you find the best one? Luckily, we’ve been hard at work here in the LK test kitchen, making batches to test-taste and perfect. Thanks to all this “hard work” we’ve found the best red sangria recipe there ever was. It’s the right amount of sweet, the perfect mélange of fruit, and it has been stamped with approval by many a summer party goer. Don’t trust us? Try for yourself. We promise – you’ll love it!

RED SANGRIA - Lauren Kelp

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 bottles of red Spanish table wine

– 1 cup of Brandy

– 1/2 cup of Triple Sec

– 1 cup of orange juice

– 1 cup of pomegranate juice

– 1/2 cup of Simple Syrup (see below)

– Orange slices

– Apple slices

– Blackberries

– Pomegranate seeds


RED SANGRIA - Lauren Kelp

DIRECTIONS:

1. SIMPLE SYRUP – Mix equal parts sugar and water in a sauce pan. Heat on medium high until sugar dissolves. Remove from burner and let the syrup cool

2. Grab a few oranges & apples (amount depends on how fruity you like your sangria and/or how many people you want to serve) and cut long-ways. Don’t think soccer practice wedges, think thinner slices.

3. Mix all ingredients together and let stand in a tightly sealed container or pitcher for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

4. Grab your favorite glasses, drop in a few ice cubes, and voila! The best sangria there ever was!

RED SANGRIA - Lauren Kelp


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