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, 04 Jul 2022 20:03:00 GMT Mon, 04 Jul 2022 20:03:00 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 - Mint and Jalapeño Infused Margarita https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/7/mint-jalapeno-infused-margarita Hey There!

The margarita is a super popular cocktail and definitely makes us think of summer. On this first Monday of July, in the thick of summer we're going to keep it spicy with this mint and jalapeño infused margarita. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Pineapple Wedge (we sprinkled a little nutmeg on ours)
1-2 Sprigs of Mint 
1-2 Slices of J
alapeños
Lime Juice & Nutmeg Sugar Mixture to Rim Glass


For Drink
1.5 oz. Mint Jalapeño Infused Tequila (We used ‘El Espolon’ Tequila Blanco)
3/4 oz. Triple Sec
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Lime Juice
1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
1/4 cup Diced Pineapple
1 Slice Jalapeño
2-4 Fresh Mint Leaves
~ 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
3 to 4 Dashes Orange Bitters

Ice
 

You will also need a shaker cup, fine mesh strainer, tumbler or margarita glass and 2 small plates to help rim your glass.

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Let's Make the Infused Tequila!

  1. In a mason jar, add:

    • 8 oz. Tequila

    • 4-5 Jalapeño Slices

    • 2-4 Large Mint Leaves

  2. Let sit several hours to overnight (the longer it sits, the spicier it gets :) )

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Use about 1/2 ounce of lime juice and nutmeg sugar mixture to rim your glass. Set aside.

  2. In your shaker cup, add:

    • diced pineapple (1/4 cup)

    • 1 jalapeño slice

    • Mint Leaves (2-4)

    • Lime Juice (1 oz.)

  3. Muddle Well

  4. Add Remaining Ingredients:

    • Nutmeg

    • Bitters

    • ​​I​nfused Tequila (1.5 oz.)

    • Triple Sec (3/4 oz.)

    • Simple Syrup (1/4 oz.)

    • Pineapple Juice (2 oz.)

  5. Shake Well

  6. Add Ice to you nutmeg sugar rimmed glass and strain in cocktail 

  7. Garnish with pineapple wedge, jalapeño slices and sprig of mint

  8. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Jalepeno Pineapple Margarita    Press Play!       



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"Always make time for the things you love, like drinking and margaritas."

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage food photography fruit jalapeño margarita mexico mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday of tequila tequila cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/7/mint-jalapeno-infused-margarita Mon, 04 Jul 2022 17:10:42 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Lavender Lemon Drop Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/6/lavender-lemon-drop-martini Hey There,

According to Chilled Magazine, "the Lemon Drop Martini is an adult version of the 19th-century lemon drop candy, the Lemon Drop Martini consists of vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, and simple syrup that’s shaken, strained, and poured into a sugar-rimmed Martini glass."  In our variation, we added Limoncello and garnished ours with a lemon twist and an edible lavender flower. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Lemon Peel

1 Edible Lavender Flower 

For Drink
2 oz. Vido Vodka
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
3/4 ounce Triple Sec
1/4 ounce Limoncello
~1/4 tsp. Lemon Zest

Ice

You will also need 1 Martini Glass and a shaker cup. Feel free to rim your martini glass if you like using lemon juice and granulated sugar and lemon zest.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add all ingredients

    • 2 oz. Vido Vodka

    • 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

    • 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup

    • 3/4 ounce Triple Sec

    • 1/4 ounce Limoncello

    • ~1/4 tsp. Lemon Zest

    • Ice

  2. Shake vigorously 20-30 seconds

  3. Strain into martini glass

  4. Garnish with lemon peel and edible flower

  5. Enjoy! 

Mixology Monday - Lemon Drop Martini    Press Play!

 


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“I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade...and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”
― Ron White




 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage drink" food photography lemon drop martini mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/6/lavender-lemon-drop-martini Mon, 27 Jun 2022 20:08:16 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Orange Ginger Whiskey Cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/6/orange-ginger-whiskey-cocktail Hey there!

