An arm workout like this deserves a reward cocktail.
An arm workout like this deserves a reward cocktail. (Photo: Kate Richards)

Every now and then, you come across a personal project that makes you reevaluate how you spend your leisure time. Case in point: "Drinking with Chickens," an ongoing visual showcase of garden-fresh cocktails created by L.A.-based lifestyle blogger Kate Richards.

Gorgeous, mouthwatering cocktail photography aside, the project stands out for the many cameos by Richards' charismatic flock of urban chickens. Many of the "farm-to-glass" drinks featured include fresh egg white foam sourced from these clucking avians. After all, when you have an ever-replenishing supply of fresh eggs, you have an ever-replenishing supply of fresh egg white foam.

At its root, the quirky series is a testament to the importance of making time in your life for the things that make you happy.

"'Drinking with chickens' is really a metaphor," Richards writes. "Grow some stuff. Put it in a glass with alcohol. Drink it whilst you relax in the garden with whatever garden friends you’ve got: chickens? Dogs? Goats? Humans? Imaginary? Cocktail garden-drinking is an equal-opportunity endeavor."

Chicken feet and citrus blossom sangria — a match made in heaven?
Chicken feet and citrus blossom sangria — a match made in heaven? (Photo: Kate Richards)

Feeling charmed by this kind of lifestyle but don't have much experience in the mixology department? Richards regularly shares the recipes to her own garden-fresh cocktails on her website. From cucumber-serrano margaritas to white nectarine frosé, there's a drink for every palate.

Continue below for an interview with Richards, during which we pick (peck?) her brain about what it's like to be the khaleesi of farm-fresh, chicken-inspired cocktails.

Boozy selfies pair best with a chicken.
Boozy selfies pair best with a chicken. (Photo: Kate Richards)

MNN: Tell me a little bit about yourself! What do you do when you’re not drinking with chickens?

Kate: Really, everything that I do begins and ends with the garden. In addition to my cocktailing adventures over on Drinking with Chickens, I also write a garden and art lifestyle blog called Farm and Foundry. I’m an industrial artist specializing in mixed media metal paintings, which incorporate paint, pigment, dye, and patina on ‘canvases’ made from various types of metal sheeting.

When I’m not painting, I’m digging like a feral forest child in the garden, growing things that will either inspire my art or go into my cocktails.

The key to excellent cocktails? Garden-fresh ingredients and egg whites!
The key to excellent cocktails? Garden-fresh ingredients and egg whites! (Photo: Kate Richards)

What’s your philosophy behind specializing in 'garden fresh' cocktails?

It was kind of the natural progression of things. When I first began planting my garden, I was wholly consumed with growing beautiful flowers and foliage that would inspire my artwork. My husband and I soon began dabbling with growing food in and amongst all the pretty things, and this was about the time we realized it was pretty neat to be able to pull ingredients straight from the garden to put into our cocktails. Forget dinner — we were all about the drinks.

A freshly-mixed garden cocktail just makes happy hour so much happier — especially if you’re actually drinking it in the garden, beneath the party lights, with feisty chickens pecking at your toes.

Cheers to chicken pals and root beer floats!
Cheers to chicken pals and root beer floats! (Photo: Kate Richards)

Aside from the ability to make excellent drinks involving egg whites, what inspired you to adopt chickens?

Mainly, I had wanted them my entire life, and they seemed like a perfect fit for our garden and lifestyle. But also: egg white cocktails ... just keepin' it real.

Chicken vs. cocktail garnish!
Chicken vs. cocktail garnish! (Photo: Kate Richards)

How many chickens do you currently have? What are their names?

We’ve currently got *cough* nine. They are: Clementine, Veruca Salt, Annabel Lee, Beatrix Potter, Pippy Longstocking, Elphaba, Veronica Corningstone, Princess Vespa, and Frau Farbissina.

They each have super distinct personality quirks, and — this might be the cocktails talking — but they are kind of hilarious to hang out with.

Cay hello to the "Sunnyside Up" cocktail.
Cay hello to the "Sunnyside Up" cocktail. (Photo: Kate Richards)

You experiment with a lot of different recipes, but one of the most imaginative drinks you’ve dreamed up is undoubtedly the Sunnyside Up Cocktail (pictured above). What’s the story behind this tongue-and-cheek libation?

Well, I can’t take all the credit for this one. My good friend Lisa Steele over at FreshEggsDaily.com, who is a fellow cocktail enthusiast, suggested I needed to make some sort of egg-themed cocktail. It was her brilliant idea to do an orange juice ice sphere as the yolk.

I amped up the color of that by adding fresh carrot juice, and then I knew immediately that if this cocktail was going to look like an egg, it had better have some egg in it. So the white of the cocktail is a mixture of foamed egg white, gin, and lime juice. It just felt right to have a beverage that looks like an egg on Drinking with Chickens. It just felt right.

Strawberry and Hot Pepper Jam Margaritas
Strawberry and Hot Pepper Jam Margaritas (Photo: Kate Richards)

You can follow all of Kate's avian-related cocktail adventures on Instagram or Facebook!

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.