Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images: Blog https://www.staynfocus.com/blog en-us (C) Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images (Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) Mon, 12 Apr 2021 17:52:00 GMT Mon, 12 Apr 2021 17:52:00 GMT https://www.staynfocus.com/img/s/v-12/u29489961-o210927393-50.jpg Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images: Blog https://www.staynfocus.com/blog 96 120 Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Banana Pineapple Daiquiri https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/4/banana-pineapple-daiquiri Hey There!

As the weather gets warmer, the drinks get colder! Today we are sharing something tropical, cold and  sweet. Fun fact: the daiquiri has origins in Cuba. Sometime between 1920 and 1930 the cocktail underwent a transformation into the frozen variety it is today and was known to be a favorite of Ernest Hemingway. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

  BP-IMG_9625BP-IMG_9625
 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 chunks of pineapple
3-4 pineapple leaves (optional)
2 dried pineapple slices (optional)

For Drink
1 oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. Lime Juice
~ 3/4 Cup Chopped Banana
~ 3/4 Cup Chopped Pineapple
2 oz. Cointreau
4 oz. Banana Rum
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
2 Cup Ice

 

You will also need, 2 coupe glasses and a blender.

BP-IMG_9606BP-IMG_9606
 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Chop up1 banana & chop up your pineapple and set aside (we used fresh fruit but you can definitely use frozen pineapple and banana chunks).

  2. Add everything to you blender:

    • Simple Syrup (1 oz)

    • Lime Juice (2 oz.)

    • 3/4 cup Banana

    • 3/4 cup pineapple

    • Cointreau (2 oz.)

    • Banana Rum (4 oz.)

    • Pineapple Juice (2 oz.)

    • Ice (~ 2 cups)

  3. Run blender until everything is well combined.

  4. Pour equally between 2 coup glasses.

  5. Garnish with pineapple wedge and optional pineapple leaves and dried pineapple.

    • Note: if using pineapple leaves, you may need to skewer with a cocktail pick to keep them in place.

  6. Enjoy!
     

BP-IMG_9578BP-IMG_9578 BP-IMG_9581BP-IMG_9581 BP-IMG_9584BP-IMG_9584 BP-IMG_9589BP-IMG_9589 BP-IMG_9591BP-IMG_9591 BP-IMG_9596BP-IMG_9596 BP-IMG_9595BP-IMG_9595 BP-IMG_9600BP-IMG_9600 BP-IMG_9601BP-IMG_9601 BP-IMG_9603BP-IMG_9603 BP-IMG_9606BP-IMG_9606 BP-IMG_9609BP-IMG_9609 BP-IMG_9617BP-IMG_9617     



BP-IMG_9626BP-IMG_9626 BP-IMG_9641BP-IMG_9641 BP-IMG_9625BP-IMG_9625  

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self."
-Ernest Hemingway

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage daiquiri food photography frozen drink fruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday rum rum cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/4/banana-pineapple-daiquiri Mon, 12 Apr 2021 17:47:36 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Dream Cloud Nigori Sake Cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/4/dream-cloud It was all a dream.....

...a dream cloud Sake cocktail! This week we are pairing honeydew melon with a Sasanigori Sake. This combination is literally like a cloud! A quick lesson: Sake, the national  beverage of Japan, is made from fermented rice. Sake has many classifications and varieties. Nigori  is one of the styles or classifications of Sake; it translates to "Cloudy Sake".  Sasanigori translates to lightly cloudy. That cloudy-ness refers to how much of the rice particles are suspended in the Sake... so be sure to shake your bottle gently before pouring. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

 乾杯

(kanpai/cheers!)
 

DC-IMG_1295DC-IMG_1295

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 chunks/balls of honeydew or cantaloupe

For Drink
5 oz. Sasanigori Sake
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Chilled Green Tea
~1/2 Cup Chopped Honeydew or Cantaloupe
Ice

 

You will also need, 2 coupe glasses, 2 cocktail picks, shaker cup and a strainer.

DC-IMG_1323-SQDC-IMG_1323-SQ
 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Add your melon & simple syrup (1/2 oz)  into your shaker cup and muddle.

  2. Add remaining ingredients to shaker cup:

    • Green Tea (3 oz)

    • Sasanigori Sake (5 oz) (we used Shirakawago Sasanigori Sake)

    • Ice

  3. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds or so.

  4. Pour evenly between your two coup glasses.

  5. Skewer melon pieces with your cocktail picks to garnish.

  6. Enjoy!
     

DC-IMG_1260DC-IMG_1260 DC-IMG_1261DC-IMG_1261 DC-IMG_1264DC-IMG_1264 DC-IMG_1265DC-IMG_1265 DC-IMG_1269DC-IMG_1269 DC-IMG_1270DC-IMG_1270 DC-IMG_1276DC-IMG_1276 DC-IMG_1277DC-IMG_1277

DC-IMG_1282DC-IMG_1282 DC-IMG_1290DC-IMG_1290 DC-IMG_1294DC-IMG_1294 DC-IMG_1304DC-IMG_1304        


DC-IMG_1315DC-IMG_1315 DC-IMG_1320DC-IMG_1320 DC-IMG_1323DC-IMG_1323

 

"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."
-Japanese proverb attributed to Soichiro Honda


 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage cantaloupe dream cloud food photography fruit honeydew melon mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday nigori recipe sake sake cocktail sasanigori shirakawago https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/4/dream-cloud Mon, 05 Apr 2021 18:01:52 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Dark n Stormy https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/dark-stormy Hey There,

Today's recipes was inspired by a comment on one of my social media accounts. I shared a creative photo earlier this month (click here to see) and someone mentioned to me that it ignited a craving for a dark 'n stormy. Immediately, I thought, this is something we  need to create and share! If you are a fan of the Moscow mule and ginger beer, then you need to give this cocktail a try.

Find Ten to One, near you! https://www.tentoonerum.com/where-to-find/
 

We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 1 drink! Let's get started!

DS-IMG_0763DS-IMG_0763

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Lime wedge or slice

For Drink
2 oz. Dark Rum
1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (optional)
3-5 oz. Ginger Beer
Ice


You will also need a Highball Glass and a bar spoon.


DS-IMG_0742DS-IMG_0742

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your Highball add

    • Rum (2 oz.)
    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (1/2 oz.)
    • Ice (Fill Glass)
  2. Top with ginger beer (about 3-5 oz).
  3. Stir with bar spoon gently
  4. Garnish with lime wedge/slice
  5. Find somewhere to dream about a caribbean vacation. Enjoy!

DS-IMG_0751DS-IMG_0751 DS-IMG_0754DS-IMG_0754 DS-IMG_0744DS-IMG_0744 DS-IMG_0745DS-IMG_0745 DS-IMG_0756DS-IMG_0756 DS-IMG_0757DS-IMG_0757 DS-IMG_0763DS-IMG_0763 DS-IMG_0766DS-IMG_0766 DS-IMG_0769DS-IMG_0769


DS-IMG_0806DS-IMG_0806 DS-IMG_0797DS-IMG_0797 DS-IMG_0791DS-IMG_0791

 

“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy.”

—Frank Sinatra
 



 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands darkrum food photography ginger beer lime mixed mixology mixology monday recipe rum https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/dark-stormy Mon, 29 Mar 2021 14:14:40 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Boozy Licuado de Nopal (Cactus Smoothie) https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/cactus-smoothie Hey There,

Today's recipes was inspired by a recent trip to our local produce market. While looking for a specific ingredient for next week's recipe (stay tuned) these nopales caught our attention. Nopal, which is Spanish for the Opuntia cactus or in English prickly pear cactus; they are found natively in the southwestern regions of the United States and in Mexico. The flat cactus pads can be eaten when the plant is young. Nopal cactus is a common ingredient in foods in some regions of Mexico. Traditionally, licuado de nopal (without alcohol) is a breakfast drink but as per usual we had to do things our way and add a little tequila. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

CC-IMG_0684CC-IMG_0684

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Long Ribbons of Cucumber
2 5 or 6" Slices of Nopal (optional)

 

For Drink
4oz. Coconut Water
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
4 Tbsp. Honey
3 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice 
~ 3/4 Cup Chopped Cactus
1/2 Cup Chopped Cucumber
3 oz. Tequila
1 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
~1 Cup Ice

You will also need, 2 rocks tumblers, 2 cocktail picks and a blender.


CC-IMG_0639CC-IMG_0639
 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Add all ingredients to your blender.

    • Note: Be sure to thoroughly clean and de-spine your nopal before dicing and adding to blender.

  2. Blend well, 30-60 seconds or so.

  3. Pour evenly between your two glasses.

  4. Skewer your cucumber ribbons and add your garnish to each glass.

  5. Enjoy! 

CC-IMG_0619CC-IMG_0619 CC-IMG_0620CC-IMG_0620 CC-IMG_0626CC-IMG_0626 CC-IMG_0627CC-IMG_0627 CC-IMG_0629CC-IMG_0629 CC-IMG_0633CC-IMG_0633 CC-IMG_0636CC-IMG_0636 CC-IMG_0639CC-IMG_0639 CC-IMG_0643CC-IMG_0643 CC-IMG_0645CC-IMG_0645 CC-IMG_0646CC-IMG_0646 CC-IMG_0647CC-IMG_0647 CC-IMG_0649CC-IMG_0649 CC-IMG_0653CC-IMG_0653 CC-IMG_0657CC-IMG_0657 CC-IMG_0658CC-IMG_0658 CC-IMG_0662CC-IMG_0662 CC-IMG_0666CC-IMG_0666 CC-IMG_0668CC-IMG_0668      


CC-IMG_0685CC-IMG_0685 CC-IMG_0692CC-IMG_0692 CC-IMG_0714CC-IMG_0714

 

 "Being negative only makes a journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it."

- Joyce Meyer

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands cactus smoothie food photography mixed mixology mixology monday nopal recipe smoothie teqila https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/cactus-smoothie Mon, 22 Mar 2021 16:23:33 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Guava Basil Smash https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/guava-basil-smash Hey There!

This weekend, we had the pleasure of being a guest mixologist for Chef Jamie Hunt's virtual supper club, an innovative approach to cooking classes during lock down! We shared tips, tricks and how to make this refreshing Guava Basil Smash with the 40+ attendees. Such fun night of cooking, sipping and playing games. We cannot wait for the next one! We enjoyed this cocktail so much we decided to make it again and share it with you all! The guava definitely gives me strong summer vacation vibes!! We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

GS-IMG_9972GS-IMG_9972

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2-4 Bunches of Basil

2 Slices of Lemon


For Drink
8-14 Basil Leaves
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
4 oz. Vodka
6 oz. Guava Juice
2 oz. Simple Syrup
8 Dashes of Bitters
Ice

 

You will also need 2 Rocks Tumblers, Bar Spoon, Muddler, Julep Strainer, Mixing Glass and Juicer.

GS-IMG_9929GS-IMG_9929  

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In Mixing Glass Add:
    • Basil Leaves
    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (2 oz.)
  2. Muddle for 10 seconds or so
  3. Add remaining ingredients to Mixing  Glass:
    • Ice
    • Guava Juice (6 oz.)
    • 8 Dashes of Bitters
    • Vodka (4 oz.)
    • Simple Syrup (2 oz.)
  4. Stir with Bar Spoon
  5. Using your Julep Strainer, strain between your two glasses.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil bunches and lemon slice.
  7. Enjoy!

GS-IMG_9928GS-IMG_9928 GS-IMG_9932GS-IMG_9932 GS-IMG_9935GS-IMG_9935 GS-IMG_9946GS-IMG_9946 GS-IMG_9951GS-IMG_9951 GS-IMG_9953GS-IMG_9953 GS-IMG_9955GS-IMG_9955 GS-IMG_9956GS-IMG_9956 GS-IMG_9959GS-IMG_9959 GS-IMG_9962GS-IMG_9962 GS-IMG_9963GS-IMG_9963 GS-IMG_9967GS-IMG_9967 GS-IMG_9968GS-IMG_9968 GS-IMG_9971GS-IMG_9971 GS-IMG_9974GS-IMG_9974


GS-IMG_0025GS-IMG_0025 GS-IMG_0012GS-IMG_0012 GS-IMG_9986GS-IMG_9986

 

“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”

– Henry David Thoreau
 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage basil food photography fruit mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe smash smash cocktail vodka vodka cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/guava-basil-smash Mon, 15 Mar 2021 15:49:10 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Blood Orange Screw Driver https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/screwdriver Hey Hey,

How many mixologists does it take to screw in a screwdriver? One.... I think... lol According to author Victorino Matus, the screwdriver was one the first vodka based cocktails created decades ago. "American oil workers in the Persian Gulf discreetly added vodka to their orange juice while on the job. Lacking a spoon, the workers decided to stir the drink with a screwdriver." Seems like a good drink for a Monday. Our version, uses blood oranges and.... a spoon. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

BSD-IMG_9659BSD-IMG_9659

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2-4 Blood Orange Slices (fresh and dehydrated)

(we dehydrated our slices in the air fryer for 45 min - 1 hour on the lowest setting)


For Drink

4 oz. Vodka
7 oz. Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
Pinch of Salt
Ice

 

You will also need, 2 Collins Glasses, Bar Spoon, Mixing Glass,  Juicer.

BSD-IMG_9597BSD-IMG_9597

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In Mixing Glass Add:
    • Vodka (4 oz.)
    • Blood Orange Juice (7 oz.)
    • Simple Syrup (1 oz.)
    • Pinch of Salt
  2. Stir with bar spoon
  3. Fill your Collins glasses with ice
  4. Optional: Place fresh blood orange slice inside each glass.
  5. Pour your Screwdriver evenly between both glasses.
  6. Garnish with fresh or dehydrated blood orange slice.
  7. Enjoy!

 

BSD-IMG_9600BSD-IMG_9600 BSD-IMG_9599BSD-IMG_9599 BSD-IMG_9603BSD-IMG_9603 BSD-IMG_9612BSD-IMG_9612 BSD-IMG_9616BSD-IMG_9616 BSD-IMG_9617BSD-IMG_9617 BSD-IMG_9615BSD-IMG_9615 BSD-IMG_9619BSD-IMG_9619 BSD-IMG_9622BSD-IMG_9622


BSD-IMG_9636BSD-IMG_9636 BSD-IMG_9652BSD-IMG_9652 BSD-IMG_9656BSD-IMG_9656 BSD-IMG_9660BSD-IMG_9660

 

 

"I read the instruction manual and it said I needed a large screwdriver. So I got out the vodka and orange juice , but everything after that remains a mystery!"


 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage blood orange food photography mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe screwdriver vodka vodka cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/screwdriver Mon, 08 Mar 2021 14:44:26 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Botanical Gimlet https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/gimlet Hey Hey,

This week's recipe is our variation on the classic gimlet... simple and refreshing. The gimlet is a cocktail made of gin and lime juice. A 1928 description of the drink was: "gin, and a spot of lime." In addition to using a botanical gin, we opted to include muddled mint and thyme for even more freshness. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

GM-IMG_3254GM-IMG_3254

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Lime Slices
2 Edible Flowers

 

For Drink

6 oz. Botanical Gin
1 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
8-10 Mint Leaves
2-4 Sprigs of Thyme
Ice

 

You will also need, 2 Coup Glasses, Muddler, Shaker Cup, Fine Mesh Strainer, Julep Strainer,  Hand Juicer.

GM-IMG_3127GM-IMG_3127

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In Shaker Cup Add:
    • Mint Leaves
    • Thyme Leaves
    • Simple Syrup (1 1/2 oz.)
  2. Muddle for 10 seconds or so.
  3. Add Remaining components:
    • Ice
    • Lime Juice (3 oz.)
    • Gin (6 oz.)
  4. Shake 15-20 seconds
  5. Double strain using julep strainer and fine mesh strainer between 2 coup glasses.
  6. Garnish with lime slice and edible flower.
  7. Find a relaxing place to luxuriate while you sip.
  8. Enjoy!

GM-IMG_3111GM-IMG_3111 GM-IMG_3115GM-IMG_3115 GM-IMG_3117GM-IMG_3117 GM-IMG_3118GM-IMG_3118 GM-IMG_3119GM-IMG_3119 GM-IMG_3121GM-IMG_3121 GM-IMG_3122GM-IMG_3122 GM-IMG_3124GM-IMG_3124 GM-IMG_3137GM-IMG_3137 GM-IMG_3143GM-IMG_3143 GM-IMG_3148GM-IMG_3148 GM-IMG_3150GM-IMG_3150 GM-IMG_3153GM-IMG_3153 GM-IMG_3161GM-IMG_3161 GM-IMG_3162GM-IMG_3162


GM-IMG_3257GM-IMG_3257 GM-IMG_3252GM-IMG_3252 GM-IMG_3198GM-IMG_3198 GM-IMG_3251GM-IMG_3251 GM-IMG_3215GM-IMG_3215

 

 

To the question, "When were your spirits at the lowest ebb?" the obvious answer seemed to be, "When the gin gave out."

-Francis Chichester


 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage botanical gin floral food photography gimlet gin gin cocktail lime mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/3/gimlet Mon, 01 Mar 2021 20:23:28 GMT
Quick and Savory Naan-like Flatbread https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/quick-and-savory-flatbread Hey hey!

So I'm absolutely 100% a carb-ivore and my love language is bread and potatoes. This naan like savory flatbread is so quick and easy to throw together-- it requires no yeast and only about 2 minutes of kneading. They're perfect as they are but could also be an amazing base for a pizza or a sandwich. Give it a try! 

FB-IMG_9367FB-IMG_9367

 

Here's What You Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped herbs ( I used fresh chives, basil, parsley and oregano)

You'll also need high heat cooking oil (coconut, peanut, canola etc), rolling pin, one large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, cast iron skillet, wire rack, parchment paper.

 

Timing:

  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 16 min

 

Let's Make Some Flatbread:

  1. DOUGH PREP: In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir in chopped herbs. Then lastly add in yogurt and stir until a clumpy dough forms.  Place dough onto floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Divide dough into 6-8 pieces and roll into balls. Using your rolling pin flatten into 5-6 inch circles.
  2. COOK: Add about 2 tbsp of cooking oil to your cast iron skillet and heat over medium to high heat. Place  1-2 flatbreads in your skillet at a time (depending on your skillet size) and cook until puffy and golden brown in places. Flip and repeat. Cook time is approximately 1 minute each side. Remove from skillet and place on wire rack. Serve warm and enjoy!

If you happen to have left overs ( I didn't), wrap in foil and store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.
 

FB-IMG_9350FB-IMG_9350 FB-IMG_9355FB-IMG_9355 FB-IMG_9358FB-IMG_9358


 

FB-IMG_2787FB-IMG_2787 FB-IMG_9362FB-IMG_9362 FB-IMG_2768FB-IMG_2768
 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) baking bread bread making bread recipe easy bread flatbread food photography homemade bread naan no yeast bread recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/quick-and-savory-flatbread Tue, 23 Feb 2021 14:55:29 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Hella Good Japanese Whiskey Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/japanese-whiskey-sour Hey There,

All month we have been sharing black owned brands and today, on the last Monday in Black History Month, we are sharing a cocktail using Shinju, a Japanese Whiskey. Shinju is “double distilled, with wafts of honey, orange and vanilla, accompanied by hints of herbaceous notes and light oak." In a word, this whiskey is delicate and I am in love! We paired this  award winning whiskey with two types of mangoes along with a black co-owned bitters brand Hella Cocktail Co. 

Find Shinju, near you! https://www.shinjuwhisky.com/
Find Hella Cocktail Co., near you! https://hellacocktail.co/pages/find-it

Although BHM is ending we will be keeping this party going and will continue to share Black Owned brands and let you know where to grab them! We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

JWS-IMG_2716JWS-IMG_2716

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
4-6 Thin Half moon mango slices(skin on)

 

For Mango Simple Syrup
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Cups Water
2 Mangoes ( we used both Honey/Ataulfo and Tommy Atkins variety of mango)

 

For Drink
 3 oz. Shinju Japanese Whiskey
 2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
 2 oz. Mango Simple Syrup
 2-4 Dashes Hella Cocktail Co. Ginger Bitters
 Egg Whites from 1 Large Egg 

You will also need, 2 Whiskey Glasses, Shakercup, Hawthorne Strainer, Pairing Knife, Fine Mesh Strainer, large saucepan, colander, 2 cocktail picks and ice.
 

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. Thinly slice mango until you have 4-6 slices (we used a mandolin)
  2. Lay out 2-3 slices with ends overlapping and begin tightly rolling to create your rose.
  3. Skewer with cocktail pick and set aside.
  4. Repeat to create your second garnish.

JWS-IMG_2706JWS-IMG_2706

Let's Make the Simple Syrup!

  1. Cut up mangoes (skin on) into cubes and add to sauce pan.
  2. Add water & sugar to large sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Let simmer for 1/2 hour.
  4. Let cool then strain into mason jar and set aside.