This weekend we celebrated our sister's return to heaven's glory. We were privileged to share moments with her in this life. So, in proper send off, we dedicate this Mixology Monday to Lisa Maxey-Leverett, mother, soldier, wife, and light in this world. Thanks to @theweekendmixologist for creating this ginger & orange infused whiskey cocktail. We used  Fevertree ginger beer, Cointreau and  herbal bitters from Underberg to recreate this new refreshing classic. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you decide to make this cocktail, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @staynfocusimages 


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

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Orange Peel

Mint Bunch

For Drink
.5 oz. Cointreau
1.5 oz. Bourbon Whiskey
Few Dashes of Bitters
Ginger Beer
Ice

You'll also need a Collins glass or highball.

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your Collins or High Ball add:

    • Ice

    • Cointreau (.5 oz)

    • Bourbon (1.5 oz)

    • Bitters

  2. Top with Ginger Beer

  3. Express with orange peel and add to glass

  4. Garnish with Mint Leaves

  5. Enjoy!!

Mixology Monday - CC     Click to Play!


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“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
― Thomas Campbell
 

 

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage bourbon cointreau drink mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe whiskey https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/6/orange-ginger-whiskey-cocktail Mon, 13 Jun 2022 15:17:51 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Chocolate Covered Cherry Whiskey Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/6/chocolate-covered-cherry-whiskey-sour Hey there!

It's no secret we love bourbon and we love whiskey sours! Here's another sour to add to the collection. We were gifted a bottle of Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey by one of Frank's cousins (Thank you!). We decided to infuse it with cocoa nibs similar to what we done in the past (see here). If you you are short on time, or do not want to infuse your own whiskey, we recommend purchasing a whiskey like, Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey. In any event, 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Cherry
1 Pinch Cocoa Nibs

 

For Drink
1.25 oz. Kentucky Bourbon (We recommend a chocolate infused whiskey like Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey)
.5 oz. Disaronno Amaretto,
4-6 Dashes Angostura Coco Bitters
1 Pinch Cocoa Nibs
1 oz.  Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
~.5 oz. Simple Syrup
~.25 oz Luxardo Cherry Liqueur
 4 Cherries
1 Egg White

You'll also need a shaker cup, ice, strainer and a Nick/Nora coupe glass. 

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your shaker cup add and muddle:

    • Cherries (~4)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (1 oz.)

  2. Once muddled well, add:

    • Add bitters

    • Pinch of cocoa nibs

    • Add egg white

  3. Dry shake for 20-30 seconds

  4. Add remaining ingredients

    • Ice
    • Chocolate Infused Bourbon Whiskey (1.25 oz.)
    • Amaretto (.5 oz.)
    • Simple Syrup (~.5 oz or 10 ml)
    • Luxardo Liqueur (~.25 oz or 5 ml)
  5. Shake vigorously an additional 15 to 20 seconds,
  6. Double strain into a Nick/Nora coupe glass
  7. Garnish with fresh cherry & remaining pinch of cocoa nibs
  8. Enjoy!!

 

Mixology Monday - Chocolate Cherry Sour         Click to Play!


 

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"When better cherries are not to be had,
We needs must take the seeming best of bad."

-Samuel Daniel

 

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) drink adult adult beverage beverage cherry chocolate drink" mixed mixology mixology monday monday whiskey whiskey sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/6/chocolate-covered-cherry-whiskey-sour Mon, 06 Jun 2022 20:49:50 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Blue Long Island Iced Tea https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/blue-long-island-iced-tea Hey There!

 We've shared an LIIT before, but we wanted to revisit it especially on this long holiday weekend. If you have a little of this and little of that... this might be a great choice to make if you are entertaining. Personally, I think I prefer this blue variation made with Blue Curacao. What do you think? This recipe came from Vinepair. 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 LIIT!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Lemon Peel Twist
1 Cherry

 

For Drink
3/4 oz White Rum
3/4 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Tequila

3/4 oz Blue Curacao
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Lemon - Lime Soda

 

You'll also need, Highball or Collins glass, Ice, Shaker Cup and Hawthorn Strainer

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Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In your shaker cup, add  everything except lemon lime soda:
    • 3/4 oz White Rum
    • 3/4 oz Vodka
    • 3/4 oz Gin
    • 3/4 oz Tequila
    • 3/4 oz Blue Curacao
    • 1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
    • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  2. Shake for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Fill highball or collins glass with ice.
  4. Strain LIIT into glass.
  5. Top with lemon lime soda 
  6. Garnish with lemon twist and cherry
  7. Enjoy!

