Meet the Woman Behind Our Favorite Cocktail Instagram Account: Drinking with Chickens

A woman holding a chicken and a cocktail
Kate of Drinking with Chickens built social media celebrity on her unusual relaxation habit — making a cocktail to enjoy in the company of her nine chickens. (Photo: Drinking with Chickens)

Kate, the woman behind the widely loved Instagram account, Drinking with Chickens, was raised by pirates, is a mixed media metal artist, a flower farmer, a cocktail-lover, recipe-sharer and chicken-chaser. She lives a very colorful life in a 100-year-old Los Angeles farmhouse with her husband and nine chickens. As she says, "Sometimes, when life gets weird, the only solution is to make a cocktail and go hang out with the chickens. Because that definitely makes things less weird." In the spirit of getting weird, we caught up with Kate to get the low-down on how her two first loves have come together (and how she uses those fresh eggs in cocktails):

You knew it would happen... One day you're drinking cocktails. The next day you're gardening. Add chickens. (Because you need eggs for gin fizzes and such, I get it.) And then BOOM: The writers come calling. So Kate, how old are you, love?

I’m in my 30s, but I’d rather not air that out because I feel like I am already barely tagging along with all these 25-year-olds who know a ton more about Instagram and hashtags and contouring and quinoa than I do.

Nowhere can I confirm on the Internets that you are British, but I feel in my heart of hearts this must be true. Are you?

No, I am not. Los Angeles born and raised — in fact, third generation Los Angeles. But weirdly, I have gotten the British thing many times throughout the course of my life. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s recent past life residue.

Let it be noted that even though you've only posted 175(ish) photos on Instagram, you have over 5,000 followers. Very impressive! How did this weirdness start happening?

When I started DWC, it was a total whim. Drinking with my chickens was something that I did that was sort of an inside joke between my husband and I — when I was having a day where I was hating on the world, I would make a cocktail and go sit with the chickens. Because: chickens. And because: cocktails. When I launched DWC, I thought. "No one is going to get this." Well hot damn was I wrong. Apparently, I’m not the only one who drinks with my chickens — I’m just the only one who decided to fly my flag. Anyways, right out of the gate I had such a positive reaction that it was pretty clear I was onto something wonderfully weird here.

How do you have any room in Los Angeles for chickens? I've watched HGTV. A lot. The yards are the size of postage stamps.

Yep. Postage stamp. I live in a town where chickens are (thankfully) legal, and many of my neighbors have them. We made it work on our property pretty well, and I run a real tight ship; I obsess over keeping everything tidy. I also obsess over keeping everything cute because I’m completely vapid.

Do your neighbors love or hate you?

My neighbors love me! I am a treasure! But really, several of them have chickens, and those that don’t, I brainwash with fresh eggs and cocktails.

How many chickens do you have?


Can you tell us their names?

Clementine (buff orpington), Annabel Lee and Beatrix Potter (easter eggers), Veruca Salt (lavender orpington), Elphaba (blue laced Wyandotte), Pippy Longstocking (silver laced Polish), Princess Vespa (Delaware), Veronica Corningstone (buff laced Polish) and Frau Farbissina (black sex-link).

What's the difference between boy chickens and girl chickens? I mean, of course I know: roosters and hens. My understanding is some have prettier feathers and make a lot of noise (roosters) while the others are busy getting stuff done (every female) but ... tell us more. Do they all have those jiggly red things on their heads? What's the point?

Yes, they do all have those jiggly red things called combs on top of the head, and waddles hanging below their chins, but depending on breed, they vary in size and shape and color. Yeah, roosters are always much more showy birds and they tend to be more asshole-y than the hens, though I do have many friends that have had very friendly, sweet roos. But they can be very not-sweet when they want to be. Apparently.

Okay, so I understand you're an artist, too? Seriously, what do you do to actually earn money and where do you find the time?

I have no time. Before doing all this silliness full time, I was a floral designer, and a freelance graphic/web designer. But I gave that all up to support my husband in his career, so now he’s paying me back for that by supporting me while I chase all my crazy ideas. He is a patient, patient man.

Also, your photos are beautiful. What kind of rig are you working with?

Thank you! I muddle my way through with mostly my iPhone and my Nikon D5100 plus a couple of tripods and a lot of smoke and mirrors.

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If you're anything like me, you were busy all weekend chasing #chickens and/or #cocktails. And then you woke up this morning (there were a lot of cocktails, guys) and you realize that you missed all the sales. And you realize you have an ungodly amount of #holiday shopping to do. Welcome to Procrastination Tuesday. Fortunately, @shakerandspoon's #blackfriday sale is still good thru tonight (that's their Guatemalan Poker Game #mezcal cocktail I'm trying to #sillystraw over the top of my bird). Buy a three month subscription and your first month is free if you use the code SWEETSUB at checkout. WHAT? Don't mind if I do. #drinkingwithchickens #shakerandspoon #BHGcelebrate #BHGpets #cocktails #thirstydrinks #abmhappyhour #cheers #drinks #happyhour #buzzfeedanimals #weeklyfluff #craftcocktails #drinkstagram #drinkup #IGdrinks

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What's your favorite shade of red lipstick?

HA! I get a lot of comments on my lipstick. The lipstick and the chicken-keeping are a bit of a juxtaposition, I suppose! But hey. I do what I want!. Right now I’m partial to Nyx soft matte lip cream in ‘Amsterdam.’ I make no guarantees for tomorrow.

What's your favorite rum?

I adore Malahat Spirits rums out of San Diego. First of all: I love local. And they are about as local as I can get my rum. Secondly, weirdly … I don’t really love the taste of ginger very much. Not my favorite. But their Ginger Rum? I abuse it. Just the right hint and it blends so beautifully into so many different sorts of concoctions.

See also, chicken. Who is your favorite one and why?

I’m kind of partial to the two Polish. Pip (Pippy Longstocking) and Corn (Veronica Corningstone). Besides their awesome hairdos, they are just kind of derpy, sweet birds that like to be held and told they’re pretty. (Pip is the one in the photo. Corn is a blond version of her.)

How do you resist fried chicken? Or do you just chow down and not think about it?

You know… I was always a chicken eater. But seriously, after getting these birds, if I think too hard about it, I can’t anymore. I start imagining Corn’s little legs. It’s bad. I’ve been ruined!

There are over Insta 700 posts with the hashtag #drinkingwithchickens. Do you take full responsibility for that?

I encourage people to use the hashtag — it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to see everyone else airing out their batshit.

So, naturally, I was wondering — what came first: the chickens or the cocktails. In reading your blog, I understand it was the cocktail. Then you started growing ingredients. So a few cocktails called for eggs. So hence, the chickens. SO. Hit us with your favorite cocktail recipe using egg.

To be perfectly honest, and really obvious, I am really a fan of homemade boozy eggnog. Oh my God, I love the nog. And when it’s aged? Stop it. Stop it right now.

Kate's nog recipe makes roughly a punch bowl's worth and can be found here.

Where else can we follow your brilliant antics?

You can find my artwork at (@katerichardsart on IG and FB), and of course, there is (@farmandfoundry), but that’s kind of fallen by the wayside, so I’m not really sure it’s worth even bringing up.

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