Note: Don’t throw away those cooked mangoes. You could mash them for a tasty spread, use them as a filling in a puff pastry, or enjoy them plain as a sweet snack.

JWS-IMG_2617JWS-IMG_2617 JWS-IMG_2620JWS-IMG_2620 JWS-IMG_2628JWS-IMG_2628 JWS-IMG_2643JWS-IMG_2643

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker add:
    • Lemon Juice (2 oz)
    • Egg Whites
    • Bitters (2-4 Dashes)
  2. Dry Shake (i.e., w/o Ice) vigorously for 30 seconds.
  3. Add to shaker cup:
    • Ice
    • Shinju Whiskey (3 oz)
    • Mango Simple Syrup (2oz)
  4. Shake vigorously for an additional 30 seconds.
  5. Strain equally into 2 Coupe glasses.
  6. Spoon any additional froth left in your shaker cup on top of drink.
  7. Add your mango rose garnish.
  8. Enjoy!

JWS-IMG_2658JWS-IMG_2658 JWS-IMG_2660JWS-IMG_2660 JWS-IMG_2670JWS-IMG_2670 JWS-IMG_2651JWS-IMG_2651 JWS-IMG_2671JWS-IMG_2671 JWS-IMG_2677JWS-IMG_2677 JWS-IMG_2678JWS-IMG_2678 JWS-IMG_2680JWS-IMG_2680 JWS-IMG_2681JWS-IMG_2681 JWS-IMG_2648JWS-IMG_2648 JWS-IMG_2685JWS-IMG_2685 JWS-IMG_2689JWS-IMG_2689 JWS-IMG_2692JWS-IMG_2692 JWS-IMG_2699JWS-IMG_2699 JWS-IMG_2701JWS-IMG_2701 JWS-IMG_2703JWS-IMG_2703 JWS-IMG_2709JWS-IMG_2709


JWS-IMG_2723JWS-IMG_2723 JWS-IMG_9346JWS-IMG_9346 JWS-IMG_2736JWS-IMG_2736 JWS-IMG_2720JWS-IMG_2720 JWS-IMG_2725-IGJWS-IMG_2725-IG

 

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” 
—Muhammad Ali


 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands drink" food photography fruit japanese whiskey mango mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe whiskey https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/japanese-whiskey-sour Mon, 22 Feb 2021 19:41:13 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Indoggo Dragon Fruit Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/indoggo-dragon Hey There,

Continuing with our theme for sharing black owned/founded brands for Black History month, today we are sharing a cocktail using Indoggo, a strawberry infused gin created by the "Gin & Juice King", Calvin Broadus better known as Snoop Dogg. This "laidback California style" gin is refreshingly smooth and we paired it with a dragon fruit (pitaya) simple syrup. If you're looking for a low calorie, sugar free, gluten free gin, we highly recommend.

Find Indoggo, near you! https://indoggogin.com/buy/

All month we will be sharing our cocktail recipes made with black owned brands paired with unexpected or strange fruit. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's drop it like it's hot!

DF-IMG_2080DF-IMG_2080

Here's what you need:

For Simple Syrup
1 Whole dragon fruit
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

For Garnish
2 Dragon fruit slices skin on)
 

For Drink
6 oz. Indoggo Gin
3 oz. Dragon Fruit Simple Syrup
3 oz. Fresh squeezed lime juice

 

You will also need, Large Sauce Pan, Colander, 2 Coup/Martini Glasses, Shaker Cup, Pairing Knife, Fine Mesh Strainer, 2 cocktail picks and ice.

DF-IMG_2053DF-IMG_2053

 

Let's Make the Simple Syrup!

  1. Add water & sugar ( 1 1/2 cup each) to large sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Grate and add1 tsp. ginger to sauce pan.
  3. Cut up dragon fruit into cubes and add to sauce pan.
  4. Let simmer for 1/2 hour.
  5. Let cool then strain into mason jar and set aside.

DF-IMG_1957DF-IMG_1957 DF-IMG_1963DF-IMG_1963 DF-IMG_1968DF-IMG_1968 DF-IMG_1970DF-IMG_1970 DF-IMG_1976DF-IMG_1976 DF-IMG_1981DF-IMG_1981 DF-IMG_1985DF-IMG_1985 DF-IMG_1988DF-IMG_1988 DF-IMG_1989DF-IMG_1989 DF-IMG_1994DF-IMG_1994

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add:
    • Ice
    • Gin (6 oz.)
    • Lime Juice (3 oz.)
    • Simple Syrup (3 oz.)
  2. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Pour evenly between two coup/martini glasses.
  4. Garnish with dragon fruit slice skewered with a cocktail pick.
  5. Lay back, sip slow and enjoy!

 

DF-IMG_2000DF-IMG_2000 DF-IMG_2001DF-IMG_2001 DF-IMG_2003DF-IMG_2003 DF-IMG_2006DF-IMG_2006 DF-IMG_2008DF-IMG_2008 DF-IMG_2014DF-IMG_2014 DF-IMG_2016DF-IMG_2016 DF-IMG_2019DF-IMG_2019 DF-IMG_2025DF-IMG_2025 DF-IMG_2033DF-IMG_2033 DF-IMG_2039DF-IMG_2039

 


 

DF-IMG_2078DF-IMG_2078 DF-IMG_2101DF-IMG_2101 DF-IMG_2115DF-IMG_2115

 

“The best advice I've ever got is to be yourself. Stay true to who you are and what you stand for and you'll go far in life.” 
—Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands dragon fruit drink" food photography fruit gin indoggo mixed mixology mixology monday pitaya recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/indoggo-dragon Mon, 15 Feb 2021 16:43:36 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Mint Blueberry Kiwi-tini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/kiwitini Hey There,

Continuing with our theme for sharing black owned/founded brands for Black History month, today we are sharing a cocktail using 44º North Vodka. 44º North was founded by Ken Wyatt and Ron Zier in 2004, and was "designed to showcase Idaho agriculture and American craft distilling at its finest. The brand aims to create the “purest vodka possible” using 100% Idaho potatoes of Brundage winter wheat blended with Rocky Mountain Spring Water." We used their Mountain Huckleberry flavored vodka to pair with kiwi, mint leaves and blueberry and I have to say this is now my favorite cocktail!

Find 44º North, near you! https://44northvodka.com/#!/find

All month we will be sharing our cocktail recipes made with black owned brands paired with unexpected or strange fruit. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

KT-IMG_9304KT-IMG_9304

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Kiwi slices(skin on)
2-4 Bunches on mint leaves
6 Blueberries (3 to a cocktail pick)

 

For Drink
3 oz. 44º North Vodka (Mountain Huckleberry flavor)
2.5 oz. Midori
1.5 oz. Simple Syrup
1 oz. Fresh squeezed lime juice
8-10 Mint leaves

2-4 oz. Tonic water
 

You will also need, 2 Coup/Martini Glasses, Shakercup, Hawthorne Strainer, Pairing Knife, Fine Mesh Strainer, Muddler, Mixing Glass, 2 cocktail picks and ice.

KT-IMG_1756KT-IMG_1756

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. Set aside 2-4 bunches of mint leaves.
  2. Skewer 3 blue berries onto a cocktail pick and set aside.
  3. Create 2 think slices of kiwi, make a small slit from center of kiwi to the end and set aside with your blueberries and mint leaves.

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your mixing glass add and muddle:
    • 1 Peeled and sliced kiwi
    • Lime Juice (1 oz.)
    • Simple Syrup (1.5 oz.)
    • Mint Leaves (8-10)
  2.  In separate shaker cup add:
    • Ice
    • Midori (2.5 oz.)
    • Vodka (3 oz.)
    • Muddled mixture above
  3. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  4. Using your hawthorne strainer and fine mesh strainer, double strain evenly between two coup/martini glasses.
  5. Top with tonic water.
  6. Garnish with your mint leaves, kiwi slices and blueberries.
  7. Sip slow and enjoy!

 

KT-IMG_1724KT-IMG_1724 KT-IMG_1736KT-IMG_1736 KT-IMG_1739KT-IMG_1739 KT-IMG_1743KT-IMG_1743 KT-IMG_1750KT-IMG_1750 KT-IMG_1756KT-IMG_1756 KT-IMG_1758KT-IMG_1758 KT-IMG_1765KT-IMG_1765 KT-IMG_1768KT-IMG_1768 KT-IMG_1772KT-IMG_1772 KT-IMG_1773KT-IMG_1773 KT-IMG_1775KT-IMG_1775 KT-IMG_1776KT-IMG_1776 KT-IMG_1781KT-IMG_1781 KT-IMG_1784KT-IMG_1784 KT-IMG_1787KT-IMG_1787 KT-IMG_1789KT-IMG_1789 KT-IMG_1803KT-IMG_1803 KT-IMG_1805KT-IMG_1805 KT-IMG_1811KT-IMG_1811


KT-IMG_1820KT-IMG_1820 KT-IMG_9308KT-IMG_9308 KT-IMG_1822KT-IMG_1822 KT-IMG_1825KT-IMG_1825

 

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” 
—Booker T. Washington

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands drink" food photography fruit kiwi lime midori mint leaves mixed mixology mixology monday recipe vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/kiwitini Mon, 08 Feb 2021 19:12:50 GMT
Elote (Mexican Street Corn) Inspired Air Fryer Corn Ribs https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/corn-ribs Hey Hey!

I'm really excited about this recipe. These "ribs" were so easy to make and sooo delicious. If you're looking for an addition to Meatless Mondays, or something light to snack on instead of junk food or maybe you're craving Mexican street corn and want yet another reason to bring out the air fryer, look no further! Let's turn some ordinary corn cobs into a yummy work of art! I hope you enjoy! If you make this, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

CR-IMG_1332CR-IMG_1332

Here's What You Need:

  • 4-5 Corn Cobs
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Garlic & Herb Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Half of one Lime
  • Several Bunches of Cilantro (Freshly Chopped)
  • Grated Cotija Cheese

You'll also need one large mixing bowl, a sharp knife and an air fryer (although you could use a standard oven).

Timing:

  • Prep: 20-30 min
  • Cook: 10-12 min

Let's Make Some Corn Ribs:

  1. Let's get the hardest part of the recipe out of the way! Start by cleaning and removing the husk of the corn cob. Cut the base so that it stands upright and level, then carefully slice from the top down to halve the cob lengthways.  Repeat the process with each half until you have quartered each cob. Take your time, don't rush and be mindful of your fingers. I believe in you.
    • corn1corn1 corn2corn2 corn3corn3
  2. Set your ribs aside in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Next, let's make the marinade. In a small bowl add and mix well:
    • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 1/2 tsp Garlic & Herb Powder
    • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
    • 1/2 tsp Pepper
    • 1/2 tsp Paprika
    • 1/4 tsp Salt
  4. Pour this mixture over your "ribs" and ensure every nook and cranny gets coated.
  5. In small batches add your ribs to your airfryer (don't pile them all in). Cook for 10-12 min at 390º to 400º. Flipping periodically.
  6. You will know they are done when the cob starts to curl and the corn gets a little charred.
  7. Place your ribs back in your mixing bowl when done (clean the one you used earlier while you wait).
  8. Squeeze half of a lime all over your ribs and sprinkle your cotija cheese and chopped cilantro generously.
  9. Plate and take a picture for the 'gram.
  10. Grab a napkin and dig in!
  11. Enjoy!!

 


 

CR-IMG_1314CR-IMG_1314 CR-IMG_1334CR-IMG_1334 CR-IMG_1331CR-IMG_1331 CR-IMG_1290CR-IMG_1290

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) veggies corn corn ribs elote finger food food photography low carb mexican street corn recipe snack vegetarian https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/corn-ribs Thu, 04 Feb 2021 02:53:59 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Spiced Pear Whiskey Cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/spiced-pear-whiskey-cocktail Hey There,

Today, on the first day of February, and the first day of Black History month we are sharing a recipe using small batch whiskey, Uncle Nearest.

Brief History Lesson: "More than one hundred and sixty years ago, in the hills above Lynchburg in Tennessee, there was a farm owned by a young preacher man called Dan Call that still stands today. Reverend Call had a side hustle down the road on his farm: a small whiskey distillery, which made a silky smooth, maple-sweet whiskey that was highly regarded by all that tasted it. The man who distilled the whiskey was a black slave named Nathan "Nearest" Green, known affectionately as Uncle Nearest,  and is hailed as the best whiskey maker, the world never knew."

"He brought with him a special technique of charcoal filtering that he had learned when cleaning water in West Africa. This method of filtering whiskey through sugar maple tree charcoal became known as the famous ‘Lincoln method’ and it’s still used today.

At some time in the 1850s, a young white boy came to Reverend Call asking for work. The Reverend took him on and gave him chores but the boy became increasingly fascinated by what was going on down the road at the distillery. Eventually, after begging his master, the boy, named Jasper, was introduced to Nathan ‘Uncle Nearest’ Green, who was told to teach him what he knew. A natural entrepreneur, Jasper so believed in this whiskey that he started selling it as far and wide as he could. 

December 6th 1865 came around and the thirteenth amendment was finally passed. Uncle Nearest was a free man. Not long after, Jasper bought the distillery and named it after himself, though he didn’t use his given name; he preferred what the locals called him: not Jasper Daniel, but Jack Daniel. He asked Nathan to be his very first master distiller, a position which he happily accepted. The men worked together until Nathan retired.

Nathan’s story was lost for a long time. We can only imagine why. However, a new distillery was built just down the road from Jack Daniel’s, where Nathan’s descendents work today. Quite rightly, it was named after the man who turned out to be the true founding father of Tennessee Whiskey: Nathan Green. Uncle Nearest. Both distilleries still enjoy a warm bond formed by their shared histories." (Read more: https://www.thethreedrinkers.com/magazine-content/uncle-nearest-founding-father-tennessee-whiskey)

Find Uncle Nearest, near you! https://unclenearest.com/store-locator/

All month we will be sharing our cocktail recipes made with black owned brands paired with unexpected or strange fruit. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

UN-IMG_1196UN-IMG_1196

Here's what you need:

For Garnish (Coral Tuile)
High temperature cooking oil 
10g (about 1 heaping tbsp) All purpose flour
5g (about 1 heaping tsp) sugar
70g water
Optional: Edible Gold Dust and Small Brush

For Drink
3.5 oz. Uncle Nearest Whiskey
1.5 oz. Amaro
2.5 oz. Spiced Pear Simple Syrup
2-4 Dashes Orange Bitters
1-2 Small Wedges of Lemon

Ice

For  Spice Pear Simple Syrup
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Vanilla Bean
1 Large Pear
1 Cinnamon Stick
2-3 Sprigs of Thyme
3/4 - 1 Cup Water

 

You will also need, 2 Coup/Martini Glasses, Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer, Pairing Knife, Fine Mesh Strainer, Mixing Glass, Small Sealable Glass Jar (or Container), Small Sauce Pan, small skillet, squeeze bottle and spatula.

 

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. Add your cooking oil to the small skillet. You should have enough to complete cover the bottom plus a little extra. Heat over Low/Medium Heat
  2. Combine Water, Flour and Sugar. Whisk until fully combined. Consistency should be very loose.
  3. Pour mixture into your squeeze bottle or whatever you will pour from. (A Squeeze Bottle was easiest to use)
  4. Once the pan is hot, and just before the oil begins to really sizzle, pour (or squeeze) a thin layer of your cookie mix into the pan. Caution: THE OIL WILL SPLATTER. I recommend using a mesh splatter shield or pot lid to avoid getting hit with hot oil. You can either coat the entire bottom of the pan or pour in small batches.
  5. Now we wait. You will see the cookie bubble for quite some time. You want to allow it to cook until the bubbles subside some. Making sure the cookie doesn't begin to burn.
  6. Once it looks done, remove from heat and allow to sit for a minute or two.
  7. Gently using a spatula work up the edges of the tuile. Be very careful when removing as the cookie cools it becomes even more delicate.
  8. Allow your tuile to drain and cool for several hours before dusting with edible gold dust using as garnish. 
  9. This process can be tricky and you may need to adjust the ratios or ingredients to get the cookie right.

UN-IMG_1200UN-IMG_1200
Let's Make the Pear Spiced Simple Syrup!

  1. Slice pair into 1 inch cubes and place in sauce pan.
  2. Add sugar, water, vanilla bean, thyme, & cinnamon to the sauce pan
  3. Reduce over low to medium low heat for about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let’s settle for five minutes.
  5. Double strain in your glass jar using your mixing glass and fine mesh strainer. 

Note: Don’t throw away those cooked pears... snack on those later. :)

UN-IMG_1090UN-IMG_1090 UN-IMG_1102UN-IMG_1102 UN-IMG_1103UN-IMG_1103 UN-IMG_1106UN-IMG_1106 UN-IMG_1108UN-IMG_1108 UN-IMG_1115UN-IMG_1115 UN-IMG_1116UN-IMG_1116 UN-IMG_1109UN-IMG_1109

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker add:
    • Ice,
    • Bitters (2-4 dashes)
    • Amaro (1.5 oz)
    • Spiced Pear Simple Syrup (2.5 oz)
    • Uncle Nearest Whiskey (3.5oz)
  2. Shake vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds & pour equally into 2 glasses
  3. Gently squeeze lemon wedge over at the drink and caress the rim of the glass.
  4. Place your garnish coral tuile along with a sprig of thyme carefully and enjoy!

UN-IMG_1127UN-IMG_1127 UN-IMG_1132UN-IMG_1132 UN-IMG_1140UN-IMG_1140 UN-IMG_1143UN-IMG_1143 UN-IMG_1151UN-IMG_1151 UN-IMG_1156UN-IMG_1156 UN-IMG_1162UN-IMG_1162 UN-IMG_1175UN-IMG_1175 UN-IMG_1194UN-IMG_1194 UN-IMG_1198UN-IMG_1198


un-IMG_1220un-IMG_1220 UN-IMG_1255UN-IMG_1255

 

"Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations."
—Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands drink" food photography fruit jack daniels lime mixed mixology mixology monday pear recipe Tennessee whiskey uncle nearest vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/spiced-pear-whiskey-cocktail Tue, 02 Feb 2021 01:09:31 GMT
Easy Peasy No Knead Dutch Oven Bread https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/no-knead-dutch-oven-bread Hey hey!

Recently I was sent a link to A Pinch of Yum's No Knead Bread recipe and knew I wanted to try it out and of course take pix! The hardest part of this 3 step, 4 ingredient recipe was waiting the 12-18 hours for the instant yeast to work. Not only was this super easy to make, the bread was actually really really good --the whole loaf only lasted a few hours in this house. That just means I have to make more!! I've shared those pix along with a copy of the recipe below. Enjoy!

NKB-IMG_9825NKB-IMG_9825

Here's What You Need:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1  1/2 cups room temp. water

You'll also need one large mixing bowl, whisk, wooden spoon, oven safe cast iron dutch oven as well as plastic wrap & parchment paper.

 

Timing:

  • Prep: 12-18 hours
  • Cook: 40 min

NKB-IMG_9814NKB-IMG_9814

Let's Make Some Bread:

  1. DOUGH PREP: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and yeast together until mixed. Stir in the water until a chunky, thick dough forms. If it needs a little more water, add a few more tablespoons, just enough to get it barely wet throughout. It should be kinda dry and scrappy looking. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 12-18 hours at room temperature. 
  2. PREP FOR BAKING: When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450. Stick a 5-6 quart enamel coated cast iron Dutch Oven (or similar) in the oven for about 30 minutes to heat. At this point, the dough should be big and puffy and pretty loose, with little bubbles in it. Gently scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Gently shape it into a ball with flour on the outside, set on a piece of parchment, and cover with plastic while your pan heats up. 
  3. BAKE: Remove the plastic from the dough. Lift the dough and parchment together into the pan so the parchment lines the bottom of the hot pan (be careful not to touch the pan since it’s very hot). Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake another 10-15 minutes to get the exterior nice and golden brown and crispy. Voila! Done.

This bread would be perfectly paired with any jam, I actually used apple butter. *chef's kiss* Or, better yet, you could dunk this into a piping hot bowl of butternut squash soup, recipe here! Enjoy!

For more details and variations of this recipe visit: A Pinch of Yum


NKB-IMG_9900NKB-IMG_9900 NKB-IMG_9846NKB-IMG_9846 NKB-IMG_9874NKB-IMG_9874 NKB-IMG_9863NKB-IMG_9863 NKB-IMG_9882NKB-IMG_9882 NKB-IMG_9869NKB-IMG_9869

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) baking bread bread making bread recipe easy bread homemade bread no knead bread recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/no-knead-dutch-oven-bread Tue, 26 Jan 2021 15:45:27 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Teremana Apple Tequini (TAT) https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/teremana-apple-tequini Hey There,

Today, we are sharing a recipe using Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's handmade, small batch tequila, Teremana crafted in Jalisco, Mexico. Teremana comes in two varieties, Blanco and Reposado. We opted to use the latter, Resposado for its oak and vanilla notes. We combined, apple and cinnamon in this unique martini like drink which we are calling the TAT or Teremana Apple Tequini. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get tatted!!

