Cocktail exchange with Clinton Kelly

Friends for years on Instagram, and fans forever (we’ve watched every episode of What Not to Wear), we were ridiculously happy when Clinton Kelly agreed to have us over to his Litchfield Hills home for a cocktail exchange. Basically, we each make our favorite cocktail recipes, then we chat! It’s our new favorite interview style. 😉

Scroll on to learn what Clinton Kelly is up to these days, his thoughts on fashion, how to make a Gin Raspberry Ginger Lime Rickey, and…

We decided that the blooper reel was all you really needed!

Clinton Kelly

Litchfield living

How did you land in the Litchfield Hills?

About 14 years ago, I said to my mother, “It’s a beautiful day, let’s go take a drive and look at some houses.” My sister lives in Litchfield so I thought we’d just drive around and look at properties from afar.

On the way, my mom said we have to stop in Danbury. She goes, “We’re picking up the real estate agent there.” I’m like, “What are you talking about?” She had organized this real estate agent to give us a tour of Connecticut. We drove around all day and looked at 20 houses then we came to this one and I fell in love with it. It’s so secluded. It gave the right vibe.

Where do you like to eat in CT?

I’m embarrassed to say this because there are a lot of great restaurants around here, but I eat in this house! We stop at the farmers market and the grocery store and I load up on everything we could possibly need and I cook!

Getting deep…and random

What are you doing on your best day?

I’d workout, do some yoga/stretch, read a book. Work in the garden for a little while…oh, and go for a hike! Maybe this is my dream day?!

Podcasts? 

I’m obsessed with the NPR Politics podcast, I listen to Up First every day. Sometimes the New York Times Daily, Preet Bharara’s podcast. Mostly politics! I have a couple of meditation podcasts I listen to if I need help to fall asleep.

Favorite Instagram accounts? 😬😬

Well, Unlocking Connecticut of course…

You guys and Madonna…that’s all I need.

 🙌🙌

Oh, Mary, we love you!

What are you currently binge-watching?

I love the show on Netflix called Dark. It’s German and I’m one episode away from the end of season 1. It’s a time travel thing. I like to listen to it in German with English subtitles.

Oh, and I also love that new glassblowing show on Netflix, Blown Away!

What song do you know all the words to? 

I know every single word to all of Sondheim. I know the entire Broadway show Company and every single word to Into the Woods, A Chorus Line….and I know a lot of Olivia Newton-John songs. 

What movie have you watched the most times?

9 to 5, Airplane! and Poltergeist.

Litchfield Distillery Elderflower Unlocktail – LD Vodka, St. Germain, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice – quantities, to taste!

What posters did you have on your wall as a teen?

Olivia Newton-John, Suzanne Somers…I don’t know what I was trying to prove. 

What’s your porn star name? (First pet’s name and the street you grew up on – or your mother’s maiden name)

It’s José Stratford.

We’re Chirpie Dickie and Tramp Cromwell. Pleased to meet you.

If Mary could tell us 3 things about you, what would she tell us?

  1. She’d probably tell you that I’m insane because all I do is stare at her.
  2. She’d also tell you that when I’m in this house I don’t normally wash my hair and I wear shirts with holes in them.
  3. Lastly, she’d probably tell you I like a nice slug of wine. 

Dogs tell us everything!

Gin Raspberry Ginger Lime Rickey – Gin, pureed raspberries (or blackberries), ginger beer, and lime juice, to taste

Work and career things…

Current projects?

I’m shooting the next season of Spring Baking Championship which is a great experience. I have some things in development…but I don’t want to jinx them!

We love Basic Grammar for Basic Bitches BGBB on your Instagram account. They resonate with us. How long does it take you to make one?

They’re just a fun thing I do. I shoot them and then my friend edits them…so it only takes me about 15 minutes or so. Did you see the lie/lay one? That took a little bit longer because I had to find someone to play the dead body. 

If ever you need any more dead bodies, we can play that part!

Ok, good to know. 

Who would you love to work with? 

I would love to work with Michael Symon and Carla Hall again [co-hosts on The Chew]. We really, really enjoyed each other’s company. Every day was a treat. 

What was the process like to write your book, I Hate Everyone, Except You? We LOVED it!

Thank you. I started out writing a little bit here and there on the weekends, then I realized it was never going to get done. It took a long time!

I went to Miami for a month in January, not seeing any friends. I quit alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and meat. The first 3 days were pure misery, then I felt great! I would get up every morning, have a sensible breakfast, go to the gym, workout, write for four hours, have a sensible lunch, write for four more hours, then have a sensible dinner. It was the most productive time in my life and probably the time I felt the healthiest, the most energetic, and the most focused. And it was also lonely AF!

Fash·ion/ˈfaSHən/

Who are your favorite designers or go-to stores where you buy your clothes?

Well, I have a uniform now. I bought myself 6 of these exact same navy blue Lacoste polo shirts, and I bought a bunch of Ted Baker stuff for the pilot I just shot. If I need suiting I’ll go to Hugo Boss off the rack. I’ll go to Klein Epstein & Parker for all my custom made button-down shirts. I’m 6’ 4” which is slightly too tall for shirts off the rack. My arms are about ½” too long. 

Name a fashion item that should be avoided at all costs.

My thoughts about fashion, and really, style, have evolved over the years. I honestly don’t care what anyone wears. I’m never going to tell anyone what not to wear ever again. You should be wearing things that make you feel good. Period. End of story. 

Clothes are a wonderful tool to help propel you to achieve the goals you want to achieve in life. It’s non-verbal communication. Before you open your mouth you’re telling people something about yourself. So why not tell them exactly the story that you want them to know?

Wear whatever the F you want ….that’s the show I should do! 

Cheers to that!


Interview: Bev + Lora / Pics: Lora