Mixology Monday - LIT Press Play!

 

 

If life gives you lemon, make lemonade…and find someone whose life gave them vodka.

– Ron White
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage blue curacao drink gin LIIT long island iced tea mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe rum soda sprite tequila vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/blue-long-island-iced-tea Mon, 30 May 2022 19:29:47 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Quick Strawberry Frosé https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/strawberry-frose Hey There,

Here's another cocktail using bubbly. This time we opted for something more refreshing in the 90º weather we've been having! A frozen Rosé or Frosé is the perfect solution to cool off with. There are a few ways to make this. You can either pour Rosé into ice cube trays and freeze for at least 6 hours or you can freeze the fruit you're adding, in this case the strawberries, OR if you're impatient, like us, you can just use a blender with ice. Those steps are below. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1/2 strawberry
 

For Drink
1 cup (8 oz.) Brut Rosé 
3 cups Ice
3/4 oz. Rose Water
1/2 cup Sugar
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

You will also need a blender and wine glasses.

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Add all ingredients to your blender
    • Rosé (8 oz.)
    • Ice
    • Rose Water  (3/4 oz.)
    • Chopped Strawberries (~1 cup)
    • Sugar (1/2 cup)
    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (2 oz.)
  2. Blend well
  3. Pour into wine glass
  4. Garnish with half a strawberry
  5. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Frose

Click to Play!   


 

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"Always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes, the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of champagne in the fridge."

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage champagne food photography frose frozen champagne frozen rose mixed drink mixology mixology monday rose strawberry https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/strawberry-frose Mon, 23 May 2022 22:55:14 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Pomegranate Mimosa https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/pomegranate-mimosa Hey There,

In case you didn't know, today, May 16th is National Mimosa Day.... so we had to oblige! This brunch staple is typically made with orange juice and champagne; we chose to be a little different and add pomegranate liqueur and use Prosecco which is Italian sparkling white wine instead of champagne. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Orange Twist
Several tsp sugar and orange zest for rim of glass
~.5 oz. Lime Juice

 

For Drink
1 oz. Pomegranate Liqueur
3 oz. Orange Juice
~2 oz. Prosecco
Few Dashes of Bitters

You will also need, ice, strainer and champagne flutes.

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Dip flute into lime juice then into sugar/orange zest mixture. Set aside.
  2. In mixing glass add:
    • Ice
    • Pomegranate Liqueur (1 oz.)
    • Orange Juice (3 oz.)
    • Few dashes of Bitters
  3. Stir gently
  4. Strain into flute.
  5. Top with Prosecco (~2 oz.)
  6. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Orange Pomergrante Mimosa_1 Click to Play!   


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"Mimosas are a great source for Vitamin C"

 

 


 

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage champagne food photography mimosa mixed drink mixology mixology monday orange juice pomegranate prosecco https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/pomegranate-mimosa Mon, 16 May 2022 22:32:44 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Honey Ginger Whiskey Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/honey-ginger-whiskey-sour Hey there!

This drink was actually inspired by a bee that found itself trapped in our dining room. We started with the colors black and yellow, the flavor of honey and went from there. I love the smoothness of the Japanese whiskey we chose and how it paired with the added ginger notes. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Lace Tuile (made with black food coloring click here for steps
) or Lemon Wheel

 

For Drink
1.5 oz. Whiskey (We used ShinJu, Japanese Whiskey)
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 tbsp. Local Honey
1 tbsp Water
3 to 4 Dashes Bitters (We used Hella Ginger Bitters)
1 Egg White
1/4-1/2 tsp. Fresh Grated Ginger

 

You'll also need a shaker cup, ice, strainer and a coup glass. 

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your shaker cup add:

    • 1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

    • 2 tbsp. Local Honey & 1 tbsp Water (for a honey simple syrup)

    • 1 Egg White

    • 1/4-1/2 tsp. Fresh Grated Ginger
       

  2. Dry shake vigorously (without ice) for 30 seconds

  3. Add:

    • 1.5 oz. Whiskey (We used ShinJu, Japanese Whiskey)

    • 3 to 4 Dashes Bitters (We used Hella Ginger Bitters)

    • Ice

  4. Shake again for 20-30 seconds

  5. Double Strain into your coup glass

  6. Garnish with Lace Tuile or lemon wheel

  7. Enjoy!!

        Mixology Monday - Honey Ginger Whiskey Sour Click to Play!