TT-IMG_0069TT-IMG_0069

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
4-6 Thin Apple Slices
2 Cinnamon Sticks

 

For Drink
3 oz. Teremana Tequila (Reposado)
4 oz. Apple Cider
1.5 oz. Dry Vermouth
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

2-4 Dashes Herbal Bitters

1/2 Lemon
Ice

You will also need, 2 Martini Glasses (for Neat) OR 2 Rocks Tumblers (for on the “Rock”), Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer, Pairing Knife, Fine Mesh Strainer.

TT-IMG_9977TT-IMG_9977

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. Quarter and slice apple to thin strips.
  2. Cut lemon in half and squeeze over apple strips and set aside with cinnamon sticks

TT-IMG_9932TT-IMG_9932 TT-IMG_9950TT-IMG_9950
Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In shaker cup add:
    • Ice
    • 2-4 Dashes of bitters
    • Vanilla Extract (1/4 tsp)
    • Vermouth (1.5 oz)
    • Apple Cider (4 oz)
    • Tequila (3 oz)
  2. Shake 15-30 sec.
  3. Using Hawthorne Strainer, strain equally into 2 glasses (Note: We are using custom Martini Tumblers for an “on-the-rocks” option)
  4. Garnish w/ Apple Slices & Cinnamon Stick (Note: You may substitute a cinnamon stick with a dash or two of ground cinnamon.)
  5. Enjoy!

TT-IMG_9952TT-IMG_9952 TT-IMG_9958TT-IMG_9958 TT-IMG_9960TT-IMG_9960 TT-IMG_9964TT-IMG_9964 TT-IMG_9967TT-IMG_9967 TT-IMG_9969TT-IMG_9969 TT-IMG_9973TT-IMG_9973 TT-IMG_9983TT-IMG_9983 TT-IMG_9987TT-IMG_9987 TT-IMG_9992TT-IMG_9992 TT-IMG_9998TT-IMG_9998 TT-IMG_0005TT-IMG_0005


TT-IMG_0053TT-IMG_0053 TT-IMG_0034TT-IMG_0034 TT-IMG_0069TT-IMG_0069 TT-IMG_0073TT-IMG_0073 TT-IMG_0083TT-IMG_0083 TT-IMG_0070TT-IMG_0070 TT-IMG_0036TT-IMG_0036 TT-IMG_0027TT-IMG_0027

 

"Success isn’t overnight. It’s when everyday you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up."  

-Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson


 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) teremana adult beverage black owned brands drink" food photography fruit lime mixed mixology mixology monday recipe reposado tequila tequila cocktail tequini vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/teremana-apple-tequini Mon, 25 Jan 2021 20:31:05 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Berry Moscow Mule https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/berry-moscow-mule Hey Hey,

This week's recipe is our variation on the classic and delightfully refreshing Moscow Mule. I love everything about this cocktail from the fresh and frozen berries to the bite of the ginger beer. So let's break out the copper mugs, which are a must. Copper is a superior thermal conductor, so copper mugs respond to the temperature of what is inside, keeping it chilled or warm depending on the beverage. When containing a Moscow mule, copper mugs become super chill, like you soon will be after your first or second sip. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

 

BM-IMG_8998BM-IMG_8998

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
6 Berries (your choice of raspberry and/or blackberry)
2 Bunches of Sage

2 Cocktail Picks

For Drink

4 oz. Vodka
4 oz. Ginger Beer
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
Fresh Ginger Root
6-8 Sage Leaves
5-6 Blackberries
5-6 Raspberries
Ice

 

You will also need, 2 Copper Mule Mugs, Muddler, Shaker, Zester (or Fine Grater), Peeler, Fine Mesh Strainer, Hand Juicer

BM-IMG_2119BM-IMG_2119

Let's Make the Garnish!

This particular garnish needs to prepped hours in advance.

  1. Skewer three berries on each cocktail pick. 
  2. Set aside in freezer (I suggest placing in a small sealed container before placing in freezer).
  3. The sage garnish does need to be frozen but should be set aside in the refrigerator.

BM-IMG_1998BM-IMG_1998


Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Peel & zest about 1/2 tsp. Ginger into Shaker cup. 
  2. Add 6-8 Sage leaves to Shaker 
  3. Add Remaining Berries to Shaker
  4. Muddle for 10 seconds or so
  5. Add Ice
  6. Juice lime into Shaker (~2 oz. Juice)
  7. Add Vodka & Shake
  8. Strain w/ Fine Mesh Strainer into ice filled Mule mugs
  9. Top with Ginger Beer.
  10. Grab your berry skewers from the freezer and add to mug along with sage leaves for garnish
  11. Enjoy!

BM-IMG_2011BM-IMG_2011 BM-IMG_2032BM-IMG_2032 BM-IMG_2039BM-IMG_2039 BM-IMG_2043BM-IMG_2043 BM-IMG_2050BM-IMG_2050 BM-IMG_2055BM-IMG_2055 BM-IMG_2064BM-IMG_2064 BM-IMG_2068BM-IMG_2068 BM-IMG_2081BM-IMG_2081 BM-IMG_2105BM-IMG_2105 BM-IMG_2107BM-IMG_2107 BM-IMG_2111BM-IMG_2111 BM-IMG_2124BM-IMG_2124 BM-IMG_2132BM-IMG_2132 BM-IMG_2139BM-IMG_2139 BM-IMG_2153BM-IMG_2153


BM-IMG_9022BM-IMG_9022 BM-IMG_8996BM-IMG_8996 BM-IMG_2159BM-IMG_2159

 

"Once we hit forty, women only have about four taste buds left: one for vodka, one for wine, one for cheese, and one for chocolate."  

-Gina Barreca


 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage food photography fruit ginger beer mixed drink mixology mixology monday moscow mule recipe vodka vodka cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/berry-moscow-mule Mon, 18 Jan 2021 17:00:00 GMT
Roasted Sage & Garlic Butternut Squash Crock-Pot Soup https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/roasted-butternut-squash-soup Hey There!

So, on the "About" page here on my site (yes I know you probably did not read it...it's ok) I glossed over the fact that I am a pro level bodybuilder. I have a separate website dedicated to health and fitness and I love sharing tips and recipes there and on Instagram. I originally shared this recipe on my site about 2 years ago. This is one of my favorite crock-pot recipes... so I decided to revisit this and re-shoot the images.  I hope you enjoy! 

 

BSS-IMG_7662BSS-IMG_7662

 

Here's What You Need:

  • Butternut Squash (2 medium size)
  • Onion (1 medium size)
  • Seasoning: Garlic (1 bulb minced/diced), Sage (15-20 leaves), Salt (1-2 teaspoons), Pepper (1 teaspoon)
  • Low Sodium Vegetable Broth (4 cups/ 1 carton)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Garnish of choice, crème fraîche, nuts/seeds, croutons, herbs etc...

You'll also need a crock-pot and a handheld immersion blender, or standard blender 

BSS-IMG_7588BSS-IMG_7588

TIMING:

Prep: 30-40 minutes
Cook: 6 hours

Total Time: approx 6.5 -7 hours

BSS-IMG_7617BSS-IMG_7617

LET’S COOK!

Ok, Ok I know you may be thinking, this is a crock-pot recipe let’s just dump everything in– set it and forget it. We will get to that part but just bear with me for a few minutes. There are two steps we will do first that will help bring that extra depth of flavor that feels like comfort in a bowl. 

BSS-IMG_7628BSS-IMG_7628 BSS-IMG_7645BSS-IMG_7645 BSS-IMG_7655BSS-IMG_7655 BSS-IMG_7672BSS-IMG_7672

  1. Peel, De-gut and Dice Butternut Squash.  
    • Pro Tip for Peeling Squash: Use a fork to poke holes in the squash all over; microwave for about 3-4 minutes.
  2.  Set oven to broil. 
  3. Take about 1/4  to 1/3 of your diced butternut squash and place on baking sheet, spray light coat of olive oil and season with ground pepper.
  4. Broil Squash until brown with some black char marks (trust me) approx 15 min.
  5. Dice onion and garlic.
  6. Sauté onion in olive oil for a few minutes until soft, then add garlic.
  7. Let Onion and Garlic simmer until toasty brown, then remove from heat.
  8. Dice Sage leaves.
  9. The squash in the oven should be done now; remove from oven. 
  10. Now we’re ready for the crock-pot! Add the uncooked squash to the crock-pot first, then broiled squash, onions and garlic, sage, salt and vegetable broth.
  11. Set crock-pot on low and let it do it’s thing for approx 6 hours.
  12. When the squash is ready, it will be incredible soft and will fall apart easily.
  13. Use an immersion blender to blend everything. (Or transfer to a blender carefully-- this will be super hot).  Blend as little or as much as you like. (I like mine a little chunky)
  14. Make a bowl, garnish... (I used crème fraîche and roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds).
  15. Take a picture for Instagram (tag me---> @staynfocusimages).
  16. Enjoy!

BSS-IMG_7690BSS-IMG_7690
 

BSS-IMG_7762BSS-IMG_7762 BSS-IMG_7784BSS-IMG_7784

BSS-IMG_1989BSS-IMG_1989 BSS-IMG_1988BSS-IMG_1988

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) butternut squash butternut squash soup cooking cooking with nikki crockpot crock-pot crockpot creations food photography garlic one pot creation onion recipe sage savory soup vegan vegetarian winter soup https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/roasted-butternut-squash-soup Sat, 16 Jan 2021 21:28:04 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Momento Mori https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/momento-mori Hey Hey,

This week’s original cocktail is our take on a fictional martini-like beverage featured in “Death Parade”, a popular anime series released in 2015. That series explored the afterlife and judgement of ones worthiness for reincarnation. The “Momento Mori” is a cocktail with an explicit reminder to be mindful of our pending death and an implicit mandate to be appreciative of life. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

MM-IMG_1744MM-IMG_1744

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Bourbon Cherries
1 Orange (to peel)

 

For Drink
3 oz. Gin (Bombay Sapphire)
2 oz. Blue Curaçao
1.5 oz. Dry Vermouth 
2 Dashes Herbal Bitters
Ice

You will also need, 2 martini glasses, a citrus peeler and a shaker cup.


Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Place one bourbon cherry in each martini glasses. Set aside.
  2. In shaker cup add:
    • Ice
    • Gin (3 oz.)
    • Vermouth (1.5 oz.)
    • Blue Curaçao (2 oz.)
    • Herbal Bitters (2 Dashes)
  3. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  4. Pour equally between both martini glasses.
  5. Grab your orange and a peeler. Peel a 3-4 inch strip and express (twist) over each glass.
  6. Take time to enjoy while playing a friendly game and contemplating the meaning of life.

MM-IMG_1602MM-IMG_1602 MM-IMG_1607MM-IMG_1607 MM-IMG_1608MM-IMG_1608 MM-IMG_1612MM-IMG_1612 MM-IMG_1616MM-IMG_1616 MM-IMG_1620MM-IMG_1620 MM-IMG_1622MM-IMG_1622 MM-IMG_1627MM-IMG_1627 MM-IMG_1632MM-IMG_1632 MM-IMG_1636MM-IMG_1636 MM-IMG_1648MM-IMG_1648 MM-IMG_1663MM-IMG_1663 MM-IMG_1676MM-IMG_1676


MM-IMG_1710MM-IMG_1710 MM-IMG_1729MM-IMG_1729 MM-IMG_1750MM-IMG_1750 MM-IMG_1759MM-IMG_1759

 

 

"I don't regret the things I've done... I regret the things I didn't do when I had the chance."

-unknown

 


 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage blue curacao food photography gin gin cocktail mixed drink mixology mixology monday momento mori recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/momento-mori Mon, 11 Jan 2021 17:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Elevated Fuzzy Navel https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/elevated-fuzzy-navel Hey There,

Traditionally, a fuzzy navel cocktail is a mixed drink made from peach schnapps and orange juice. This classic was created by Ray Foley, who stumbled across this combination in the 80s.  If you add 1 oz Vodka, it is then called a hairy navel, and the more vodka you add the hairier it gets!! We didn't like that name so much, so we named our version which includes an additional twist, the elevated fuzzy navel. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

FN-IMG_0408FN-IMG_0408

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Orange Slices
2 Small Bunches of Mint Leaves

 

For Drink
5-7 Oranges (blood oranges can be used)
2 Tsp. Peach Preserves
1 oz. Handcrafted Vodka 
3 oz. Peach Schnapps
10 Mint Leaves
Ice

 

You will also need, 2 rocks tumblers, a citrus juicer, muddler, mixing glass, hawthorne strainer and bar spoon.

 

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. Cut 2 medium sized, round orange slices.
  2. Cut an additional slice in the middle of each round slice but only about halfway down.
  3. Make one last cut perpendicular to the slice you just made.
  4. Grab each piece from the cut you just made and twist in opposite directions.
  5. Set aside along with 2 small bunches of mint leaves.

FN-IMG_0384FN-IMG_0384 FN-IMG_0386FN-IMG_0386
Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Juice all oranges you have set aside. You'll need about 8 oz.
  2. In mixing glass add:
    • Peach Preserves (2 tsp.)
    • Mint Leave (10 leaves or so)
    • Vodka (1 oz.)
  3. Muddle mixture for 10 seconds or so.
  4. Add ice
  5. Add peach schnapps
  6. Stir with bar spoon
  7. Add Ice to your rocks tumblers and pour mixture evenly between both glasses.
  8. Top with orange juice.
  9. Add the garnishes you set aside earlier.
  10. Enjoy!

FN-IMG_0377FN-IMG_0377 FN-IMG_0350FN-IMG_0350 FN-IMG_0355FN-IMG_0355 FN-IMG_0356FN-IMG_0356 FN-IMG_0358FN-IMG_0358 FN-IMG_0360FN-IMG_0360 FN-IMG_0367FN-IMG_0367 FN-IMG_0369FN-IMG_0369 FN-IMG_0375FN-IMG_0375 FN-IMG_0382FN-IMG_0382 FN-IMG_0394FN-IMG_0394 FN-IMG_0398FN-IMG_0398 FN-IMG_0404FN-IMG_0404 FN-IMG_0407FN-IMG_0407


FN-IMG_8868FN-IMG_8868 FN-IMG_8865FN-IMG_8865 FN-IMG_8871FN-IMG_8871 FN-IMG_0418FN-IMG_0418

 

 

Orange juice is like duct tape; it fixes everything."

-unknown
 


 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage food photography fuzzy navel hair fuzzy navel mixed drink mixology mixology monday orange peach peach schnapps recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/elevated-fuzzy-navel Mon, 04 Jan 2021 17:30:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Strawberry Pomegranate Bellini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/12/Strawberry-Pomegranate-Bellini Hey There,

Lets do our best to not dwell on the tragedies of 2020 and instead, lets be optimistic and look at 2021 with Rosé colored glasses. Today we share a champagne cocktail perfect for toasting the new year. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 4 drinks! Let's get started!

CB-IMG_9838CB-IMG_9838

Here's what you need:

For Drink
6 Strawberries
1 Tbsp. Pomegranate Arils
6 oz. Grand Marnier
4 Tsps. Local Honey
1 Bottle Rose Champagne

 

You will also need, an immersion blender and champagne flutes.

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Half 2 Strawberries & place slit in each piece & set aside for garnish
  2. Cut remaining Strawberries into small pieces & set aside.
  3. Place Strawberries, Honey, Pomegranate Arils, & Grand Marnier into blender safe cup & blend with immersion blender until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture evenly into champagne flutes
  5. Top with Rose Champagne (Note: You’ll have to pour champagne slowly to avoid the glass overfilling with bubbly.)
  6. Garnish with Strawberry halves and toast to the new year!

CB-IMG_9837CB-IMG_9837 CB-IMG_9842CB-IMG_9842 CB-IMG_9854CB-IMG_9854 CB-IMG_9863CB-IMG_9863 CB-IMG_9865CB-IMG_9865 CB-IMG_9872CB-IMG_9872 CB-IMG_9877CB-IMG_9877 CB-IMG_9887CB-IMG_9887 CB-IMG_9889CB-IMG_9889 CB-IMG_9890CB-IMG_9890 CB-IMG_9895CB-IMG_9895


CB-IMG_9904CB-IMG_9904 CB-IMG_9954CB-IMG_9954 CB-IMG_8849CB-IMG_8849 CB-IMG_8852CB-IMG_8852

""Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
 


 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage bellini champagne food photography mixed drink mixology mixology monday pomegranate recipe strawberry https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/12/Strawberry-Pomegranate-Bellini Tue, 29 Dec 2020 00:27:53 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Boozy Hot Chocolate https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/12/boozy-hot-chocolate Hey hey,

If you find yourself on the naughty list this year, you might want to make note of this recipe. I personally guarantee if you leave this out for Santa, he  will have to add you to the "nice" list... or heck, he may forget he had any lists to begin with! Don't forget to make one of these decadent treats for yourself... the Christmas tree and fireplace aren't the only things getting lit this week! We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 2-4 drinks (depending on size of your mugs). Let's get started!

BHC-IMG_9507bBHC-IMG_9507b

Here's what you need:

For Drink
3 Cups Whole Milk
6 oz. Heavy Cream
2 oz. Amaretto
6oz. Bourbon
1 Orange
1 Cinnamon Stick
1tsp. Vanilla Extract
6 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate
2 oz. Orange Dark Chocolate
Whipped Cream

 

You will also need, 2 medium-large sauce pans, large stirring spoon, colander/strainer, citrus zester and  heat safe mugs. 

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Zest orange and break chocolate into small chunks and set aside.
    • Set aside some smaller shavings/chunks for the garnish.
  2. In large sauce pan add milk, cinnamon, orange zest, and vanilla extract.
  3. Heat on the lowest setting for 5 to 10 minutes. [Note: You do not want to cook or scorch the milk, only warm it.]
  4. Stir in your chocolates and continue to heat until melted to an even consistency. 
  5. Stir in your Bourbon (6oz.) and Amaretto (2oz.)
  6.  Heat for an additional 2 to 5 minutes. (Note: the longer you heat your alcohol the more it will burn off. So, you do not want to leave it on heat for very long.)
  7. Strain into second saucepan to remove orange zest and cinnamon.
  8. Pour into your mugs.
  9. Top w/ whipped cream and extra chocolate pieces or shavings.
  10. Find somewhere cozy to sit.
  11. Enjoy!!

BHC-IMG_9488BHC-IMG_9488 BHC-IMG_9491BHC-IMG_9491 BHC-IMG_9495BHC-IMG_9495 BHC-IMG_9502BBHC-IMG_9502B BHC-IMG_9504BHC-IMG_9504 BHC-IMG_9508BHC-IMG_9508 BHC-IMG_9511bBHC-IMG_9511b BHC-IMG_9518BHC-IMG_9518 BHC-IMG_9521BHC-IMG_9521 BHC-IMG_9527BHC-IMG_9527 BHC-IMG_9528BHC-IMG_9528 BHC-IMG_9530BHC-IMG_9530 BHC-IMG_9538BHC-IMG_9538 BHC-IMG_9544BHC-IMG_9544


BHC-IMG_9549BHC-IMG_9549 BHC-IMG_9565BHC-IMG_9565 BHC-IMG_9560BHC-IMG_9560 BHC-IMG_9559BHC-IMG_9559

 

"Hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside."
-unknown


 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage amaretto bourbon bourbon cocktail food photography hot chocolate hot cocktail mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/12/boozy-hot-chocolate Mon, 21 Dec 2020 22:10:57 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - White Russian https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/12/white-russian Hey there,

The White Russian is our nod to the dude (or his dudeness... if you're not into the whole brevity thing). Historically, there does not appear to be any documented evidence of a White Russian cocktail until sometime into the 1960s. Then in the 1998 Coen Brothers classic, “The Big Lebowski,” the drink was catapulted to cult-classic status. Our twist on this anytime cocktail adds an unexpected pleasant vanilla finish. For the casual mixologist with 5 minutes to "spare", this drink is as easy as taking candy from a baby. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

 

WR-IMG_0053WR-IMG_0053

Here's what you need:

For Drink
3 1/3 oz. Vanilla Infused Vodka (We used Smirnoff)
1 1/2 oz. Kahlua
4 oz. Heavy Cream
Ice

For Garnish
2 White Chocolate Chunks
2 Cocktail Picks

You will also need, mixing glass, bar spoon, hawthorne strainer, and 2 rocks tumblers. 

 

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. Melt chocolate chunk onto cocktail pick. We did this by briefly heating the cocktail pick and them quickly pressing it into the choclate. 
  2. Allow to set in fridge/freezer while you make the drink.

