Colman Domingo & Lauren Paylor O’Brien Were Born to Cocktail

Colman Domingo & Lauren Paylor O’Brien Were Born to Cocktail

In partnership with Ketel One Vodka.
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In preparation for next month's 74th Emmy® Awards, and in the spirit of celebrating the best moments in television with your nearest and dearest, Social Studies has teamed up with Ketel One Vodka to bring you the best that the worlds of effortless entertaining and elevated cocktails have to offer—an ultimate at-home Emmys hosting collection. Meet Born to Cocktail, an assortment of award show viewing party essentials available to you to rent as a bundle, or purchase á la carte.

Today, Colman Domingo—Emmy-nominated actor, entertaining enthusiast, and cocktail connoisseur (he was a bartender for 15 years!)—is joined by bar visionary Lauren Paylor O’Brien, to discuss their love of the craft, share a new slate of sophisticated serves that Paylor, alongside award-winning mixologist, Charles Joly, concocted specifically for your Emmys viewing delight, and more. Enjoy! 

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Q: Lauren, what was the inspiration behind this year’s Emmys cocktail collection? 

Lauren: It was really important to us to create options for everyone—we considered alcohol content, beverage style, and even the glassware and color of the cocktails. These are all factors that contribute to a versatile bar menu, and we made sure to include each in this collection. 

Q: Colman, what are your top three at-home bartending tips for those staying in and celebrating? 

Colman: One, have fresh ingredients standing by—herbs, fruits, veggies, etc—no mixers! Two, make sure you have specialty cocktail glasses on hand so that each drink you serve feels special. And three, be able to make anything at any time. Full stock!

Q: Lauren, what should hosts consider when creating drinks for a large group?

Lauren: Prioritize working smarter, not harder. Consider drinks that can easily accommodate everyone's palate such as freezer martinis and highballs. I also recommend preparing a non-alcoholic base for a punch, which allows you to serve guests who drink and those who are taking a break from it. These are great options that allow you to serve the masses without the strain.

Q: Colman, what's your go-to cocktail for social gatherings?

Colman: I love a Gibson—and Ketel One makes a delicious one. It’s the perfect balance of classic and complex, and martinis overall are truly one of the only cocktails out there that allows for your personality to shine through. They allow for playfulness and customization, with variations depending on the elements of bright citrus twists, savory olives, vermouth, etc. The Ketel One Vodka Martini recipe is straightforward, approachable, and elevated—with the ability for at-home bartenders to impress through their own mixology skills.

The Ketel One Vodka Official Emmys Cocktail Collection: Recipes for a Crowd


Ingredients (serves~8): 

  • 12 oz Ketel One Vodka
  • 12 oz fresh espresso (chilled to room temp or fresh ground/brewed coffee)
  • 4 oz chocolate-black tea infused syrup (1 part sugar : 1 part water)
  • *8oz water (only if you putting into a keg or siphon)


  • Add all ingredients together, mix and chill until time to serve. 
  • To get the frothy head on your Espresso Martini, pour the batch into an ISI siphon and charge it with a whipped cream charger. Alternatively, you can make the batch ahead of time in a carafe and shake 3oz for each cocktail to order.


Ingredients (serves ~8): 

  • 12 oz Ketel One Vodka
  • 12 oz fresh watermelon juice
  • 6 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 6 oz mint simple syrup
  • 24 oz chilled soda water (reserve from batch)
  • Muddled mint


  • Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or carafe.
  • For the best results, hold the soda water until you’re ready to serve (add 3oz soda water to 4oz of the chilled batch).
  • You can also combine all of the ingredients in a small punch bowl; while you may get a bit less spritz, this is a fun and easy way to enjoy it as a group! 


Ingredients (serves~8): 

  • 12 oz Ketel One Vodka
  • 6 oz white vermouth
  • 6 oz wine based aperitif  
  • 10 dash orange bitters
  • *10 oz water (only if not stirring to order)


  • Option 1: 
    • Combine all ingredients (including the extra 10 oz of water) to the batch, bottle it all up and chill very cold. 
    • Pour straight into a chilled Martini glass to serve and garnish.
  • Option 2:
    • Combine all ingredients (except the additional water), bottle and chill the batch. 
    • When you’re ready to serve, simply stir 3 oz of batched cocktail per serving and pour into a chilled glass.


Ingredients (serves ~8):

  • 32 oz Strawberry Infused Seedlip Spice 94*
  • 16 oz pineapple juice
  • 8 oz fresh lime juice
  • 16 oz Strong Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
  • 8 oz Coconut Syrup
  • 24 oz Soy Milk 

To Make Strawberry Infused Seedlip Spice 94:

  • 36oz Seedlip Spice 94
  • 12 frozen strawberries
  • Combine and infuse overnight. Strain out strawberries.

To Make Coconut Syrup:  

  • 8oz cane sugar
  • 4oz quality coconut water


  • Place infused Seedlip, Pineapple Juice and Lime Juice into a container. 
  • Add soy milk to the Seedlip mixture. 
  • Let sit overnight and then strain with a coffee filter. 
  • Add tea, coconut syrup and stir. Place the batch into the fridge and serve over ice.
  • Pour over large cubes in a rocks glass. Garnish with an edible flower.
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KETEL ONE Vodka. Distilled from Grain. 40% Alc/Vol. © Double Eagle Brands, B.V. Imported by Ketel One USA, Aliso Viejo, CA. Enjoy responsibly. Only share with those 21+.