 

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" Words are like bees – some create honey; and others leave a sting."

– unknown

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage black owned brands drink mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday whiskey whiskey sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/honey-ginger-whiskey-sour Mon, 09 May 2022 16:13:30 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Luxardo Lemoncello G&T https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/luxardo-lemoncello-gin-and-tonic Hey there!

Today we're sharing another variation of a simple cocktail, the G&T or Gin and Tonic. We stumbled on these pink lemons in the local grocery store and knew we wanted to do something with them.  They are a little smaller and less tart than "regular" lemons and have a  sweeter flavor. They kind of look like tiny grapefruits. We added Lemoncello to amp up the tart lemon notes and we thought this would pair nicely with Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur for a a hint of cherry. 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!

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1-3 Pink Lemon Wheels

Mint Bunch (optional)

For Drink
1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Juice from a Pink Lemon
1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz. Lemoncello
1 1/4 oz. Hendricks Gin
1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
2 1/4 oz. Tonic Water

 

You'll also need a mixing glass, bar spoon, ice, strainer and rocks tumbler. 

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your mixing glass add all ingredients except tonic water:

    • 1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Juice from a Pink Lemon

    • 1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

    • 1/2 oz. Lemoncello

    • 1 1/4 oz. Hendricks Gin

    • 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup

    • Ice

  2. Stir

  3. Strain into ice filled tumbler

  4. Top with tonic water

  5. Garnish with pink lemon wheels and mint bunch

  6. Enjoy!!

Mixology Monday - LL Cool GT       

Click to Play!


 

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 “The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.”

– Edwin Way Teale

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage drink G&T gin gin and tonic lemoncello luxardo maraschino mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/5/luxardo-lemoncello-gin-and-tonic Mon, 02 May 2022 15:50:51 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Pineapple Campari Cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/pineapple-campari-cocktail Hey there!

Continuing with the theme of light and airy drinks for spring, we introduce this low alcohol sip of pineapple, Campari and vermouth. Campari has a bitter taste so feel free to swap with Aperol for something a little sweeter. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Dehydrated Pineapple Slice 

Mint Bunch (optional)

For Drink
3 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Campari 
.75 oz. Dry Vermouth 
2-3 Dashes Bitters (We Used Ginger Flavored Bitters by Hella) 

 

You'll also need a rocks tumbler, shaker cup, ice and strainer. We also used a shaker ball to amp up the froth.

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your shaker cup add all ingredients:

    • Shaker Ball (optional)

    • Fresh Pineapple Juice (3 oz.)

    • Campari (1 oz.)

    • Vermouth (.75 oz.)

    • Bitters (2-3 dashes)

    • Ice

  2. Shake Vigorously

  3. Strain into tumbler

  4. Garnish with dehydrated pineapple slice and mint bunch

  5. Enjoy!!

      Mixology Monday - Pineapple Campari

Click to Play!


 

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"April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers."

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage campari drink mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday pineapple recipe vermouth https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/pineapple-campari-cocktail Mon, 25 Apr 2022 17:25:28 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Strawberry Wallbanger Sunset https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/strawberry-wallbanger-sunset Hey there!

So this started out as a Harvey Wallbanger cocktail but we kept going. A Harvey Wallbanger is an elevated screwdriver typically made with 1.5 oz Vodka, 4 oz Orange juice and a float of .5 oz Galliano. We decided to enhance this already great cocktail with muddled strawberries, vanilla simple syrup, grenadine and a splash of tonic water. This light, refreshing drink was like springtime in a glass. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Dehydrated Orange Slice 

1/2 Strawberry

For Drink
.75 oz. Galliano
2-3 Fresh Chopped Strawberries (~2-3 Strawberries)*
.50 oz. Vanilla Simple Syrup 
1.5 oz. Vodka 
2.75 oz. Fresh OJ 
.25 oz. Splash Grenadine 
1 oz. Tonic Water

 

You'll also need a rocks tumbler or Collins glass, shaker cup, ice and strainer.

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your shaker cup add:

  2. Muddle well

  3. Add remaining ingredients except tonic water to shaker cup:​​​​​

    • Vodka (1.5 oz.)