WR-IMG_0015WR-IMG_0015 WR-IMG_0018WR-IMG_0018

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In a mixing glass, add ice, Kahlua and Vodka. Stir for 15-20 seconds.
  2. Fill your rocks tumblers with ice.
  3. Pour the Kalua & Vodka mixture evenly between both tumblers.
  4. Top with heavy cream.
  5. Add garnish.
  6. Enjoy!!

WR-IMG_0021WR-IMG_0021 WR-IMG_0023WR-IMG_0023 WR-IMG_0024WR-IMG_0024 WR-IMG_0028WR-IMG_0028 WR-IMG_0030WR-IMG_0030 WR-IMG_0034WR-IMG_0034 WR-IMG_0041WR-IMG_0041 WR-IMG_0046WR-IMG_0046 WR-IMG_0058WR-IMG_0058 WR-IMG_0064WR-IMG_0064


WR-IMG_0071WR-IMG_0071 WR-IMG_8665WR-IMG_8665 WR-IMG_0066WR-IMG_0066 WR-IMG_8676WR-IMG_8676

 

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can prepare a cocktail. And that’s kind of the same thing.”


 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage food photography fresh cocktail kahlua mixed drink mixology mixology monday vodka vodka cocktail white russian https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/12/white-russian Mon, 14 Dec 2020 19:09:01 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Ginger Beer Zipper https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/12/ginger-beer-zipper Hey hey!

We wanted to share a light and sweet cocktail, perfect for a weekend afternoon or to impress your quarantine approved house guest. Our version of the zipper cocktail swaps lemon-lime soda for ginger beer and we add an extra step of muddling blackberries and mint leaves for more depth of flavor. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

CZ-IMG_8187_1CZ-IMG_8187_1

 

Here's what you need:

For Drink
2 oz. Chambord (Raspberry Liqueur)
2 oz. Vodka
1.5 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1.5 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
8 oz. Ginger Beer
6-8 Mint Leaves
6-8 Blackberries
Ice

For Garnish
2 Slices Lime
2 Large Mint Leaves

You will also need, cocktail shaker, hawthorne strainer, fine mesh strainer, muddler and 2 rocks tumblers. 

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In a shaker cup, add blackberries and mint leaves and muddle for approx. 10 seconds.
  2. Next, add:
    • Chambord (2 oz.)
    • Vodka (2 oz.)
    • Lemon & Lime juice (1.5 oz, each)
    • Simple Syrup (1/2 oz.)
    • Ice (8-10 cubes)
  3. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  4. Double strain using hawthorne strainer and fine mesh strainer into two rocks tumblers
  5. Add ice (4-6 cubes each glass)
  6. Top with ginger beer (approx. 3-4 oz. per glass)
  7. Garnish with mint leaf and lime slice
  8. Enjoy!!

CZ-IMG_8036CZ-IMG_8036 CZ-IMG_8041CZ-IMG_8041 CZ-IMG_8053CZ-IMG_8053 CZ-IMG_8062CZ-IMG_8062 CZ-IMG_8064CZ-IMG_8064 CZ-IMG_8066CZ-IMG_8066 CZ-IMG_8070CZ-IMG_8070 CZ-IMG_8075CZ-IMG_8075 CZ-IMG_8093CZ-IMG_8093 CZ-IMG_8097CZ-IMG_8097 CZ-IMG_8100CZ-IMG_8100 CZ-IMG_8103CZ-IMG_8103 CZ-IMG_8114CZ-IMG_8114 CZ-IMG_8122CZ-IMG_8122 CZ-IMG_8130CZ-IMG_8130 CZ-IMG_8145CZ-IMG_8145 CZ-IMG_8156CZ-IMG_8156 CZ-IMG_8157CZ-IMG_8157 CZ-IMG_8160CZ-IMG_8160 CZ-IMG_8164CZ-IMG_8164 CZ-IMG_8182CZ-IMG_8182 CZ-IMG_8185_1CZ-IMG_8185_1 CZ-IMG_8190_1CZ-IMG_8190_1


CZ-IMG_8229_1CZ-IMG_8229_1 CZ-IMG_8234_1CZ-IMG_8234_1 CZ-IMG_8208_1CZ-IMG_8208_1 CZ-IMG_8197_1CZ-IMG_8197_1

"Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit."

-Anton Chekhov
 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage autumn chambord drink food photography fresh cocktail ginger beer mixed drink mixology mixology monday raspberry raspberry liqueur recipe vodka cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/12/ginger-beer-zipper Mon, 07 Dec 2020 19:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Mulled Wine https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/mulled-wine Hey There,

Are you ready for a warm cocktail?! Today we're sharing a recipe for mulled wine, also known as spiced wine. Mulled wine is popular in Europe around Christmas time, and I have a feeling it will be popular in the Leverett household as well! There are many variations of this cozy beverage, so feel free to experiment with different spices and flavors. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 2-4 drinks. Let's get started!

MW-D33A7195MW-D33A7195

 

Here's what you need:

For Drink
1 Bottle Red Wine (We used Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 Blood Oranges
4 Whole Star Anise
8-10 Whole Cloves
3 Cinnamon Sticks
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

You will also need, 2-4 mugs, large sauce pan, cooking spoon, mixing glass and small strainer.

MW-D33A7153MW-D33A7153

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Peel 1/2 of one blood orange and set peel aside.
  2. Juice both blood oranges. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add:
    • Wine (We used Agitator which is Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon)
    • Star Anise
    • Cloves
    • Cinnamon
    • Brown Sugar
    • Stir in Blood Orange Juice and peel last.
  4. Once the mixture begins steaming, reduce heat to low.
  5. Let simmer for approximately 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and strain into your heat safe mugs/glasses.
  7. For extra spice, feel free to garnish with spices, or orange slices.
  8. Enjoy!

MW-D33A7124MW-D33A7124 MW-D33A7126MW-D33A7126 MW-D33A7129MW-D33A7129 MW-D33A7133MW-D33A7133 MW-D33A7141MW-D33A7141 MW-D33A7151MW-D33A7151 MW-D33A7157MW-D33A7157 MW-D33A7159MW-D33A7159 MW-D33A7162MW-D33A7162 MW-D33A7168MW-D33A7168 MW-D33A7174MW-D33A7174 MW-D33A7166MW-D33A7166 MW-D33A7181MW-D33A7181 MW-D33A7187MW-D33A7187 MW-D33A7197MW-D33A7197 MW-D33A7202MW-D33A7202 MW-D33A7240MW-D33A7240
 


MW-D33A7252MW-D33A7252 MW-IMG_7830MW-IMG_7830 MW-D33A7259MW-D33A7259 MW-D33A7255MW-D33A7255

"Happiness is a hot drink, on a cold day." 

-unknown

 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage autumn drink food photography hot hot cocktail hot wine mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe spice wine https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/mulled-wine Mon, 30 Nov 2020 19:54:57 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Cranberry Whiskey Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/cranberry-whiskey-sour Hey There,

You might be running around like a turkey with your head cut off, trying to get everything together for this Thursday. You may be upset that many of our plans have been canceled this year, and while 2020 just has not been the best, we want to remind you to pause and think of all the things you are grateful for. It's easy to focus on everything that has gone wrong or what we may have lost, but gratitude helps shift our focus and turns what we have into enough.

As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 4 drinks. Let's get started!

CWS-D33A2858CWS-D33A2858

 

Here's what you need:

For Cranberry Simple Syrup
2 Cups water
2 Cups sugar
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 Sprigs of Rosemary
16 oz Fresh Cranberries

 

For Drink
6 oz Whiskey
4 oz  Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
6 oz Cranberry Simple Syrup
Ice

You will also need, 4 coup glasses, large sauce pan, colander, heat resistant bowl, cooking spoon, cocktail shaker, mixing glass and small strainer.

CWS-D33A2791CWS-D33A2791

Let's Make the Cranberry Simple Syrup!

  1. In large saucepan over medium heat add
    • Water
    • Sugar
    • Cinnamon
    • Rosemary
  2. Bring to boil, then add Cranberries.
  3. Let cook for 10 min.
  4. Remove from heat and strain into large bowl. (We will be using the liquid but you can save the strained cranberries for making cranberry sauce)
  5. Let liquid cool for 10 min.
  6. Using small fine mesh strainer, strain the liquid one more time before using.

 

CWS-D33A2710CWS-D33A2710 CWS-D33A2712CWS-D33A2712 CWS-D33A2713CWS-D33A2713 CWS-D33A2717CWS-D33A2717 CWS-D33A2732CWS-D33A2732 CWS-D33A2736CWS-D33A2736 CWS-D33A2766CWS-D33A2766
CWS-D33A2782CWS-D33A2782 CWS-D33A2797CWS-D33A2797 CWS-D33A2801CWS-D33A2801

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In shaker cup add
    • Whiskey
    • Lemon Juice
    • Orange Juice
    • Lime Juice
    • Cranberry Simple Syrup
    • Handful of Ice
  2. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds
  3. Pour equally into 4 coup glasses.
  4. Toast for what you are thankful for.
  5. Enjoy!


CWS-D33A2821CWS-D33A2821 CWS-D33A2824CWS-D33A2824 CWS-D33A2827CWS-D33A2827 CWS-D33A2828CWS-D33A2828 CWS-D33A2831CWS-D33A2831 CWS-D33A2835CWS-D33A2835 CWS-D33A2846CWS-D33A2846 CWS-D33A2849CWS-D33A2849


CWS-IMG_7595CWS-IMG_7595 CWS-D33A2862CWS-D33A2862 CWS-D33A2881CWS-D33A2881 CWS-IMG_7593CWS-IMG_7593 CWS-IMG_7600CWS-IMG_7600 CWS-D33A2880CWS-D33A2880

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." 

-Robert Brault

 

 

Please practice social distancing and ​​p​​​​lease do your part to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage autumn drink food photography mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe refreshing simple syrup sour whiskey whiskey sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/cranberry-whiskey-sour Mon, 23 Nov 2020 22:32:25 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Hazelnut Espresso Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/hazelnut-espresso-martini Hey Hey!

The espresso martini was created by British bartender Dick Bradsell in the early 80s who allegedly whipped it up on the spot using old grounds of coffee for a model,  rumored to be Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss. The story goes, this model visited his bar and approached him asking for  “something to wake me up, then f*ck me up”. LOL ...so we had to put our spin on it and give it a try. If you are like us and enjoy a nice cup of coffee and a strong drink, this one is for you. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 1 drink. Let's get started!

EM-IMG_7351EM-IMG_7351

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
3-5 Coffee Beans

 

For Drink
2 oz. Vodka (Handcrafted)
1/2 oz. Kahlua
1 oz. Hazelnut Espresso (freshly brewed... we used flavored coffee beans)
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
Ice
1 Martini Glass (Chilled)

You will also need, shaker cup and strainer.

EM-IMG_7431EM-IMG_7431

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Place Martini glass(es) in fridge to chill (or freezer if impatient)
  2. In Shaker cup add:
    • Ice
    • Vodka
    • Simple Syrup
    • Kahlua
    • Espresso
  3. Shake Vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​To get a thick frothy top to your espresso martini, you need to shake the mixture for a few seconds past when you think your arms will fall off. The more you shake, the more froth you get. You may need to spoon the froth on top of your drink as it may be too stiff to pass through the strainer.
  4. Add your coffee bean garnish.
  5. Enjoy!

 

EM-IMG_7344EM-IMG_7344 EM-IMG_7362EM-IMG_7362 EM-IMG_7363EM-IMG_7363 EM-IMG_7369EM-IMG_7369 EM-IMG_7379EM-IMG_7379 EM-IMG_7386EM-IMG_7386 EM-IMG_7396EM-IMG_7396 EM-IMG_7398EM-IMG_7398 EM-IMG_7407EM-IMG_7407


EM-IMG_7433EM-IMG_7433 EM-IMG_7429EM-IMG_7429 EM-IMG_7430EM-IMG_7430 EM-IMG_7422EM-IMG_7422

 

"May your coffee kick in before your reality does."

-unknown

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage autumn beverage brunch cocktail with coffee coffee coffee cocktail drink espresso food photography martini mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe refreshing savory vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/hazelnut-espresso-martini Tue, 17 Nov 2020 00:33:07 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Smokey Apple Butter Bourbon Bliss https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/smokey-apple-butter-bourbon-bliss Hey There!

Inspired by the changing season, leaves falling and.... bourbon, we wanted to create another original cocktail combining some of the flavors we love like apples and maple syrup. We also wanted to play with fire again LOL We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

ABB-IMG_7276ABB-IMG_7276

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Dried Apple Slices
2 tbsp Sugar in the Raw or any granulated sugar

 

For Drink
4 oz. Maple Bourbon
4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 oz. Simple Syrup
2 tbsp Apple Butter
Ice
2 Tumblers

You will also need, A couple wood chips (we used Apple Hickory wood chips), Lighter or Torch, a mixing glass, mixing spoon, sealable mason jar, strainer and air fryer, oven or dehydrator for garnish.

Let's Make the Garnish!

So, you can either purchase dried apple slices to save some time or you can DIY it! Here's what we did with the air fryer.

  1. Slice an apple thinly. We used Envy apples for this.
  2. Place a few slices in the airfryer, try not to overlap slices too much.
  3. Choose the lowest heat setting available and set timer for 40-50 minutes.
  4. Check on the slices periodically to ensure they are drying out evenly.
  5. When dried sufficiently, removed and dip one half quickly in lemon juice or water then dip in your granulated sugar.
  6. Hit the sugar with your lighter or torch to caramelize the sugar.
  7. Set aside.

ABB-IMG_7210ABB-IMG_7210

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In mixing glass, add 4 oz. Maple Bourbon and Apple Butter (you can find this in peanut butter aisle, or make your own)
  2. Stir gently for 10-15 seconds and set aside.
  3. Grab your lighter/torch again and light one of the hickory chips and cover with your mason jar.
  4. As the flame extinguishes and jar fills with smoke, seal the jar closed (without chip inside).
  5. Now as quickly as possibly, remove the lid from the smoked out mason jar and pour in the bourbon mixture from step 1.
  6. Reseal the mason jar.
  7. Grab your mixing glass that is now empty, don't clean it but add 4 oz. lemon juice, 2 oz. lime juice and 2 oz. simple syrup. Stir.
  8. Now, grab your tumblers, fill about half way with ice.
  9. First pour the contents from the mixing glass (lemon juice, lime juice and simple syrup) evenly between the two glasses.
  10. Next pour the smoked apple butter bourbon mixture evenly between the two glasses.
  11. Stir gently to mix.
  12. Add Garnish.
  13. Find a good spot on your couch and ENJOY!

ABB-IMG_7082ABB-IMG_7082 ABB-IMG_7088ABB-IMG_7088 ABB-IMG_7099ABB-IMG_7099 ABB-IMG_7113ABB-IMG_7113 ABB-IMG_7128ABB-IMG_7128 ABB-IMG_7131ABB-IMG_7131 ABB-IMG_7140ABB-IMG_7140 ABB-IMG_7155ABB-IMG_7155 ABB-IMG_7158ABB-IMG_7158 ABB-IMG_7173ABB-IMG_7173 ABB-IMG_7183ABB-IMG_7183 ABB-IMG_7230ABB-IMG_7230 ABB-IMG_7246ABB-IMG_7246 ABB-IMG_7255ABB-IMG_7255 ABB-IMG_7260ABB-IMG_7260


ABB-IMG_7269ABB-IMG_7269 ABB-IMG_7283ABB-IMG_7283 ABB-IMG_7294ABB-IMG_7294 ABB-IMG_7284ABB-IMG_7284 ABB-IMG_7276ABB-IMG_7276 ABB-IMG_7278ABB-IMG_7278 ABB-IMG_7267ABB-IMG_7267

 

 

"The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let dead things go."
-unknown

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage apple applebutter autumn beverage bourbon drink food photography fruit lime mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe refreshing savory smoked smokey smoking cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/smokey-apple-butter-bourbon-bliss Tue, 10 Nov 2020 01:09:32 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Clean Slate https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/clean-slate Hey Hey!

We're Back! For the last almost 4 months we have been in transition, between selling our former home, moving into a temporary apartment and patiently waiting for construction on our new home to be completed. Although we are very much still in the process of settling in and furnishing this place, we wanted to restart this series. This week is dedicated to new beginnings, and we call this refreshing cocktail, Clean Slate. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

CS-IMG_7053CS-IMG_7053

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Sprigs Rosemary
2 Lime Peel Spirals


 

For Drink
2 Sprigs Rosemary (larger than garnish)
8-10  Mint Leaves
4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 oz. Botanical Gin
2 oz. Vodka
4-8 oz. Ginger Beer
Ice
2 Tumblers

You will also need, a mixing glass, mixing spoon, lighter, strainer and muddler.

CS-IMG_6851CS-IMG_6851

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In mixing glass, add mint leaves, large rosemary sprigs, and lime juice.
  2. Muddle for approximately 30 seconds.
  3. Add Gin (2 oz.), Vodka (2 oz.) and ice (10 cubes or so).
  4. Stir gently to chill.
  5. Strain between two glasses and add ice to each glass.
  6. Top with ginger beer.
  7. Garnish:
    • Apply flame to your lime peel spiral for 20-30 seconds.
    • Then twist peel over glass to express and place in glass.
    • Add small sprig of rosemary.
  8. Enjoy!

CS-IMG_6868CS-IMG_6868 CS-IMG_6872CS-IMG_6872 CS-IMG_6890CS-IMG_6890 CS-IMG_6904CS-IMG_6904 CS-IMG_6914CS-IMG_6914 CS-IMG_6925CS-IMG_6925 CS-IMG_6931CS-IMG_6931 CS-IMG_6943CS-IMG_6943 CS-IMG_6969CS-IMG_6969 CS-IMG_6974CS-IMG_6974 CS-IMG_7007CS-IMG_7007 CS-IMG_7024CS-IMG_7024 CS-IMG_7026CS-IMG_7026 CS-IMG_7039CS-IMG_7039 CS-IMG_7043CS-IMG_7043 CS-IMG_7046CS-IMG_7046

PSA: Make your vote count tomorrow. Go Vote!


CS-IMG_7063CS-IMG_7063 CS-IMG_7065CS-IMG_7065 CS-IMG_7076CS-IMG_7076 CS-IMG_7073CS-IMG_7073

 

 

"Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but every day is a clean slate and a fresh opportunity."
-Gretchen Rubin

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage drink election day food photography fruit gin lime mint mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe refreshing vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/11/clean-slate Mon, 02 Nov 2020 23:53:40 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Flight of the Graduate https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/7/flight-of-the-graduate Hey there!

Today's recipe... well recipes are dedicated to the class of 2020. Our favorite mixologist, Frank (the author of all these drinks on this site) just graduated his MBA program with a near perfect 4.0 average! After all of the papers, exams and group projects.... you need a shot, or 4! Congratulations graduates! We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This makes 4 [different] shots. Let's get started!

FG-IMG_0956FG-IMG_0956

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnishes
1 Melon Ball
1 Lime Wedge
1 Peach Wedge
1 Pineapple Wedge

 

For Drink
Melon Ball
1/4 oz. Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz. Midori
1 oz. Vodka
Ice

 

Snake Bite
2 oz. Whiskey
1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 oz. Simple Syrup (optional)
Ice

 

Woo Woo
1 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps
2 oz. Cranberry Juice
Ice

 

Piña Colada
1 1/2 oz. Tequila
1/2 oz. Coconut Cream
1/2 oz. Pineapple Juice
Ice

You'll also need a shaker cup & shot glasses

FG-IMG_0954FG-IMG_0954

 

Let's Make the Drink!

The instructions for all four shots are the same, they just have different ingredients.

  1. In your shaker cup add all of the ingredients listed above for the shot you are making.
  2. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour approximately 2 oz. into your shot glass
  4. Garnish
    • Melon Ball = Melon Ball
    • Snake Bite = Lime Wedge
    • Woo Woo = Peach Wedge
    • Piña Colada = Pineapple Wedge
  5. Throw it back!
     

