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With more than 11,000 Instagram followers, Elana Lepkowski is a Los Angeles-based professional cocktail enthusiast with a blog she calls a "cocktail scratch pad," stirandstrain.com. It's become more than that in the last six years. That blog was a finalist for Saveur magazine's Best Cocktail Blog in 2014 and 2015. She creates original cocktails for parties and photographs cocktails for publications. Her philosophy on cocktails and ingredients? "I’m a believer in making your own bar syrups, garnishes, and bitters, and think you should try your hand at it too," she says on her blog. "They tend to taste amazingly better."