    • Galliano (.75 oz.)

    • Fresh OJ (2.75 oz.)

    • Splash Grenadine (~.25 oz.)

    • Ice

  4. Shake vigorously

  5. Strain into ice filled tumbler or Collins glass

  6. Top with tonic water

  7. Garnish with dehydrated orange slice and halved strawberry

  8. Enjoy!!

  Mixology Monday - Strawberry Wallbanger Sunset     

Click to Play!


 

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"If you can’t say something nice about someone, have another Vodka, it’ll come to you."

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage drink harvey wallbanger mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe screwdriver vodka cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/strawberry-wallbanger-sunset Mon, 18 Apr 2022 14:00:00 GMT
Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Puff Pastry Bites https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/caramelized-onion-gruyere-puff-pastry-bites Hey There!

I love a fancy looking appetizer; especially if it's tasty! I'm even more in love if It's something I can whip together quickly and effortlessly! Puff pastry is great and so versatile-- it works perfectly for handheld bites whether sweet or savory. These caramelized onion gruyere puff pastry bites are my new go to for any friends or family gathering... I'm obsessed! I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as me!

This will make 18 bites. Let's get started!!

 

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What You Need:

  • 1 Package of thawed puff pastry (I prefer Pepperidge Farm; there are 2 sheets in one box)
  • 2 Medium sized onions ( I used red because they're my favorite but yellow onions would be perfect for this recipe also)
  • 1 Sprig of thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1.5-2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Salted butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 4-5 oz. Grated apple smoked gruyere cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chopped green onions/scallions and rainbow micro greens (optional garnish)

You'll also need a cast iron pan or dutch oven, knife or pizza cutter, baking sheet and parchment paper.

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Let's Get Started:

Note: Allow yourself extra time for caramelized onions to cool to room temperature before assembling and baking your bites. Keep your thawed puff pastry refrigerated until ready to bake.

  1. Prep the Onions
    • Slice your onions into rings or strips.
    • Using medium heat, add 3tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil to your cast iron pan or dutch oven. As butter melts add sliced onions, thyme and oregano. Let your onions cook down for about 20 minutes but stir periodically to prevent from burning. 
    • When onions are well browned, deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar. Then transfer to a dish to allow cooling to room temp.

 

  1. Prep the Puff Pastry
    • Preheat Oven to 400º
    • Using your knife or pizza cutter, divide each puff pastry sheet into 9 rectangles.
    • ​​​​​​​Line baking sheet with parchment paper and add your puff pastry rectangles.
    • Crack and beat 1 egg, and brush each rectangle with egg.
    • Poke the center of each rectangle with a fork.

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  1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Let's Bake
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Grab your room temp caramelized onions and season with salt and pepper.
    • Add grated gruyere cheese and mix well.
    • Place forkful of onion gruyere mixture on each rectangle
    • Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown, rotate after 10 minutes.
    • Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before garnishing and serving.
    • Enjoy!

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) appetizers baking cooking with nikki food photography puff pastry vegetarian https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/caramelized-onion-gruyere-puff-pastry-bites Thu, 14 Apr 2022 02:49:30 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Last Word https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/last-word Hey there!

Today's cocktail is a classic from the prohibition era. The Last Word is simple and straightforward, it calls for equal parts of gin, green Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur and fresh lime juice. I would describe this as tart, and sophisticated. Variations of this cocktail exist, and we've done one previously called, the Paper Plane which uses Bourbon instead of Gin. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Lime Twist

1 Cherry

For Drink
3/4 oz. Gin (We used Hendrick's)
3/4 oz. Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur
3/4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice 

 

You'll also need a coup glass or Nick & Nora, shaker cup, Ice and strainer.

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your shaker cup add

    • 3/4 oz. Gin (We used Hendrick's)

    • 3/4 oz. Green Chartreuse

    • 3/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur

    • 3/4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice 

    • Ice

  2. Shake vigorously

  3.  Strain into coup or Nick & Nora glass

  4. Garnish with Lime Peel and Cherry

  5. Enjoy!!

Mixology Monday - Last Word     Click to Play!


 

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“I exercise strong self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin at breakfast.”

– W.C. Fields
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage drink gin cocktail last word mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/last-word Mon, 11 Apr 2022 17:13:46 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Sunday Morning in the Park https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/sunday-morning-in-the-park Hey there!