 

Melon Ball

FG-IMG_0612FG-IMG_0612 FG-IMG_0664FG-IMG_0664 FG-IMG_0671FG-IMG_0671 FG-IMG_0672FG-IMG_0672 FG-IMG_0679FG-IMG_0679 FG-IMG_0681FG-IMG_0681 FG-IMG_0683FG-IMG_0683 FG-IMG_0697FG-IMG_0697

Snake Bite

FG-IMG_0659FG-IMG_0659 FG-IMG_0760FG-IMG_0760 FG-IMG_0763FG-IMG_0763 FG-IMG_0769FG-IMG_0769 FG-IMG_0778FG-IMG_0778 FG-IMG_0784FG-IMG_0784 FG-IMG_0786FG-IMG_0786 FG-IMG_0796FG-IMG_0796

Woo Woo

FG-IMG_0644FG-IMG_0644 FG-IMG_0706FG-IMG_0706 FG-IMG_0708FG-IMG_0708 FG-IMG_0714FG-IMG_0714 FG-IMG_0718FG-IMG_0718 FG-IMG_0723FG-IMG_0723 FG-IMG_0726FG-IMG_0726 FG-IMG_0739FG-IMG_0739

Piña Colado

FG-IMG_0598FG-IMG_0598 FG-IMG_0810FG-IMG_0810 FG-IMG_0812FG-IMG_0812 FG-IMG_0818FG-IMG_0818 FG-IMG_0823FG-IMG_0823 FG-IMG_0826FG-IMG_0826 FG-IMG_0832FG-IMG_0832 FG-IMG_0852FG-IMG_0852


FG-IMG_0913FG-IMG_0913 FG-IMG_0922FG-IMG_0922 FG-IMG_0927FG-IMG_0927 FG-IMG_0921FG-IMG_0921 FG-IMG_0923FG-IMG_0923 FG-IMG_0883FG-IMG_0883 FG-IMG_0873FG-IMG_0873 FG-IMG_0875FG-IMG_0875 FG-IMG_0905FG-IMG_0905 FG-IMG_0894FG-IMG_0894

 

"The key to success, the key to happiness, is opening your mind and your heart to love. Spending your time doing things you love and with people you love."
-John Legend

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage drink food photography fruit lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday quarantine recipe shots vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/7/flight-of-the-graduate Mon, 06 Jul 2020 19:16:04 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Cucumber Basil Mint Slushie https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/cucumber-basil-mint-slushie Hey Hey!

Summer is by far our favorite season and although many of us are still in the midst of a mandatory lockdown, we are still able to enjoy time outside soaking up the sunshine. We wanted to share a recipe for a refreshing drink that is sure to keep you cool on the hot summer days. One sip and I swear your tension will melt away as your mood improves. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This recipe makes 1 pitcher or 4 drinks. Let's get started!

BA-IMG_0235BA-IMG_0235

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Cucumber Slices
2 Bunches of Basil or Mint Leaves

 

For Drink
3-4 cups of Ice 
4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 cup Basil Leaves
1/4 cup Mint Leaves
4 oz. Vodka

4 oz. Coconut Cream
2 oz. Water
3 tbsp. Sugar (We used Sugar in the Raw)
2 Cucumbers (chopped)

You'll also need a blender, smoothie/milkshake straws and any 8 oz glasses.

BA-IMG_0390BA-IMG_0390

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your blender, add everything:
    • Ice
    • Lime Juice
    • Basil  & Mint Leaves
    • Vodka
    • Coconut Cream
    • Water
    • Sugar
    • Chopped Cucumbers
  2. Using high speed smoothing setting (or equivalent) and blend for 30 -60 seconds.
  3. Pour into your 8 oz glasses. (Store any left overs in the freezer)
  4. Garnish with cucumber slice and mint or basil leaves
  5. Add a straw and find a comfy spot in the sun.
  6. Enjoy!

BA-IMG_0256BA-IMG_0256 BA-IMG_0259BA-IMG_0259 BA-IMG_0261BA-IMG_0261 BA-IMG_0264BA-IMG_0264 BA-IMG_0275BA-IMG_0275 BA-IMG_0277BA-IMG_0277 BA-IMG_0283BA-IMG_0283 BA-IMG_0288BA-IMG_0288 BA-IMG_0296BA-IMG_0296 BA-IMG_0297BA-IMG_0297 BA-IMG_0312BA-IMG_0312 BA-IMG_0319BA-IMG_0319 BA-IMG_0322BA-IMG_0322 BA-IMG_0341BA-IMG_0341 BA-IMG_0354BA-IMG_0354 BA-IMG_0365BA-IMG_0365 BA-IMG_0367BA-IMG_0367


BA-IMG_0403BA-IMG_0403 BA-IMG_0368BA-IMG_0368 BA-IMG_0395BA-IMG_0395 BA-IMG_0388BA-IMG_0388 BA-IMG_0409BA-IMG_0409 BA-IMG_0387BA-IMG_0387 BA-IMG_0373BA-IMG_0373

 

 

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage drink food photography fruit lime mint mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday quarantine recipe slush slushie slushy vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/cucumber-basil-mint-slushie Mon, 29 Jun 2020 17:36:19 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Vodka Sunrise https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/vodka-sunrise Hey there!

This weekend was a little busy for us, so we decided to make a cocktail which needed minimal prep time and could be made with ingredients we already had. A Vodka Sunrise is similar to a Tequila Sunrise, except we decided to punch up the flavors by adding Chambord and Grapefruit juice. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

SR-IMG_9939_1SR-IMG_9939_1

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Lime Wedges
2 Grapefruit Wedges
2 Skewers/Cocktail Picks 

 

For Drink
4 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Chambord
1 oz. Grenadine
4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Ice
2 Collins or Highball Glasses 

You will also need a shaker cup.
 

SR-IMG_9927SR-IMG_9927

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. Cut one Lime slice and one grapefruit slice into quarters.
  2. Skewer one lime quarter slice then skewer one grapefruit quarter slice.
  3. Set Aside.

 

SR-IMG_9889SR-IMG_9889

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your Collins or highball Glass, add:
    • Chambord
    • Ice
    • Grenadine
  2. In your shaker cup, add:
    • More Ice
    • Grapefruit Juice
    • Vodka
  3. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds
  4. Pour over ice in your Collins/highball glass.
  5. Top with Orange Juice
  6. Add Garnish
  7. Enjoy!

 

SR-IMG_9772SR-IMG_9772 SR-IMG_9788SR-IMG_9788 SR-IMG_9795SR-IMG_9795 SR-IMG_9806SR-IMG_9806 SR-IMG_9809SR-IMG_9809 SR-IMG_9826SR-IMG_9826 SR-IMG_9836SR-IMG_9836 SR-IMG_9845SR-IMG_9845 SR-IMG_9854SR-IMG_9854 SR-IMG_9856SR-IMG_9856 SR-IMG_9874SR-IMG_9874


SR-IMG_9899_1SR-IMG_9899_1 SR-IMG_9920_1SR-IMG_9920_1 SR-IMG_9939_1SR-IMG_9939_1 SR-IMG_9923_1SR-IMG_9923_1

"Rest but never quit. Even the sun has a sinking spell each evening. But it always rises the next morning.
At sunrise, every soul is born again."

– Muhammad Ali
 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage drink food photography fruit grapefruit lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday orange juice recipe vodka vodka sunrise https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/vodka-sunrise Mon, 22 Jun 2020 17:53:31 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Old Fashioned Love Story https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/old-fashioned-love-story Hey there,

Today's Mixology Monday post was inspired by a romantic movie and is another spin on an Old Fashion. We first made an Old Fashioned in January, and used blood oranges. Typically, an Old Fashioned uses orange and cherry as a garnish only. This version infuses the flavors of the garnish with the alcohol and the alcohol has the essence of the garnish. Similar to the best love stories, where two independent souls become one, in time (thyme). We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

 

OL-IMG_9570OL-IMG_9570

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Orange Slices
2 Bourbon Cherries
2 Skewers/Cocktail Picks 

 

For Drink
3 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Cointreau
2 tbsp. Bourbon Cherry Syrup
2-4 tsp. Honey
4-8 Sprigs of Thyme
3 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
Ice
2 Coupe Glasses or Rocks Tumblers

You will also need a shaker cup, muddler, strainer, and air fryer or oven (for garnish)
 

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. Slice an orange into a few thin slices.
  2. Pop into the air fryer on lowest heat setting for approx 40 min (check periodically)
    • If you do not have an air fryer, you can dry them in the oven on a low setting, it will however take considerably longer.
  3. Skewer one boozy cheery with your cocktail pick. Set aside.

OL-IMG_9538OL-IMG_9538

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In a shaker cup, add:
    • Thyme
    • Lime Juice
    • Cherry Syrup
  2. Muddle for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to shaker cup:
    • Ice
    • Honey
    • Cointreau
    • Bourbon
  4. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds
  5. Strain evenly between both glasses
  6. Add garnish
  7. Enjoy!

OL-IMG_9399OL-IMG_9399 OL-IMG_9401OL-IMG_9401 OL-IMG_9425OL-IMG_9425 OL-IMG_9410OL-IMG_9410
OL-IMG_9427OL-IMG_9427   OL-IMG_9439OL-IMG_9439 OL-IMG_9457OL-IMG_9457 OL-IMG_9472OL-IMG_9472 OL-IMG_9476OL-IMG_9476 OL-IMG_9481OL-IMG_9481 OL-IMG_9488OL-IMG_9488 OL-IMG_9496OL-IMG_9496 OL-IMG_9523OL-IMG_9523 OL-IMG_9549OL-IMG_9549


 

OL-IMG_9609OL-IMG_9609 OL-IMG_9602OL-IMG_9602 OL-IMG_9618OL-IMG_9618 OL-IMG_9591OL-IMG_9591 OL-IMG_9622OL-IMG_9622 OL-IMG_9601OL-IMG_9601

 

 

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
— Maya Angelou

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage bourbon cointreau drink flatten the curve food photography fruit lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday old fashioned recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/old-fashioned-love-story Tue, 16 Jun 2020 01:08:10 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Apricot Dawa https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/apricot-dawa Hey there!

We hope you are well! Today for Mixology Monday, we are sharing our version of a Dawa. Dawa means medicine or magic potion in Swahili and is a classic cocktail in Kenya. Our take includes a drizzle of honey over the crushed ice, apricot jam and it gets sweeter with thyme (get it?!). Many Kenyan communities believe this drink is the ultimate cure for all ailments... maybe this is the thing we need!  We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages
 

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!
 

AD-IMG_9129AD-IMG_9129

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Apricot Slices

2 Bunches of Thyme
2 Skewers/Cocktail Picks 

 

For Drink
4 oz. Vodka
4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 tsp. Granulated Sugar
2-4 tsp. Honey
4 Sprigs of Thyme
2 tbsp. Apricot Preserves
Ice
2 Rocks Tumbler Glasses

You'll also need a Shaker Cup, Muddler, Strainer and Hawthorne Strainer. 

AD-IMG_9153AD-IMG_9153

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. Slice an apricot into medium sized wedges.
  2. Use your cocktail pick to skewer the apricot from top to bottom.
  3. Set aside along with 2 bunches on thyme.

AD-IMG_9132AD-IMG_9132 AD-IMG_9142AD-IMG_9142 AD-IMG_9147AD-IMG_9147

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In a shaker cup, add:
    • Sugar
    • Lime Juice
    • Thyme
    • Apricot Jam
  2. Muddle for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to shaker cup:
    • Vodka
    • Ice
  4. Shake Vigorously for 30 seconds.
  5. Add ice to your rocks tumblers.
  6. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp of honey per glass, over the ice.
  7. Double strain shaker cup evenly between both glasses
  8. add your garnish of apricot wedge and sprigs of thyme.  
  9. Sip slow and enjoy!

AD-IMG_9155AD-IMG_9155 AD-IMG_9165AD-IMG_9165 AD-IMG_9150AD-IMG_9150
AD-IMG_9175AD-IMG_9175 AD-IMG_9180AD-IMG_9180 AD-IMG_9184AD-IMG_9184 AD-IMG_9185AD-IMG_9185 AD-IMG_9191AD-IMG_9191 AD-IMG_9195AD-IMG_9195 AD-IMG_9197AD-IMG_9197 AD-IMG_9206AD-IMG_9206 AD-IMG_9212AD-IMG_9212 AD-IMG_9223AD-IMG_9223 AD-IMG_9229AD-IMG_9229 AD-IMG_9239AD-IMG_9239 AD-IMG_9241AD-IMG_9241


AD-IMG_9276AD-IMG_9276 AD-IMG_9257AD-IMG_9257 AD-IMG_9259AD-IMG_9259 AD-IMG_9263AD-IMG_9263 AD-IMG_9253AD-IMG_9253 AD-IMG_9264AD-IMG_9264 AD-IMG_9265AD-IMG_9265 AD-IMG_9274AD-IMG_9274

 

 

 

"Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children." 
-Kenyan Proverb
 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage apricot beverage dawa drink flatten the curve food photography fruit lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday quarantine recipe thyme vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/apricot-dawa Mon, 08 Jun 2020 23:14:55 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Black Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/black-martini This week’s Mixology Monday is an interpretation of black, not as the absence of light to be feared but as a something sweet to be embraced. This cocktail highlights the black raspberry through use of a French liqueur called Chambord. Black raspberries are sweet fruits which grow in a thorny prickly shrub sometimes referred to as bramble. This concept of fruit amongst thorns is explored in our Black-tini cocktail which pairs sweet black raspberries with the, sharp tartness of lemon. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

BBM-IMG_8897_1BBM-IMG_8897_1

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2-6 Blackberries
2 Skewers/Cocktail Picks 

 

For Drink
3 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Blue Curaçao
1 oz. Chambord (Black Raspberry Liqueur)
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Black Food Coloring (just a few drops)
Ice
2 Lemon Peel Strips (For Zest)
2 Martini Glasses

You'll also need a Shaker Cup, Strainer and Hawthorne Strainer. 

 

BBM-IMG_8852BBM-IMG_8852

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In a shaker cup, add:
    • Ice
    • Vodka
    • Blue Curaçao
    • Chambord
    • Lemon Juice
    • Food Coloring
  2. Shake Vigorously for 30 seconds
  3. Double Strain evenly between two martini glasses.
    • Note: Any time our cocktails include fresh squeezed juice and we don't want to include pulp in the cocktail, we double strain.
  4. Garnish with a skewer/cocktail pick of black berries.
  5. Twist your lemon peels above each glass to add zest.
  6. Enjoy!

 

BBM-IMG_8748BBM-IMG_8748 BBM-IMG_8758BBM-IMG_8758 BBM-IMG_8766BBM-IMG_8766 BBM-IMG_8784BBM-IMG_8784 BBM-IMG_8790BBM-IMG_8790 BBM-IMG_8801BBM-IMG_8801 BBM-IMG_8806BBM-IMG_8806 BBM-IMG_8826BBM-IMG_8826 BBM-IMG_8830BBM-IMG_8830 BBM-IMG_8861BBM-IMG_8861


BBM-IMG_8887_1BBM-IMG_8887_1

BBM-IMG_8878_1BBM-IMG_8878_1

BBM-IMG_8894_1BBM-IMG_8894_1 BBM-IMG_8888_1BBM-IMG_8888_1 BBM-IMG_8886_1BBM-IMG_8886_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAY THEIR NAME

 

Eric Garner •  John Crawford III •  Michael Brown •  Ezell Ford •  Dante Parker •  Michelle Cusseaux •  Laquan McDonald •  Tanisha Anderson •  Akai Gurley •  Tamir Rice •  Rumain Brisbon •  Jerame Reid •  George Mann •  Matthew Ajibade •  Frank Smart •  Natasha Mckenna • Tony Robinson •   Anthony Hill •  Mya Hall •  Phillip White •  Eric Harris •  Walter Scott •  William Chapman II •  Alexia Christian •  Brendon Glenn •  Victor Manuel Larosa •  Jonathan Sanders •  Freddie Blue • Joseph Mann • Salvado Ellswood •  Sandra Bland •  Albert Joseph Davis •  Darrius Stewart •  Billy Ray Davis •  Samuel Dubose •  Michael Sabbie •   Brian Keith Day •  Christian Taylor • Troy Robinson •    Asshams Pharoah Manley •  Felix Kumi •  Keith Harrison Mcleod Junior •  Prosper Lamontez Jones •   Paterson Brown •  Dominic Hutchinson •  Anthony Ashford •  Alonzo Smith •  Tyree Crawford •  India Kager •  La’vante Biggs • Steven Demarco Taylor •  Ariane McCree •  Michael Lee Marshall •  Jamar Clark •  Richard Perkins •  Nathaniel Harris Pickett •  Benni Leetignor •  Miguel Espinal •  Michael Noel • Kevin Matthews •  Bettie Jones •  Quintonio Legrier •  Keith Childress Jr. •  Janet Wilson •  Randy Nelson • Antronie Scott •  Wendell Celestine •  David Joseph •  Calin Roquemore • Dyzhawn Perkins •  Christopher Davis •   Marco Loud •  Peter Gaines •  Torrey Robinson •   Darius Robinson •   Kevin Hicksmary Truxillo •  Demarcus Semer •  Willie Tillman •   Terrill Thomas •  Sylville Smith •  Sean Reed  • Jamee Johnson •  Natosha “Tony” McDade •  Yassin Mohamed •  Finan H. Berhe •  Miles Hall •  Darius Tarver •  William Green • Kwame “KK” Jones •  De’von Bailey •  Eric Logan • Jamarion Robinson •  Gregory Hill Jr •  JaQuavion Slaton •  Ryan Twyman •  Brandon Webber •  Jimmy Atchison •  Willie McCoy •  Emantic “EJ” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr •  Jemel Roberson •  DeAndre Ballard •  Robert Lawrence White •  Anthony Lamar Smith •  Ramarley Graham •  Manuel Loggins Jr •  Trayvon Martin •  Wendell Allen •  Kendrec McDade • Larry Jackson Jr. •  Jonathan Ferrell • Jordan Baker •  Dontre Hamilton •  Kajieme Powell •  Jerame Reid •  Charly Leundeu Keunang •  Freddie Gray  •  Mario Woods •  Gregory Gunn •  Akiel Denkins •  Terrence Sterling • Keith Lamont Scott •  Alfred Olango •  Danny Ray Thomas •  DeJuan Guillory •   Jonathan Hart •  Maurice Granton •  Julius Johnson •  Jamee Johnson •  Michael Dean •  Alton Sterling •  Philando Castile • Terence Crutcher •  Paul O’Neal •  Alteria Woods •  Jordan Edwards •  Aaron Bailey •  Ronell Foster • Stephon Clark •  Antwon Rose II •  Botham Jean •  Pamela Turner •  Dominique Clayton •  Atatiana Jefferson •  Christopher Whitfield •  Christopher McCorvey •  Eric Reason •  Michael Lorenzo Dean •  Breonna Taylor •  Ahmaud Arbery •  George Floyd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage black martini blacklivesmatter blue curacao chambord drink flatten the curve food photography fruit lemon lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday quarantine recipe vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/6/black-martini Mon, 01 Jun 2020 18:53:50 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Amaretto Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/5/amaretto-sour Hey Hey!

Today we're sharing a classic of Italian-American origins, the Amaretto Sour. The exact history of the drink is unclear but the early version of the drink was essentially an overly sweet combination of Amaretto and sour mix from the 1970s. Fortunately for us, this recipe has improved with time. So if you're reading this, remembering (and loathing) sipping this syrupy concoction a few decades ago we encourage you to try this updated rendition, it may end up being one of your favorites. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

DS-IMG_8550DS-IMG_8550

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Bourbon Soaked Cherries
2 Dehydrated Lemon Slices 
1 tsp Lemon Juice & 2 tbsp Sugar for Glass Rim

 

For Drink
4 oz. DiSarono
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 Dashes of Aromatic Bitters
1 Egg White
Ice Cubes
2 Coupe Glasses or Rocks Tumblers

You'll also need a Shaker Cup, Strainer and Mixing Glass. 

 

DS-IMG_8427DS-IMG_8427

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Before we begin, sugar the rim of your glasses, as much or little as you like.
    • Pro tip, use a cotton swab to first apply the lemon juice where you want the sugar.
    • Lightly drag the glass (where lemon juice is applied) in your sugar
  2. In a shaker cup add:
    • 1 Egg White (be sure to separate out the yolk)
    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (2 oz)
    • Bitters (2 dashes)
    • DiSarono (4 oz)
    • Ice
  3. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds
  4. Pour into mixing glass
  5. Remove ice and pour cocktail back into shaker cup
  6. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds (with no ice)
  7. Strain into both glasses evenly
  8. Add 1 bourbon cherry and dehydrated lemon slice to each glass.
  • The bourbon cherries were purchased, not made. They can be found in well stocked liquor stores.
  • Our lemon slices were dehydrated in the air fryer. They can also be made in the oven. Set the temperature low, (150 - 200º) and wait. Time: 2 hours in oven.
  1. Enjoy!

 

DS-IMG_8448DS-IMG_8448 DS-IMG_8456DS-IMG_8456 DS-IMG_8464DS-IMG_8464 DS-IMG_8469DS-IMG_8469 DS-IMG_8477DS-IMG_8477 DS-IMG_8481DS-IMG_8481 DS-IMG_8494DS-IMG_8494 DS-IMG_8510DS-IMG_8510 DS-IMG_8526DS-IMG_8526 DS-IMG_8534DS-IMG_8534 DS-IMG_8545DS-IMG_8545


DS-IMG_8573DS-IMG_8573

DS-IMG_8555DS-IMG_8555
DS-IMG_8561DS-IMG_8561
DS-IMG_8552DS-IMG_8552

 
 
"Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
– Thomas A. Edison

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage amaretto amaretto sour beverage bourbon cherry disarono drink flatten the curve food photography fruit lemon mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday quarantine recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/5/amaretto-sour Mon, 25 May 2020 15:07:33 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Frank's Hard Lemonade https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/5/franks-hard-lemonade Hey Hey!

