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kelp cocktails with bad little cocktails

We absolutely love it when our community gets creative with our kelp and shares recipes with us. Particularly when they are as fun and interesting as this oceanic libation that gives a subtle briny essence to what would be a typical whiskey cocktail. 

Using kelp in a cocktail may surprise you, but kelp's salty and umami tastes give an oceanic flavor to drinks of all kinds making it a versatile ingredient for cocktail pairings. It can complement a wide range of spirits, from whiskey and gin to tequila and vodka. Plus, kelp can pair well with various fruits, herbs, and spices, providing a mixologist with ample opportunities for experimentation and creativity.

Josh Spencer, located in downeast Maine is a longtime cocktail enthusiast who collects and shares the photos of his delicious concoctions on his Facebook & Instagram page, Bad Little Cocktails. He shares where he got his inspiration for the kelp cocktail he created with Nautical Farms kelp. “I recently got my hands on locally produced sugar kelp flakes from my friends over at Nautical Farms and of course my first thought was: “how do I incorporate this into a cocktail?” Given its salty flavor, using it in a rim was my first instinct. 

I decided to use Japanese whiskey as my base spirit. Generally when utilizing whiskey in a sour format cocktail you would go for lemon juice, but I had a feeling lime juice would pair better with the salty kelp flakes. The decision to muddle a few blackberries in was somewhat spontaneous.” 
Josh chose Toki whiskey for his version of a kelp cocktail - a smooth Japanese whiskey that has citrus notes and is more similar to scotch than American whiskeys. “I am pretty amazed at how well the blackberries pair with the Toki whisky. The blackberry flavor is nuanced, adding a sense of freshness. The Toki was the star. My choice of souring agent worked fabulously, especially aided by the addition of the blackberries. 
“The whisky is light bodied with a flavor that sort of sits in between scotch & Irish whisky. Those lighter, fruitier notes pair so well with the blackberries with a wisp of smoke that plays well with the salty kelp and lime.”
Not only does this drink taste delicious, we love the light purple color made from the blackberries and beautiful green sugar rim from the kelp. On the kelp rim Josh notes “At first I wasn't sure the kelp flake rim did much apart from being a fun addition, but as I drank it became clear that they absolutely helped sharpen the flavors and even lingered a bit on the finish.” 
Check out this guest recipe kelp cocktail by Josh Spencer of Bad Little Cocktails below. From the mixologist himself, “it is damn tasty.”

blackberry whiskey kelp splash


You’ll Need: 

*Makes one drink



Begin by preparing the Organic Sugar Kelp rim. Place some Sugar Kelp Flakes or Organic Kelp Powder on a plate and then moisten the rim of your glass with a lemon wedge or water. Dip the rim into your Kelp Flakes. 


Next, place your berries in the bottom of a shaker or your glass and gently muddle the blackberries with a muddler or a spoon to release their juices and flavors. 

Pour whiskey and lemon juice into the shaker or glass with your berries and add simple syrup and ice. 


Shake or gently stir your mixture and pour into your Sugar Kelp rimmed glass. 


Garnish with a fresh blackberry or a lemon wheel and serve. 


To see more delicious cocktail recipes and drink inspiration follow Josh at @badlittlecocktails on Instagram or Bad Little Cocktails on Facebook. 

Want to work with us on making more delicious kelp recipes? Give us a shout at