Today's drink is a riff on the Sunday in the Park cocktail. We swapped out the fresh squeezed lemon juice for orange juice, so we're calling it Sunday Morning in the Park. We stumbled onto the original recipe online and it's my fault. Frank wanted an afterwork drink; however, I had already poured the last glass of wine he had been thinking about having. I also used the last lemon we had in the dish I was photographing! Whoops!  So... it was kind of like a Food Network's Chopped Challenge basket but with alcohol. This was the tasty result, 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!

 

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Orange Wedge

Sprig of Thyme

For Drink
1.5 oz. Lillet Blanc
1.5 oz. Bourbon Whiskey
1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
1 oz. Fresh Squeezes Orange Juice 
1 Sprig Fresh Thyme 
2 oz. Club Soda

 

You'll also need a Collins glass or highball, shaker cup, and strainer.

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Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your shaker cup add

    • 1 Sprig of Thyme 

    • Lillet Blanc (1.5 oz.)

    • Bourbon (1.5 oz.)

    • Simple Syrup (1/4 oz.)

    • Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (1 oz.)

    • Ice

  2. Shake vigorously

  3. Double Strain into ice filled Collins or Highball

  4. Top with Club Soda

  5. Garnish with Orange Wedge and Thyme Sprig

  6. Enjoy!!

 

Mixology Monday - Sunday Morning    Click to Play!


 

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“It's not so much do what you like as it is that you like what you do.”
― Stephen Sondheim, Sunday in the Park with George
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage bourbon drink lillet blanc mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe whiskey https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/4/sunday-morning-in-the-park Mon, 04 Apr 2022 04:56:13 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Necromancer https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/3/necromancer Hey there!

One of our guilty pleasures is watching ghost hunting shows on the travel channel. Maybe its the over the top reenactments and reactions that hook us, or maybe its the "ghosts"! The name for today's cocktail may be a bit unusual. Necromancer is defined as, a person who uses witchcraft or sorcery, especially to reanimate dead people or to foretell the future by communicating with them. So this might be the perfect drink to sip while watching The Dead Files. This cocktail was created by Mayur Subbarao for Louro Restaurant in New York’s West Village, and is a riff on the classic Corpse Reviver cocktail. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Lemon Peels

Spritz of Absinthe

For Drink
3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz. Elderflower Liqueur
3/4 oz. Absinthe
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
Dash of Gin

 

You'll also need a Nick & Nora glass or a coup glass, shaker cup, strainer, atomizer/spray bottle for Absinthe.

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your shaker cup add

    • 3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc

    • 3/4 oz. Elderflower Liqueur

    • 3/4 oz. Absinthe

    • 3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

    • Dash of Gin

    • Ice

  2. Shake for approximately 30 seconds

  3. Strain into glass

  4. Spray glass with Absinthe filled Atomizer

  5. Express lemon peel & enjoy

  6. Garnish with lemon Peel

  7. Enjoy!!

Mixology Monday - Necromancer

   Click to Play!


 

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“A bad conscience makes a very good ghost.”
― Hope Mirrlees
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) absinthe adult adult beverage beverage cucumber dill drink elderflower gin mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe vermouth https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/3/necromancer Mon, 28 Mar 2022 15:19:50 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Netflix & Dill https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/3/netflix-dill Hey there!

Inspiration comes from many places. This week we were inspired by Ryan Reynolds and Ash Lewis (@professional_lush) to create our version of this dill infused gin cocktail. We recently watched Ryan's newest movie, The Adam Project on Netflix where he plays a time traveling fighter pilot... so we thought now would be a good time to break out his Aviation American Gin. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Small Sprig of Dill
Mini Clothespin (optional)


For Simple Syrup
1 Part Water
1 Part Granulated Sugar
2-4 Sprigs Fresh Dill

 

For Drink
2 oz. Aviation Gin
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1.25 oz. Dill Infused Simple Syrup*
~.25 cup Chopped Peeled Cucumber
4-6 Sprigs Fresh Dill
1 Egg White

 

You'll also need a coup glass, shaker cup ,strainer and small sauce pan.