We have all heard the saying; “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” but, why settle? Adding spirits, mint, and natural vanilla flavor profiles help elevate this American classic well beyond the ordinary. This original cocktail was Frank's creation after a mentally challenging day. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This recipe makes 1 drink. Let's get started!

 

FL-IMG_4630FL-IMG_4630

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Small Bunches of Mint Leaves
1 Lemon Slices
Optional Lemon Spiral for Aesthetics

 

For Drink
1.5 oz. Vanilla Simple Syrup (click here for recipe)
3 oz. Brandy 
4.5 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
10-12 Mint Leaves
1 tbsp Agave Nectar

Ice Cubes
1 High Ball Glass (or glass that can hold 9 oz)


You'll also need a Shaker Cup and Muddler. 

 

FL-IMG_4629FL-IMG_4629

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In a shaker cup add:
    • Mint Leaves (10-12) - Before adding, give the leave 2 smacks; by giving the herbs a smack, you're rupturing some of their cells and releasing their essential oils, this increases the aroma.
    • Vanilla Simple Syrup (1.5 oz) - Recipe Here
      • Note: If you do not have or cannot find vanilla beans, you can use one drop of vanilla extract in the recipe.
    • Agave Nectar (1 tbsp)
  2. Muddle (approx 5 turns)
  3. Add Ice (8-12 cubes)
  4. Add Brandy (3oz)
  5. Add Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (4.5 oz)
  6. Shake Vigourously for 15-20 Seconds
  7. Pour Into Glass Over Ice
  8. Add Garnish
  9. Enjoy!

FL-IMG_4505FL-IMG_4505 FL-IMG_4509FL-IMG_4509 FL-IMG_4512FL-IMG_4512 FL-IMG_4520FL-IMG_4520 FL-IMG_4530FL-IMG_4530 FL-IMG_4544FL-IMG_4544 FL-IMG_4548FL-IMG_4548 FL-IMG_4553FL-IMG_4553 FL-IMG_4558FL-IMG_4558 FL-IMG_4563FL-IMG_4563 FL-IMG_4609FL-IMG_4609 FL-IMG_4624FL-IMG_4624


FL-IMG_4636FL-IMG_4636 FL-IMG_4642FL-IMG_4642 FL-IMG_4626FL-IMG_4626 FL-IMG_4652FL-IMG_4652 FL-IMG_4644FL-IMG_4644
 

"Our happiness is certainly mixed in with the tragedies of life. You have to find the lemonade. You have to find the silver lining in the middle of everything that happens in life."

~Chandra Wilson

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage brandy drink food photography fruit hard lemonade lemon lemonade mint mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/5/franks-hard-lemonade Mon, 18 May 2020 15:45:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Moon Dew https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/5/moon-dew Hey There!

Another Monday, another day in lockdown. Yesterday we honored our mothers, who were our inspiration for today's drink. Our Moon Dew is our twist on the Moonwalk.  No, we're not talking about Michael Jackson's famous dance move. The original Moonwalk cocktail was invented in 1969, by Joe Gilmore, head barman of the Savoy Hotel's American Bar, to commemorate the first moon landing. Gilmore said in an interview, “The Savoy sent it off in a flask and I received a letter back from Neil Armstrong thanking us and saying it was the first drink they had when they came out of quarantine.” Fortunately for us, we don't have to wait for the end of quarantine to sip on this. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

 

MD-IMG_3981MD-IMG_3981

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 edible flowers
Note: Many flowers can be edible but be sure to get yours from a grocery store, in the produce section. Stores such as Wegmans, Trader Joes or Wholefoods will have them.

For Drink
3 oz. Grapefruit Juice w/ Flower Syrup (see below)

2 oz. Cointreau 
8 oz. Prosecco
Ice Cubes
2 White Wine Glasses


For Grapefruit Juice w/ Flower Syrup
2-4 edible flowers
2 Grapefruits
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar
 

You'll also need a Mixing Glass, Shaker Cup and Strainer. 

MD-IMG_3858MD-IMG_3858

 

Let's Make the Grape Fruit Juice with Flower Syrup!

  1. In a small pot add:

    • Water (1/2 cup)
    • Sugar (1/2 cup)
    • Edible Flowers (2-4)
  2. Let boil for 8 minutes.
  3. Let chill.
  4. Juice both grapefruits (you will need 6 oz)
  5. Add 1.5 oz of your chilled flower syrup to the grapefruit juice and set aside.
  6. Any leftover syrup can be preserved in the fridge.

MD-IMG_3855MD-IMG_3855

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In a mixing glass add:

    • Grapefruit Juice w Flower Syrup (3 oz)
    • Cointreau (2 oz)
  2. Stir lightly.
  3. In shaker cup, add your mixture from previous step and ice.
  4. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Strain evenly between two glasses.
  6. Top with Prosecco (4 oz each glass).
  7. Garnish each glass with 1 edible flower.
  8. Enjoy!

MD-IMG_3883MD-IMG_3883   MD-IMG_3873MD-IMG_3873   MD-IMG_3931MD-IMG_3931 MD-IMG_3936MD-IMG_3936 MD-IMG_3946MD-IMG_3946 MD-IMG_3957MD-IMG_3957 MD-IMG_3960MD-IMG_3960 MD-IMG_3892MD-IMG_3892 MD-IMG_3973MD-IMG_3973 MD-IMG_3978MD-IMG_3978


MD-IMG_4019MD-IMG_4019 MD-IMG_3987MD-IMG_3987 MD-IMG_4009MD-IMG_4009 MD-IMG_4027MD-IMG_4027

MD-IMG_4034MD-IMG_4034 MD-IMG_4050MD-IMG_4050

 

“A flower blooming in the desert proves to the world that adversity, no matter how great, can be overcome.”
-Matshona Dhliwayo
 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage cointreau drink flatten the curve floral flowers food photography fruit grapefruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday moonwalk moonwalk cocktail prosecco quarantine recipe simple syrup https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/5/moon-dew Mon, 11 May 2020 15:32:20 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Blue Milk of Tatooine https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/5/blue-milk-of-tatooine Hey Hey,

Today, May 4th, we are honoring Star Wars Day with a treat from Tatooine. We understand you likely will not have a bantha nearby (unless maybe you're friends with a Jawa)... so, we've made some modifications! Whether you pledge allegiance to the First Order, the Resistance, Empire, or are simply just a piece of Rebel scum; this treat will serve you well, like Luke's R2D2 & C3PO. May the Fourth (and Force) be with you always!. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

SW-IMG_3743SW-IMG_3743

Here's what you need:

For Drink
4 oz. Gin
2 oz. Coconut Cream 
1 oz. Blue Curaçao
1 oz. Vanilla Syrup (click here)
1 oz. DiSarono

1.5 oz. Pineapple Juice
1.5 oz. Lime Juice 
Ice Cubes
2 Rocks Tumblers

You'll also need a  Shaker Cup, Bar Spoon and Strainer. 

SW-IMG_3749SW-IMG_3749

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In a mixing glass add:

    • Gin (4 oz)
    • Coconut Cream (2 oz)
    • Blue Curaçao (1oz)
    • Vanilla Syrup (1 oz)
    • DiSarono (1 oz)
    • Pineapple Juice (1.5 oz)
    • Lime Juice (1.5 oz)
  2. Stir Gently
  3. Add ice to your shaker cup
  4. Pour drink mixture into your shaker cup
  5. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds
  6. Strain evenly between two glasses.
  7. Enjoy with your favorite Wookie!

SW-IMG_3523SW-IMG_3523 SW-IMG_3531SW-IMG_3531 SW-IMG_3545SW-IMG_3545 SW-IMG_3566SW-IMG_3566 SW-IMG_3573SW-IMG_3573 SW-IMG_3579SW-IMG_3579 SW-IMG_3596SW-IMG_3596 SW-IMG_3613SW-IMG_3613 SW-IMG_3616SW-IMG_3616 SW-IMG_3627SW-IMG_3627 SW-IMG_3646SW-IMG_3646


SW-IMG_3810SW-IMG_3810 SW-IMG_3784SW-IMG_3784 SW-IMG_3787SW-IMG_3787

 

“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”
-Yoda, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
 

 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage coconut cream DiSarono drink flatten the curve food photography fruit gin lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday pineapple quarantine recipe simple syrup https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/5/blue-milk-of-tatooine Mon, 04 May 2020 15:33:26 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Boozy Whipped Coffee https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/4/boozy-whipped-coffee Hey Hey!

We hope you are well! We are doing our best over here but often find ourselves losing track of time, wondering what day it is and giving our Keurig a workout. No wonder our sleep schedule is screwed up! This week’s post was inspired from one of those cups of coffee. Caffeinated boozy drinks are not new and offer a ‘best of both worlds’ solution to the hum-drum of this new normal; caffeine to keep you motivated & alcohol to take the edge off these uncertain times. We are pairing this cocktail with our version of the current viral sensation, whipped coffee or the top half of a Dalgona Coffee. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages  By the way, lately we have been posting behind the scenes videos on IG (in our stories), give us a follow to see for yourself!

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

CAF-IMG_2755CAF-IMG_2755
 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1/4 cup Instant Coffee
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Hot Water
1/2 oz. Kahlua 
1-2 tbsp chocolate shavings (optional)

For Drink
1.5 oz. Brandy
1.5 oz Grand Marnier 
1.5 oz Kahlua
8-10 oz Hot Coffee
1 Orange Peel
2 Heat Safe Mugs or Glasses 

You'll also need a  peeler, bar spoon and lighter.

CAF-IMG_2738CAF-IMG_2738

Let's Make the Garnish:
 

  1. In a bowl add:

    • Instant Coffee (1/4 cup)

    • Sugar (1/4 cup)

    • Hot Water (1/4 cup)

    • Kahlua (1/2 oz)

  2. Using an electric mixer, mix until fluffy (about 2-5 minutes)

    • If you don't have an electric mixer, you can whisk by hand. This will take 8-15 minutes and your arm might fall off, but its worth it!

  3. Put a lid on your bowl and set aside for now.

    • Any extra you have left over can be stored in the fridge for a week or so. 

  4. Shave your chocolate and also set that aside.

CAF-IMG_2645CAF-IMG_2645 CAF-IMG_2651CAF-IMG_2651 CAF-IMG_2656CAF-IMG_2656 CAF-IMG_2662CAF-IMG_2662
CAF-IMG_2658CAF-IMG_2658 CAF-IMG_2734CAF-IMG_2734 CAF-IMG_2748CAF-IMG_2748
 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. Lightly burn your orange peel with a lighter. This helps bring out the orange's oils and a deeper flavor to the drink.
  2. Place the peel in a large cup or mixing glass.
  3. In the glass add:
    • Brandy (1.5 oz)
    • Grand Marnier (1.5 oz)
    • Kahlua (1.5 oz)
    • Hot Coffee (8-10 oz)
  4. Stir Lightly.
  5. Pour evenly between your two glasses, and ensure space to add your whipped coffee.
  6. Gently spoon the whipped coffee onto the top of your drink (it will float).
  7. Add your chocolate shavings.
  8. Sip Slow and Enjoy!

CAF-IMG_2697CAF-IMG_2697 CAF-IMG_2703CAF-IMG_2703 CAF-IMG_2706CAF-IMG_2706 CAF-IMG_2709CAF-IMG_2709 CAF-IMG_2713CAF-IMG_2713 CAF-IMG_2719CAF-IMG_2719 CAF-IMG_2722CAF-IMG_2722


CAF-IMG_2786CAF-IMG_2786 CAF-IMG_2757CAF-IMG_2757 CAF-IMG_2782CAF-IMG_2782 CAF-IMG_2750CAF-IMG_2750

 

 

 

"With enough coffee, I feel as though all things are possible. Many of them are highly unlikely, but they are possible."
~Nanea Hoffman
 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage boozy coffee brandy caffeine coffee dalgona drink flatten the curve food photography fruit grand marnier kahlua mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday quarantine recipe whipped coffee https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/4/boozy-whipped-coffee Mon, 27 Apr 2020 14:50:47 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Bourbon Basil Smashless Smash https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/4/bourbon-basil-smashless-smash Hey Hey!

We hope you're well! Today we're keeping things nice, simple, easy breezy and we're making a smash! Smashes have been around for at least the last century. There are many different variations of smashes out there but they have a common denominator.... a spirit, a sweetener, fresh herb,  fruit/fruit juice and it’s served over ice. Perfect for the longer and warmer springtime days. We're calling it a smashless smash only because we didn't muddle any fruit here.  We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get smashed!

BB-IMG_2096BB-IMG_2096

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Small Basil Leaf bunches

For Drink
4 oz. Bourbon
2 oz. Lemon Lime Simple Syrup 
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
10 Basil Leaves
Crushed Ice or Ice Cubes
2 Rocks Tumblers

For Lemon Lime Simple Syrup
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 oz Water
5 tsp. Granulated Sugar

You'll also need a  Shaker Cup and Hawthorn Strainer. 

BB-IMG_2259BB-IMG_2259

Let's Make the Lemon Lime Syrup:

Many cocktails call for a simple syrup which is equal parts sugar and water. We've made a simple syrup before, click here. This version adds lemon and lime juice instead of vanilla.

Combine all ingredients (lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and water) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain into a clean container, cover and refrigerate. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In a shaker cup, add:
    • Several Ice Cubes
    • Basil Leaves (slap them in your hands once or twice in order to get the most flavor out)
    • Bourbon (4 oz)
    • Simple Syrup (2 oz)
    • Lemon Juice (2 oz)
  2. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour over  Ice into 2 rocks tumblers
  4. Add more Ice
  5. Garnish with basil leaves
  6. Enjoy! 


BB-IMG_2109BB-IMG_2109 BB-IMG_2117BB-IMG_2117 BB-IMG_2123BB-IMG_2123 BB-IMG_2126BB-IMG_2126 BB-IMG_2128BB-IMG_2128 BB-IMG_2132BB-IMG_2132 BB-IMG_2134BB-IMG_2134 BB-IMG_2138BB-IMG_2138 BB-IMG_2145BB-IMG_2145 BB-IMG_2150BB-IMG_2150 BB-IMG_2167BB-IMG_2167 BB-IMG_2182BB-IMG_2182 BB-IMG_2189BB-IMG_2189


BB-IMG_2216BB-IMG_2216 BB-IMG_2224BB-IMG_2224 BB-IMG_2243BB-IMG_2243

 

"You know what rhymes with Monday? Bourbon."

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage basil beverage bourbon drink flatten the curve food photography fruit lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday quarantine recipe simple syrup smash https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/4/bourbon-basil-smashless-smash Mon, 20 Apr 2020 16:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Tiger Juice https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/4/tiger-juice Hey there all you cool cats and kittens!

We hope you and your family are well and are hanging in there! Since we are literally a captive audience these days, I'm sure you are aware of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King, a documentary about tiger owners in the US and their fascinating world. The over the top WTF moments throughout the entire thing are still lingering in our minds, so we are dedicating this Monday to Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and her missing husband... because Tiger Juice is better than sardine juice! We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

TJ-IMG_1194TJ-IMG_1194

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Large Orange Peels from 1 Orange

 

For Drink
6 oz. Bourbon
4 oz. Fresh Squeeze Orange Juice 
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Tsp. Agave Nectar
5-7 Ice Cubes
2 Martini Glasses

You'll also need a  Shaker Cup, Hawthorn Strainer, and another Strainer (we're double straining this).

 

TJ-IMG_1132TJ-IMG_1132

 

Let's Make the Garnish:

  1. To make your tiger claw garnish, save the peel from 1 orange.
  2. Cut out two large and tall triangles.
  3. Within each triangle cut 3 equal sized strips (Be careful to not cut end to end, you want the orange peel intact)
  4. Starting with the top point of the triangle, wrap around a chopstick or cocktail pick in a spiral shape.
  5. Wrap in a damp paper towel and set aside until needed.

 

TJ-IMG_1080TJ-IMG_1080

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In a shaker cup, add:
    • Bourbon (6 oz)
    • Orange Juice (4 oz)
    • Lemon Juice (2 oz)
    • Agave (1 tsp)
    • Ice
  2. Shake Vigorously for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain using Hawthorn strainer and additional strainer into 2 martini glasses.
  4. Add your garnish.
  5. Enjoy! Sip Slow!

 

TJ-IMG_1030TJ-IMG_1030 TJ-IMG_1034TJ-IMG_1034 TJ-IMG_1039TJ-IMG_1039 TJ-IMG_1108TJ-IMG_1108 TJ-IMG_1085TJ-IMG_1085 TJ-IMG_1053TJ-IMG_1053 TJ-IMG_1060TJ-IMG_1060 TJ-IMG_1064TJ-IMG_1064 TJ-IMG_1071TJ-IMG_1071

 


 

TJ-IMG_1161TJ-IMG_1161 TJ-IMG_1190TJ-IMG_1190

TJ-IMG_1222TJ-IMG_1222

TJ-IMG_1160TJ-IMG_1160

 

 

"Better to live one year as a tiger, then a hundred as sheep."    
-Madonna Ciccone

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage bourbon carole baskin drink flatten the curve food photography fruit joe exotic lemon juice mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday orange orange juice quarantine recipe tiger juice tiger king https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/4/tiger-juice Mon, 13 Apr 2020 16:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Blackberry Cosmo https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/4/blackberry-cosmo Hey There!

We hope you and your family are well! This week we sharing a drink that has many similarities to the Kamikaze shot from last week (link here). The Cosmopolitan is a combination of vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice. Our twist on this modern classic is adding blackberries. The Cosmopolitan, or, 'Cosmo,' gained popularity in the 1990s mainly due to the HBO show, Sex and the City. A show that neither Frank nor I watched, but nevertheless, this must have for S.J.P. and her crew might end up being one of your favorites. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

CM-IMG_0281CM-IMG_0281

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
6 Blackberries
2 Cocktail Picks

 

For Drink
3 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Cointreau 
2 oz. Cranberry Juice
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

4-6 Blackberries
1 Tsp. Sugar
5-7 Ice Cubes
2 Martini Glasses

You'll also need a  Shaker Cup, Muddler, Hawthorn Strainer, and another Strainer (we're double straining this).


CM-IMG_0276CM-IMG_0276

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In a shaker cup, add:
    • Sugar (1 tsp)
    • Blackberries (4-6)
    • Lime Juice (1 oz)
  2. Muddle
    • Gently press down and give a half-turn of the muddler.
    • Release and Repeat approximately four to six turns.
  3. Add Remaining Ingredients:
    • Ice
    • Cranberry Juice (2 oz)
    • Cointreau (1 oz)
    • Vodka (3 oz)
  4. Shake Vigorously for 30 seconds.
  5. Strain using Hawthorn strainer and additional strainer into 2 martini glasses.
  6. For the garnish, place 3 blackberries on a cocktail pick.
  7. Enjoy! Sip Slow!

 

CM-IMG_0284CM-IMG_0284 CM-IMG_0291CM-IMG_0291 CM-IMG_0295CM-IMG_0295 CM-IMG_0299CM-IMG_0299 CM-IMG_0302CM-IMG_0302 CM-IMG_0305CM-IMG_0305 CM-IMG_0320CM-IMG_0320 CM-IMG_0323CM-IMG_0323 CM-IMG_0331CM-IMG_0331 CM-IMG_0332CM-IMG_0332 CM-IMG_0334CM-IMG_0334 CM-IMG_0341CM-IMG_0341 CM-IMG_0350CM-IMG_0350 CM-IMG_0363CM-IMG_0363 CM-IMG_0380CM-IMG_0380 CM-IMG_0386CM-IMG_0386


CM-IMG_0393CM-IMG_0393 CM-IMG_0392CM-IMG_0392 CM-IMG_0408CM-IMG_0408

 

“Vodka may not be the answer, but it is worth a shot.”
 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage blackberry cointreau cosmo cosmopolitan covid-19 cranberry juice drink flatten the curve food photography fruit lime lime juice mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday quarantine recipe SATC vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/4/blackberry-cosmo Mon, 06 Apr 2020 16:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Quarantine Corona and Kamikaze Shot https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/quarantine-kamikaze Hey There!

We hope you are hanging in there and staying safe. We are going to make this short and to the point. Since we just found out mandatory social distancing is being extended until the end of April, let's all take a shot and enjoy a Corona. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 

This recipe makes 2 shots.... or 1 double shot if you're like us. Let's get started.

KZ-IMG_9797KZ-IMG_9797

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Lime Wedge (for your Corona)

 

For Shot
1/2 oz Lime Juice (fresh squeezed)
1/2 oz Cointreau (can substitute with Triple Sec)
1 oz Vodka

You'll also need a  Shaker Cup and Strainer

KZ-IMG_9843KZ-IMG_9843


Let's Make the Shot:

  1. In a shaker cup, add:
    • Ice
    • Vodka
    • Cointreau
    •  Lime Juice
  2. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds
  3. Strain into 2 shot glasses (or 1)
  4. Enjoy!

Now take that lime wedge and shove it into the neck of the Corona!

KZ-IMG_9658KZ-IMG_9658 KZ-IMG_9664KZ-IMG_9664 KZ-IMG_9668KZ-IMG_9668 KZ-IMG_9670KZ-IMG_9670 KZ-IMG_9678KZ-IMG_9678 KZ-IMG_9682KZ-IMG_9682 KZ-IMG_9688KZ-IMG_9688


KZ-IMG_9857KZ-IMG_9857 KZ-IMG_9861KZ-IMG_9861

 

"It is moments like these that force us to try harder, and dig deeper, and to discover gifts we never knew we had - to find the greatness that lies within each of us."
~Barack Obama

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beer beverage corona covid-19 drink flatten the curve food photography fruit kamikaze lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday quarantine recipe vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/quarantine-kamikaze Mon, 30 Mar 2020 20:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Lockdown Long Island Iced Tea https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/lockdown-long-island-iced-tea Hey There!

We truly hope you and your family are well and making the most of your time during this nationwide lock down. We know you might be there at home, listening to D-Nice's Live Stream or binge watching Netflix... looking at your home bar wondering what you can get into, [enter the Long Island Iced Tea]! A classic Long Island Iced Tea is a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, including the left over sour mix we made last week. We thought this would be the perfect thing to make this week. We hope you enjoy. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get LIIT!

LIT-IMG_9195LIT-IMG_9195

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Lemon Slices

 

For Drink
1 oz White Rum
1 oz Vodka
1 oz Gin
1 oz Grand Marnier (may substitute with Triple Sec)

2 oz Sour Mix (see Sour Mix ingredients and steps below)
2 oz Cola (may substitute with real sweetened black tea)
Ice Cubes
2 High Ball Glasses (or Rocks Tumblers as shown)

 

For Sour Mix
1-part Lime Juice (2oz. minimum)
1-part Lemon Juice (2oz. minimum)
1-part Granulated Sugar (4 tablespoons minimum)
1-part Water (2oz. minimum)

 

You'll also need a  Shaker Cup and Hawthorn Strainer

 

LIT-IMG_9133LIT-IMG_9133

Let's Make the Sour Mix:

  1. Squeeze approx 2 limes and 2 lemons (separately).
  2. In a separate container, add 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 oz lime juice, 2 oz lemon juice and 2 oz water. 
  3. Stir gently. 

Note: If you happen to make more sour mix than you need for this drink, you can store the extra in the fridge.

MS-IMG_8452MS-IMG_8452

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In your shaker cup, add White Rum (1 oz), Vodka(1 oz), Gin (1 oz), Grand Marnier (1 oz) & Sour Mix (2 oz)
  2. Add a few ice cubes to shaker cup.
  3. Add a few ice cubes to each high ball glass.
  4. Shake shaker cup for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Using your hawthorn strainer, strain evenly into each glass.
  6. Top with cola (1 oz in each glass)
  7. Garnish with lemon slice
  8. Enjoy!


  LIT-IMG_9078LIT-IMG_9078 LIT-IMG_9084LIT-IMG_9084 LIT-IMG_9089LIT-IMG_9089 LIT-IMG_9100LIT-IMG_9100
LIT-IMG_9093LIT-IMG_9093
LIT-IMG_9094LIT-IMG_9094 LIT-IMG_9105LIT-IMG_9105 LIT-IMG_9106LIT-IMG_9106 LIT-IMG_9110LIT-IMG_9110 LIT-IMG_9115LIT-IMG_9115 LIT-IMG_9121LIT-IMG_9121


LIT-IMG_9168LIT-IMG_9168 LIT-IMG_9162LIT-IMG_9162 LIT-IMG_9182LIT-IMG_9182 LIT-IMG_9184LIT-IMG_9184

 

Please be safe.

 

"The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything--the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself."
~Bill Murray
 

 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage coke cola drink flatten the curve gin grand marnier LIIT lockdown lockdown long island iced tea long island iced tea mixed drink mixology mixology monday quarantine recipe rum tequila triple sec vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/lockdown-long-island-iced-tea Mon, 23 Mar 2020 20:00:00 GMT
Belizean Fry Jacks - Traditional Breakfast Treat https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/belizean-fry-jacks Hey There!

If you had a chance to take a look at my Belize honeymoon blog post (click here to see) you saw me talk about Fry Jacks. Fry Jacks are a staple in Belizean cuisine. Fry Jacks are essentially fried dough. They are kind of like French beignets, or Latin American sopapillas. A traditional Belizean breakfast will have, fry jacks, salsa or tomatoes, refried beans, eggs and an additional protein like chicken or fish. The best part... fry jacks are hollow so you can stuff all of that inside for a yummy bite! Feel free to have these with anything you like, sweet or savory. 

FJ-IMG_8824FJ-IMG_8824

This will make 10-12 Fry Jacks depending on the size you make them.

What You Need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or shortening (for the dough)  
  • 1  cup water (adjust as needed)
  • 2 cups vegetable oil (for frying pan)

You'll also need a frying pan, rolling pin, cookie cooling rack or paper towels

FJ-IMG_8830FJ-IMG_8830

Let's Get Started:

  1. Place dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add teaspoon of shortening/oil into flour. I brought back Belizean cohune oil so I used that instead of oil or shortening in the dough.
  3. Knead the dough, adding water along the way. When fully mixed, I suggest letting sit for about 15 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, put oil in the frying pan and heat to medium/high temperature.
  5. Next, divide the dough into ten to twelve medium-sized balls and flatten them into a circle.
    • Pro tip: use a rolling pin, don't be like me and forget you don't have one until its too late LOL
    • Roll each ball of dough out super thin. The goal is to have smooth and flat pieces of dough.
    • Optional: Cut each piece in half. (I used a pizza cutter)If you choose to not cut, you'll just have larger fry jacks!
  6. Place dough in the frying pan and leave for a minute or two until it puffs up and turns golden brown. Flip over for an additional minute or two.
  7. Remove from oil and place of paper towel or cooling rack.

Note: The key to puffy fry jacks is hot oil and smooth, thin pieces of dough. Try one first before making the whole batch if you are unsure of the consistency and oil temp.

FJ-IMG_8745FJ-IMG_8745 FJ-IMG_8747FJ-IMG_8747 FJ-IMG_8750FJ-IMG_8750 FJ-IMG_8756FJ-IMG_8756 FJ-IMG_8766FJ-IMG_8766 FJ-IMG_8774FJ-IMG_8774 FJ-IMG_8776FJ-IMG_8776 FJ-IMG_8781FJ-IMG_8781 FJ-IMG_8788FJ-IMG_8788 FJ-IMG_8791FJ-IMG_8791 FJ-IMG_8801FJ-IMG_8801 FJ-IMG_8850FJ-IMG_8850

FJ-IMG_8828FJ-IMG_8828 FJ-IMG_8846FJ-IMG_8846 FJ-IMG_8812FJ-IMG_8812

FJ-IMG_8803FJ-IMG_8803

Buen provecho!



 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) beignet belize belizean belizean breakfast breakfast cooking with nikki food photography fried dough fry jack recipe sopapillas vegan vegetarian https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/belizean-fry-jacks Tue, 17 Mar 2020 15:40:59 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - The Midori Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/the-midori-sour Hey, hey!

Tomorrow is St.Patrick's day. While this a cultural & religious holiday celebrated every March 17th, we know that its also a day to wear your greenest green ensemble, chug a pint of Guinness and nosh on Irish soda bread because everyone's Irish on St. Patty's Day. But today, is Mixology Monday... so you know we had to give you something special.... and green! Hopefully you have some Midori left over from our Grinch-tini, because you'll need that. However you choose to celebrate tomorrow, please be safe; we hope you enjoy this. As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 

This recipe makes 2 drinks. Grab your shamrocks and let's get started!

MS-IMG_8660MS-IMG_8660

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Honeydew 
Cantaloupe

 

For Drink
4 oz Midori
4 oz Sour Mix (see Sour Mix ingredients and steps below)
2 oz Vodka
1 oz (a splash) Sprite or 7up
1 cup crushed ice
2 High Ball Glasses

For Sour Mix
1-part Lime Juice (2oz. minimum)
1-part Lemon Juice (2oz. minimum)
1-part Granulated Sugar (4 tablespoons minimum)
1-part Water (2oz. minimum)

 

You'll also need a  Cocktail Picks, Melon Baller, Bar Spoon
 

MS-IMG_8397MS-IMG_8397

Let's Start the Garnish:

  1. Grab your honeydew and cantaloupe, cut each in half and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Grab your melon baller. These typically have two sizes, one on each end. We're going to use the smallest size scoop.
  3. Let's start with the honeydew, press the melon baller firmly into the halved melon then begin to rotate to form a sphere. Make several spheres (3-4)
  4. Repeat step 3 with cantaloupe.
  5. Grab your cocktail pick and skewer your melon balls, alternating honeydew and cantaloupe (in any order you wish).
  6. Set aside for now.

MS-IMG_8526MS-IMG_8526 MS-IMG_8531MS-IMG_8531 MS-IMG_8516MS-IMG_8516 MS-IMG_8537MS-IMG_8537 MS-IMG_8549MS-IMG_8549 MS-IMG_8555MS-IMG_8555 MS-IMG_8560MS-IMG_8560 MS-IMG_8562MS-IMG_8562

Let's Make the Sour Mix:

  1. Squeeze approx 2 limes and 2 lemons (separately).
  2. In a separate container, add 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 oz lime juice, 2 oz lemon juice and 2 oz water.
  3. Stir gently. 

Note: If you happen to make more sour mix than you need for this drink, you can store the extra in the fridge.

MS-IMG_8452MS-IMG_8452 MS-IMG_8428MS-IMG_8428 MS-IMG_8472MS-IMG_8472 MS-IMG_8475MS-IMG_8475 MS-IMG_8480MS-IMG_8480 MS-IMG_8488MS-IMG_8488 MS-IMG_8492MS-IMG_8492 MS-IMG_8500MS-IMG_8500

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In each highball glass, add 2 oz Midori, 2 oz sour mix, 1 oz Vodka
  2. Add your crushed ice (~1/2 cup)
  3. Add splash of sprite
  4. Add melon ball garnish
  5. Enjoy!

MS-IMG_8564MS-IMG_8564 MS-IMG_8567MS-IMG_8567 MS-IMG_8572MS-IMG_8572 MS-IMG_8575MS-IMG_8575 MS-IMG_8578MS-IMG_8578 MS-IMG_8584MS-IMG_8584 MS-IMG_8607MS-IMG_8607 MS-IMG_8613MS-IMG_8613

 

MS-IMG_8730MS-IMG_8730 MS-IMG_8699MS-IMG_8699

 

 

“May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow. And may trouble avoid you wherever you go."
 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage cantaloupe drink food photography fruit honeydew lime midori midori sour mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe shamrock st patrick's day st pattys day https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/the-midori-sour Mon, 16 Mar 2020 16:30:00 GMT
Our Un-Belize-able Valentine's Honeymoon https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/our-un-belize-able-honeymoon Ahhh.. Belize. The weather, the food, the ocean and the company made for an unforgettable trip!I can't believe it was already 1 month ago!

Initially Frank and I weren't planning to honeymoon anywhere. We eloped in November and we were married in San Francisco City Hall.  We also were planning a reception back home in NJ for February so we didn't think we needed to plan yet another thing. Fortunately we didn't really have to! My friend and event planner, Ebony Cattouse Stewart began planning her first couples retreat for Valentine's Day weekend in her home country of Belize. Once we saw the details of the trip it was a no brainer! She took care of all of the details including transportation, excursions, food and more! We had an amazing time and we will definitely be going back next year!

You already know I brought all my cameras! My Canon Rebel with every lens LOL, a Dragon Touch underwater camera (Thanks Dad!) and protective pouch with a neck strap for my iphone! I'm glad I had so many options because we got into a lot! Below I have recapped our trip each day and included some of my favorite images! If you scroll all the way down to the bottom, I have included some videos and a slideshow of more photos as well!! 

Click to Learn more about Belize

BZE - IMG_6877BZE - IMG_6877
 

Day 1 - Arrival

We arrived in Belize City on Valentine's day.  We left sub 30 degree NJ weather and stepped off the airplane into 90 degree sunshine. After a very long line for customs, we were off to the hotel where we had a cocktail and did a little walking around the neighborhood.

Later that evening we had a romantic Valentines Day dinner with live music.

 

BZE - IMG_6858BZE - IMG_6858
BZE - IMG_6826BZE - IMG_6826 BZE - IMG_6894BZE - IMG_6894

BZE - IMG_6863BZE - IMG_6863

Day 2 - Snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve

We started the day with a traditional Belizean breakfast which included Fry Jacks (click here for recipe and pix) Then, we took the water taxi from Belize City to Caye Caulker for snorkeling. We (a small group of about 10 of us) spent about 4 hours in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. It was so beautiful and amazing. On the way to our first snorkeling spot, we spotted a dolphin! We also saw turtles, sting rays, nurse sharks and tons of fish. My camera footage would definitely make you seasick but I managed to edit a few clips (below) and snag a few screen shots. After returning to Caye Caulker, we walked around The Split, had coconut water and almost missed the last 1 hr ride water taxi back to Belize City because I was taking pictures of the rainbow! Oops! Later that evening we had an all white dinner party with Ebony and her husband Omar (credit for some of the pix of Frank and I).

BZE - Iphone 5BZE - Iphone 5 BZE - Iphone 6BZE - Iphone 6 BZE - IMG_6928BZE - IMG_6928 BZE - IMG_6932BZE - IMG_6932 BZE - IMG_7012BZE - IMG_7012 BZE - IMG_7006BZE - IMG_7006 BZE - IMG_7241BZE - IMG_7241 BZE - IMG_7222BZE - IMG_7222 BZE - IMG_7206BZE - IMG_7206
BZE - Iphone 1BZE - Iphone 1 BZE - Iphone 7BZE - Iphone 7
2020-03-10 (7)2020-03-10 (7) 2020-03-10 (24)2020-03-10 (24) 2020-03-10 (2)2020-03-10 (2) 2020-03-10 (25)2020-03-10 (25) 2020-03-10 (12)2020-03-10 (12) BZE - IMG_7088BZE - IMG_7088   BZE - IMG_7144BZE - IMG_7144
BZE - IMG_7252BZE - IMG_7252 BZE - IMG_7264BZE - IMG_7264 BZE - IMG_7323BZE - IMG_7323 BZE - IMG_7339BZE - IMG_7339 BZE - IMG_7364BZE - IMG_7364

Day 3 - Chukka ATV, Zip Line and Cave Tubing Adventure & Altun Ha Mayan Ruins

More Fry Jacks... then we drove into the Maya mountains, saw the sleeping giant, then arrived at the jungle oasis called Chukka. We rode ATVs through palm trees, up an down steep hills... I managed to only get stuck once! We then zip lined through treetops, had lunch then did some cave tubing which was a unique experience floating through caves, created by rain, seeing bats, and interesting stalagmites and stalactites formed over thousands of years ago. We then dashed to a nearby Mayan Ruin Site, Altun Ha, for a tour. We got there right before closing so we were able to enjoy the views without the crowds of people that normally are there. After grabbing some souvenirs, we chose to have dinner at the hotel since we were pretty exhausted from the days adventures.

BZE - Iphone 2BZE - Iphone 2   BZE - Iphone 4BZE - Iphone 4

BZE - Iphone 14BZE - Iphone 14 BZE - Iphone 15BZE - Iphone 15 BZE - Iphone 13BZE - Iphone 13
BZE - Iphone 16BZE - Iphone 16 BZE - Iphone 18BZE - Iphone 18

BZE - Iphone 14BZE - Iphone 14 BZE -Iphone 26 (7)BZE -Iphone 26 (7) BZE -Iphone 26 (12)BZE -Iphone 26 (12) BZE -Iphone 26 (53)BZE -Iphone 26 (53) BZE -Iphone 26 (38)BZE -Iphone 26 (38) BZE -Iphone 20BZE -Iphone 20 BZE -Iphone 24BZE -Iphone 24 BZE -Iphone 26 (42)BZE -Iphone 26 (42)
BZE -Iphone 26 (19)BZE -Iphone 26 (19) BZE -Iphone 26 (41)BZE -Iphone 26 (41)
BZE -Iphone 26 (27)BZE -Iphone 26 (27)

Day 4 - Traveller's Tour and Departure Home

Our last morning in Belize. We woke up early for one last stroll in the neighborhood. We snapped some pictures then grabbed breakfast...Fry Jacks... before packing up for home. On the way to the airport, we stopped for souvenirs and for a quick tour of Traveller's Rum facility... and a tasting. We arrived home, in the dark, cold night and immediately felt cranky wishing we had one more day in Belize. Until Next time!

BZE - IMG_7430BZE - IMG_7430 BZE - IMG_7432BZE - IMG_7432 BZE - IMG_7437BZE - IMG_7437 BZE - IMG_7499BZE - IMG_7499 BZE - IMG_7508BZE - IMG_7508

BZE - IMG_7467BZE - IMG_7467 BZE - IMG_7483BZE - IMG_7483 BZE -Iphone 26 (54)BZE -Iphone 26 (54) BZE -Iphone 26 (56)BZE -Iphone 26 (56) BZE -Iphone 26 (58)BZE -Iphone 26 (58) BZE - IMG_7425BZE - IMG_7425

Us BelizeUs Belize


Some Videos:

Snorkeling Video Highlights

BZE - SnorkelingSnorkeling in Belize, Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Spotted dolphins, turtles, sharks, sting rays and more

ATV Video Highlight

BZE - ATVsATV Riding @ Chukka - Belize

Cave Tubing Video Highlight

BZE - Cave TubingChukka Belize Cave Tubing Adventures

Zip Line Video Highlight

BZE - ZipliningChukka Hiking and Ziplining in Belize

Photo Slide Show (Press Play in Lower Right Corner)

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) altun ha atv belize cave tubing caye caulker chukka hol chan marine reserve honeymoon snorkeling travel travel blog vacation zip line https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/our-un-belize-able-honeymoon Sat, 14 Mar 2020 13:30:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - The Sidecar https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/the-sidecar Hey, hey!

This week we are sipping on some French Brandy, also known as Cognac. Yes, we have our scented candles, Courvoisier and we are ready to answer your love queries.... I mean, we are ready to share this recipe for the traditional Sidecar. (Brownie points if you know who Leon Phelps is.) 

As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 
This recipe makes 2 drinks!  Let's get started!

SC - IMG_8223SC - IMG_8223

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
3-4  Tablespoons of Lemon Juice (adjust as needed)
4 Tablespoons of Sugar (adjust as needed)
2 Lemon Slices
 

For Drink
4 oz. Cognac
1.5  oz. Cointreau 
1.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Ice
2 Martini Glasses

You'll also need a  Shaker Cup, Hawthorn Strainer, Bar Spoon.
 

Let's Start the Garnish:

  1. Cut 2 thin slices from a lemon.
  2. To create each curly peel garnish, cut through one side of the peel.
  3. Then, cut out the pulp so you have a long strip of peel. 
  4. Twist into the corkscrew shape and set aside. (We wrapped ours around a toothpick and placed into a paper towel until we were ready).
  5. Next, to prep the martini glasses, grab some lemon juice and sugar.
  6. There are several ways to do this, but one of the quickest is to get two small plates and place the lemon juice and sugar each on their own plate.
  7. Dip the glass (upside down) in the lemon juice. Alternatively, you can paint the lemon juice on the rim with a cotton swab or napkin, or you can run a lemon wedge around the rim.
  8. While keeping glass upside down, now dip the glass into the sugar.
  9. Remove gently and flip upright. Set aside.
  10. Repeat with 2nd glass. 

SC - IMG_8138SC - IMG_8138 SC - IMG_8141SC - IMG_8141 SC - IMG_8149SC - IMG_8149 SC - IMG_8162SC - IMG_8162 SC - IMG_8174SC - IMG_8174

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In a shaker cup add Cognac (4 oz), Cointreau (1.5 oz) and Lemon Juice (1.5 oz).
  2. Add ice
  3. Stir gently
  4. Strain evenly between both martini glasses
  5. Add your curly lemon peels
  6. Enjoy!

 

SC - IMG_8108SC - IMG_8108 SC - IMG_8110SC - IMG_8110 SC - IMG_8116SC - IMG_8116 SC - IMG_8121SC - IMG_8121 SC - IMG_8125SC - IMG_8125 SC - IMG_8129SC - IMG_8129 SC - IMG_8186SC - IMG_8186

SC - IMG_8204SC - IMG_8204 SC - IMG_8193SC - IMG_8193 SC - IMG_8200SC - IMG_8200

 

"It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend, one’s present or future thirst, the excellence of the cognac, or any other reason."
-W.C. Fields
 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage brandy cognac cointreau courvoisier drink lemon juice mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe side car sidecar https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/the-sidecar Mon, 09 Mar 2020 16:50:07 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Sage Berry Spritzer (Low Alcohol) https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/sage-berry-spritzer It's been a little while, we shouldn't have left you, without a dope drink to sip on (sip on, sip on). 
 We're back from our honey moon (more on that soon) and we are ready to share a low alcohol spritzer to start the week off!

So, you’ve made your fancy Martini and have some sweet or white vermouth just lying around and you’re in the mood for fruity libations (that means drink... get your mind out the gutter). Why not make a sage berry spritzer? We know... we know... spritzers are usually made with Prosecco or other sparkling wine. But vermouth is still wine at the end of the day & we will show you how to make that sparkle!

As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 
This recipe makes 2 drinks!  Let's get started!

BSB-IMG_7955BSB-IMG_7955

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
4 Blueberries
2 Sage Leaves
2 Strawberries

 

For Drink
8-10 Strawberries (Quartered)
16-20 Blueberries (Small Handful)
4-5 Fresh Sage Leaves
1 Cup Sparkling Water
1 Cup Mancino Vermouth
2-4 Ice Cubes

You'll also need a Blender, Muddler, Shaker Cup, Hawthorn Strainer, Bar Spoon.
 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. Place strawberries and blueberries in blender with a splash (1 oz) of vermouth. Blend until smooth.
  2. Place sage leaves in shaker cup with 1/2 oz vermouth.
  3. Use your muddler to mash the sage leaves.
  4. Add your berry blender mixture to the shaker cup.
  5. Add 1 cup Mancino Vermouth.
  6. Add Ice.
  7. Shake vigorously.
  8. Using your Hawthorn strainer, cover the shaker cup and strain into your glass. (Note: If you want less fruit bits in your drink, strain twice before pouring into your glass)
  9. Add 1/2 cup sparkling water to each glass. Stir Lightly.

BSB-IMG_7828BSB-IMG_7828 BSB-IMG_7844BSB-IMG_7844 BSB-IMG_7853BSB-IMG_7853 BSB-IMG_7858BSB-IMG_7858   BSB-IMG_7860BSB-IMG_7860 BSB-IMG_7872BSB-IMG_7872 BSB-IMG_7879BSB-IMG_7879 BSB-IMG_7883BSB-IMG_7883 BSB-IMG_7896BSB-IMG_7896 BSB-IMG_7899BSB-IMG_7899 BSB-IMG_7932BSB-IMG_7932

Let's Assemble the Garnish:

  1. Skewer one end of the sage leaf, then add one blueberry.
  2. Fold the sage leaf over and skewer again. Add another blueberry.
  3. Skewer one strawberry.
  4. Repeat for 2nd garnish.
  5. Add to each drink.

BSB-IMG_7907BSB-IMG_7907 BSB-IMG_7909BSB-IMG_7909 BSB-IMG_7911BSB-IMG_7911 BSB-IMG_7912BSB-IMG_7912 BSB-IMG_7913BSB-IMG_7913 BSB-IMG_7942BSB-IMG_7942


BSB-IMG_7981BSB-IMG_7981 BSB-IMG_7963BSB-IMG_7963 BSB-IMG_7979BSB-IMG_7979

 

 

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind." 
-Humphrey Bogart
 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage blueberry drink fruit low alcohol mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday muddled recipe sage spritzer strawberry vermouth https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/3/sage-berry-spritzer Mon, 02 Mar 2020 17:45:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Classic Cucumber Minty Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/2/martini-classic-cucumber-minty-martini Hey There! Happy Monday!

Ahhh, the martini. Loved by James Bond, Humphrey Bogart, Homer Simpson and Frank Leverett. The original name of this post was the Perfect Leverett Martini because according to him, it combined all of the classic martini ingredients, well.... perfectly! 

Pro Tip: The key to a great martini, is fresh vermouth. Vermouth is a wine, so we suggest storing your bottle in the fridge after opening or perhaps buying mini bottles so you'll always have a fresh bottle when you need it.

Note: this is considered a double martini as it has twice as much alcohol as a single, so please enjoy responsibility.

As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 
This recipe makes 1 drink!  Let's get started!
 

olive splasholive splash

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1  Cucumber Slice (lengthwise)
3 Spanish Olives / Martini Olives
1 Martini Skewer
 

For Drink
3 oz. Botanical Gin
1/2 oz. Vermouth
2-3 Cucumber Slices 
4-5 Fresh Mint Leaves
Ice
Chilled Martini Glass

You'll also need a Muddler, Shaker Cup, Hawthorn Strainer, Bar Spoon.
 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. After removing the ends from the cucumber, cut two or three slices and place in your shaker cup.
  2. Add mint leaves, vermouth, and gin to the shaker with your cucumber slices.
  3. Use your muddler to mash your mint leaf and cucumbers shaker mix.
  4. Add ice to your now muddled mix and lightly stir.
  5. Cover your shaker with the Hawthorn Strainer and pour into your chilled martini glass.

 

IMG_6645IMG_6645 IMG_6655IMG_6655 IMG_6657IMG_6657 IMG_6662IMG_6662 IMG_6667IMG_6667 IMG_6670IMG_6670 IMG_6676IMG_6676 IMG_6687IMG_6687 IMG_6695IMG_6695 IMG_6709IMG_6709

Let's Assemble the Garnish:

  1. Create a long cucumber slice by using a peeler or cheese slicer. Your slice should be about 6-8 inches long.
  2. Skewer one end of the cucumber slice, then add one olive.
  3. Fold the cucumbers slice over and skewer again.Add another olive.
  4. Repeat step 3 again.

          Note: you may add as few or as many olives as you like but it should be an odd number.

IMG_6713IMG_6713 IMG_6744IMG_6744 IMG_6758IMG_6758 IMG_6763IMG_6763


Add your garnish to your drink and enjoy! 
 

IMG_6789IMG_6789

 

 

“I never go jogging, it makes me spill my Martini.” 
-George Burns
 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage botanical cucumber drink dry martini gin james bond martini mint mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday olives recipe shaken not stirred vermouth https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/2/martini-classic-cucumber-minty-martini Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:45:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Bloody Maria https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/mixology-monday-with-the-leveretts---bloody-maria Happy Monday!

Many are familiar with the popular tomato based hangover cure, the Bloody Mary; which is a cocktail combining vodka, tomato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and the kitchen sink. But, what is a Bloody Maria?? When Mary meets Tequila... you get Maria. There seems to be a definite dichotomy when it comes to liking this alcoholic tomato soup but nonetheless... Bloody Marys are a staple brunch beverage. Whether you are nursing a hangover, or just want some tequila with your veggies, enjoy!

As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 
This recipe makes 1 drink!  Let's get started!
 

IMG_9816editIMG_9816edit

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Jalapeño pepper (1-2 slices)
1 Celery Stalk
2 Lime Slices
1 Cucumber (1 slice)

For Drink
1 ounce Tequila
6 ounce 100% Tomato Juice
2 dashes Celery Salt
1/2 ounce Lime Juice
2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Agave Nectar
 

IMG_9826editedIMG_9826edited

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. Add ice to a highball glass.
  2. Add 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce and celery salt.
  3. Add jalapeño slice(s) and cucumber slice.
  4. Add lime juice and agave nectar.
  5. Add Tequila.
  6. Add tomato juice.
  7. Stir lightly.
  8. Add remaining garnish of lime slices & celery stalk.

 

IMG_9616editedIMG_9616edited IMG_9636editedIMG_9636edited IMG_9666editedIMG_9666edited IMG_9661editedIMG_9661edited

IMG_9644editedIMG_9644edited IMG_9646editedIMG_9646edited IMG_9654editedIMG_9654edited IMG_9694editedIMG_9694edited IMG_9705editIMG_9705edit IMG_9723editIMG_9723edit IMG_9756editedIMG_9756edited IMG_9766editedIMG_9766edited IMG_9773editedIMG_9773edited IMG_9780editedIMG_9780edited

 

Relax & Enjoy!

 

IMG_9828editedIMG_9828edited

 

 

 

"Life is not merely being alive, but being well."
-Marcus Valerius Martialis


 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage bloody maria bloody mary drink lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe tequila tomato juice https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/mixology-monday-with-the-leveretts---bloody-maria Mon, 27 Jan 2020 20:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Classic Gin & Tonic https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/mixology-monday-with-the-leveretts---classic-gin-tonic Hey there!

We place equal stock in elaborate things done well and simple things done simply. This week we are sharing a simple classic that only requires 3 ingredients and just happens to be Frank’s favorite drink to unwind. When life throws us complexity, comfort can be found in found in the simple.

Enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 
This recipe makes 2 drinks!  Let's get started!

 

IMG_9497eIMG_9497e

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Lime slices
 

For Drink
4 oz. Botanical Gin (e.g., Hendricks)
4 oz Tonic Water

IMG_9444eIMG_9444e

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In a rocks-tumbler glass add ice.
  2. Next pour in 2 oz. Gin followed by 2 oz. Tonic Water. 
  3. Give it a gentle stir & add your lime slice garnish.

(If using a fresh lime, take the end which was cut off and give it a light squeeze over the drink.)

 

IMG_9345eIMG_9345e IMG_9349eIMG_9349e IMG_9354eIMG_9354e IMG_9369eIMG_9369e IMG_9386eIMG_9386e IMG_9417eIMG_9417e

 

 

IMG_9482eIMG_9482e

IMG_9455eIMG_9455e

 

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication..."
-Leonardo da Vinci 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage drink gin lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe tonic https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/mixology-monday-with-the-leveretts---classic-gin-tonic Mon, 20 Jan 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Black & Blue Berry Mashed Mojito Mocktail (No Alcohol) https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/black-blue-berry-mashed-mojito-mocktail Happy Monday!

Here's one for the whole family to try! A black and blue berry mashed mojito mocktail... say that 5 times fast! This week we chose to share a mocktail, an alcohol free beverage and it is soooo good! Don't worry... we have also included the swap in case you were not in the mood for a virgin drink today. :)

We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 
This recipe makes 2 drinks!  Let's get started!

IMG_9291editIMG_9291edit

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Lime Wedges
2 Mint Leaves
 

For Drink
4-6 Blackberries
16-20 Blueberries
1 Cup Sparkling Water
1 Cup Club Soda
4-8 Fresh Mint Leaves
2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice (1 Medium/Large Lime Squeezed)
1 Cup Crushed Ice

IMG_8993editIMG_8993edit IMG_8991editIMG_8991edit IMG_8994editIMG_8994edit IMG_8995editIMG_8995edit

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In a tall tumbler or highball glass add:
    • 2 to 3 blackberries
    • 8 to 10 blueberries 
    • 2 to 4 fresh mint leaves 
  2. Mash that mixture to a juicy pulp (a muddler works best for this)
  3. Next, pour in your crushed ice (1/2 Cup) 
  4. Add 2 tsp. sugar
  5. Add 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice  
  6. Finally, add 1/2 cup sparkling water and 1/2 cup club soda 
  7. Give drink a light stir to distribute the berries and mint mash

Note: For a more spirited beverage, swap out the sparkling water in each drink for 2.5 oz. of clear Rum & an additional 1/3 cup of Club Soda.

IMG_9057editIMG_9057edit IMG_9059editIMG_9059edit IMG_9075editIMG_9075edit IMG_9086editIMG_9086edit IMG_9115editIMG_9115edit IMG_9111editIMG_9111edit

IMG_9161editIMG_9161edit IMG_9169editIMG_9169edit IMG_9190editIMG_9190edit IMG_9219editIMG_9219edit IMG_9267editIMG_9267edit
 

Let's Garnish:

Add your mint leaf and lime wedge garnish and enjoy!

 

IMG_9298editIMG_9298edit IMG_9306editIMG_9306edit IMG_9297editIMG_9297edit

 

 

“I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written.”
― Juansen Dizon
 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage blackberry blueberry drink fruit lime mint mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday mocktail monday muddled recipe virgin https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/black-blue-berry-mashed-mojito-mocktail Mon, 13 Jan 2020 18:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Bloody Good Old Fashioned https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/mixology-monday-with-the-leveretts---bloody-good-old-fashioned Call us old-fashioned (pun intended) but after celebrating the new year we like to reflect about simpler times. That nostalgia inspired this weeks mixed drink choice. The Old Fashioned is one of the first cocktails first created in the late 1800s. A combination of spirits, bitters, sugar, and water this drink is not for the timid and is best enjoyed reminiscing with old friends or making memories with new ones.

We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 
This recipe makes 2 drinks!  Let's get started!

 

IMG_8583editIMG_8583edit

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Bourbon Cherries
2 Blood Orange 2 inch x 1 inch skin shavings
2 Large Ice Cubes (or Spheres)
2 toothpicks
2 Rocks tumbler glasses
 

For Drink
4oz. Rye Whiskey
2oz. Vanilla Flavored Simple Syrup (to make your own, [10-12 minute process] see our previous post: click here)
2 Blood Orange half slices
2 Bourbon Cherries
2-4 Drops of Bitters
 

 

Let's Start the Garnish:

  1. Peel 2 strips of blood orange skin, 2 inch x 1 inch. Also cut 2 slices of blood orange and set aside for later.
  2. Wrap each cherry with the blood orange skin. 
  3. Skewer wrapped cherry with toothpick and set aside.

IMG_8429editIMG_8429edit IMG_8442editIMG_8442edit IMG_8451editIMG_8451edit IMG_8514editIMG_8514edit

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. Place ice in each rocks tumbler glass.
  2. Add one cherry.
  3. Add one half slice of blood orange.
  4. Pour in 2 ounces of rye whiskey.
  5. Pour in 1 ounce vanilla simple syrup. 
  6. Add 2 (or so) drops of bitters.
  7. Stir lightly with stirring spoon.
  8. Add garnish from earlier, and enjoy!

IMG_8456editIMG_8456edit IMG_8477editIMG_8477edit IMG_8486editIMG_8486edit IMG_8522editIMG_8522edit IMG_8540editIMG_8540edit IMG_8545editIMG_8545edit IMG_8566editIMG_8566edit

 


 

IMG_8589editIMG_8589edit IMG_8612editIMG_8612edit IMG_8615editIMG_8615edit

 

 

"Life Is Short, Break The Rules. Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly. Love Truly. Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything That Makes You Smile."
~Mark Twain

 

 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage blood oranges cocktail drink mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday old fashioned recipe whiskey https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/mixology-monday-with-the-leveretts---bloody-good-old-fashioned Mon, 06 Jan 2020 20:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/mixology-monday-with-the-leveretts---vanilla-bean-simple-syrup Hey there!

This particular blog post is not a drink recipe, but for a common component in many mixed drinks. Simple syrup is a sweetener used in cocktails. You can of course purchase simple syrup-- but making your own is very easy and the combinations are endless. We will be making vanilla bean simple syrup but feel free to swap out the vanilla for lavender, cinnamon, rosemary or whatever you'd like. We thought this process deserved its own post-- so here it is! 

IMG_8294editIMG_8294edit

Here's what you need:

1 Vanilla Bean (may substitute w/ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Vodka
 

Let's Start:

  1. Slice bean with a pairing knife and use back of knife or blade to strip seeds away from husk. Set aside the bean contents. Keep the husk for later use. Alternatively, you can simply set aside 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
  2. In a small sauce pan add sugar, water, and vanilla bean content (or pure vanilla extract). 
  3. Heat to a boil about 10 to 12 minutes and set aside to cool. 
  4. To store, Pour the Sauce pan contents into a seal-able glass container and add 1 teaspoon of vodka. Refrigerate. 

    Tip: If you need to make more or less simple syrup, the measurements for water & sugar are 1:1, so just keep your measurements even.

Oh! Also if you love coffee like us, take the vanilla bean husks from earlier and soak them in some water overnight. Add a few drops of that liquid to your cup in the morning for a healthier flavor option! Yummy!
 

IMG_8317editIMG_8317edit IMG_8320editIMG_8320edit IMG_8325editIMG_8325edit

IMG_8347editIMG_8347edit IMG_8370editIMG_8370edit IMG_8387editIMG_8387edit IMG_8402editIMG_8402edit IMG_8409editIMG_8409edit IMG_8424editIMG_8424edit

Easy Peasy! :)

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage drink mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe simple syrup sweetener vanilla https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2020/1/mixology-monday-with-the-leveretts---vanilla-bean-simple-syrup Mon, 06 Jan 2020 03:30:33 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Bitter Sweet NYE Cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2019/12/bitter-sweet-nye-cocktail "We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." 
-Edith Lovejoy Pierce


The ending of another year, another decade and welcoming a new one can be bitter sweet. So is this take on a classic sparkling wine cocktail. This recipe calls for aromatic bitters. There are many types of bitters; they are made from botanicals, herbs, nuts, roots or fruit and are combined with flavorless alcohol. We used the most popular version, Angostura Bitters, when making this cocktail but if you would like a stronger orange flavor, use  orange peel bitters instead. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 


This recipe makes 4 drinks and can easily be scaled up for any sized NYE party! Let's get started!

 

IMG_8042-stack editIMG_8042-stack edit

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
4 Sugar Cubes
1 Orange 
Aromatic Bitters

 

For Drink
1 Bottle of Sparkling Wine 
Champagne Flutes
 

IMG_7836editedIMG_7836edited

Let's Start the Garnish:

  1. Grab your sugar cubes. You will need 1 for each glass you make.
  2. Add several drops of bitters to each cube.  (several drops per side)
  3. Place one cube in each champagne flute.
  4. Create small strips of orange peel 2-3 inches long and set aside.

IMG_8111editedIMG_8111edited IMG_8115editedIMG_8115edited IMG_8131editedIMG_8131edited IMG_8132editedIMG_8132edited IMG_8167editedIMG_8167edited

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. Pour sparkling wine over sugar cube.
  2. Add one freshly made orange peel strip to each glass.
  3. Toast to 2020! Happy New Year!

Pro Tip: The next morning, you can most definitely use your remaining orange and sparkling wine for mimosas!

 

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
-Oprah Winfrey

 

IMG_8151editIMG_8151edit IMG_8179editIMG_8179edit


 

IMG_7852editIMG_7852edit

 

“In the New Year, never forget to thank to your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan
 

]]>
(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage bitters champagne drink fruit mixed drink mixology mixology monday orange prosecco recipe sparkling wine https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2019/12/bitter-sweet-nye-cocktail Mon, 30 Dec 2019 15:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - A Grinch-tini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2019/12/a-grinchtini Twas the day of Christmas Eve, Eve,

it was Mixology Monday all through the nation;

tired adults longed for a day off,

and all Whos in Whoville wanted libations!!

~Nicole Leverett


For some it takes a little longer to get into the holiday spirit-- we may or may not be talking about ourselves. LOL If you feel the same and are ready to devise a plan to cancel the holidays.... give this recipe a try! We guarantee your heart will grow at least two sizes and you'll change your mind! We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 


This recipe makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

IMG_7458IMG_7458

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Bourbon Cherries (may substitute Maraschino Cherries)
2 Raspberries
2 Apple Slices 
2 Green Grapes
2 Martini Picks 

For Drink
3 oz. Midori
2 oz. Gin (may substitute Vodka)
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (~1 Lemon)
1 oz. Dry or Extra-Dry Vermouth
 

 

Let's Start the Garnish:

  1. Make your apple slices approximately 1/2 inch thick and cut into a circle, about the diameter of a quarter.
  2. Dip your apple slices in a little lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Set aside.
  3. Set aside your cherries, raspberries and grapes.

(Note: Our garnish does not have a white tassel for the santa hat, if you wish to add, you can either use a small marshmallow or a a smaller piece of apple; have fun!)

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In a shaker cup add the following
    • Several Ice Cubes
    • Midori
    • Lemon Juice
    • Gin
    • Vermouth
  2. Shake for 10-20 seconds
  3. Using strainer, pour equally between 2 martini glasses
  4. Add a Grinchy heart to each glass (1 bourbon cherry; we used the Sable & Rosenfeld brand of tipsy cherries)
  5. Add Santy Claus Grinch (Skewer Raspberry, Apple and Grape)
  6. Enjoy!!

IMG_7668IMG_7668 IMG_7677IMG_7677 IMG_7686IMG_7686 IMG_7691IMG_7691 IMG_7698IMG_7698 IMG_7712IMG_7712 IMG_7729IMG_7729 IMG_7738IMG_7738 IMG_7740IMG_7740 IMG_7742IMG_7742 IMG_7749IMG_7749 IMG_7750IMG_7750

 

We truly wish you and your family a holiday season full of love and laughter!

 


IMG_7427IMG_7427

Please Drink Responsibly.

“Why, my sweet little Who” the fake Bartender lied, “There’s an olive in this martini with only one eye. “So I’m taking it back t