 

 

Let's Make the Dill Infused Simple Syrup:

  1. Add to Sauce Pan: 
    • 1 Part Water
    • 1 Part Granulated Sugar
    • 2-4 Sprigs Fresh Dill
  2. Heat over medium-low heat until liquid is reduced by half (~15-20 mins.)

  3. Set aside to cool.

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Let's Make the Drink:

  1.  In your shaker cup add

    • Chopped Cucumber (~.25 cup)

    • Simple Syrup (1.25 oz.)

  2. Muddle well.

  3. Add Egg White & Lemon Juice (1 oz.) to shaker cup.

  4. Dry Shake for 30 sec. (shake vigorously without ice)

  5. Add remaining ingredients:

    •  Ice

    • Aviation Gin (2 oz.)

    • 1 Sprig Fresh Dill

  6. Vigorously shake an additional 20-30 sec.

  7. Strain into Coupe Glass

  8. Garnish with sprig of Fresh Dill

  9. Enjoy!!

 

Mixology Monday - Netflix and Dill   Click to Play!


 

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“When everything seems to be against you, remember that an airplane takes-off against the wind, not with it.”

- Henry Ford.

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage cucumber dill drink gin mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/3/netflix-dill Mon, 21 Mar 2022 16:43:33 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Bananas Foster https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/3/bananas-foster Hey there!

We came across this Bananas Foster cocktail recipe on Just a Pinch and had to try! This decadence in a glass is perfect for after dinner... or maybe instead of! 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 3-4 drinks, depending on size of your glass.  Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Candied Pecan Halves (see steps below)
Caramel Syrup
 

For Drink
4-6 Scoops vanilla or banana ice cream*
6 oz Rum (We used Ten to One)
2 oz Banana Liqueur
1-2 Bananas, cut in chunks
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
Cinnamon

You'll also need a martini glass and blender

 

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Let's Make the Garnish:

  1. Melt 1-2 tablespoons butter 
  2. Mix in 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  3. Add your pecan halves and stir to coat in glaze mixture.
  4. Set aside... (if you're extra like us, hit them with the kitchen torch a little before using.)


 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In your blender, add:
    • Ice Cream
    • Rum
    • Banana Liqueur
    • Banana Chunks
    • Few dashes of Cinnamon
    • Brown Sugar
  2. Blend well.
  3. Drizzle caramel syrup onto insides of martini glass.
  4. Pour your cocktail and garnish with pecan halves.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Bananas Foster  Click to Play!


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“I'm not a vegetarian! I'm a dessertarian!”
― Bill Watterson
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage black owned brands dessert dessert cocktail drink mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe rum https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/3/bananas-foster Mon, 14 Mar 2022 22:54:59 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Empress Gin & Tonic https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/3/empress-gin-tonic Hey there!

Sometimes less is more. This week we are keeping it simple with a gin and tonic, however we decided to use Empress Gin which is handcrafted botanical gin made with a signature blend of black tea and butterfly pea blossom. The butterfly pea blossom gives the gin its beautiful indigo, purplish hue. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Lime slices (We used key limes)

 

For Drink
2 oz. Empress Gin
2 oz. Tonic Water (or more if you like)

You'll also need ice and a rocks tumbler.

 

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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. 
  4. Add your lime slice garnishes and optional dried pea flower blossoms.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Gin & Tonic Click to Play!

 


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“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication..."

-Leonardo da Vinci 

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage butterfly pea flower drink empress gin g&t gin gin and tonic lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday recipe tonic https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/3/empress-gin-tonic Mon, 07 Mar 2022 15:12:30 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Plush Vodka Blueberry Smash https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/2/plush-vodka-blueberry-smash Hey There!

It's the last day of February and Black History Month and we haven't even scratched the surface of all the amazing Black Owned Brands out there. In the last two years we have uncovered many gems and we will continue to explore and share. Today we are sharing another original cocktail with Plush Vodka. You might remember this brand from our Sugar Plum Fairy Martini back in December. Plush Vodka is a 8x distilled, gluten free, American vodka and we chose their Plum flavor to pair with blueberries, rose water, mint and sage. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

Find Plush Vodka, near you! https://www.plushvodka.com/home

To find our other posts featuring black owned brands, click here: Recipes Featuring Black Owned Brands

This makes 1 drink! Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
3 Blueberries

1 Tendril of Mint Leaves


For Drink
2 oz. Plush Plum Vodka 
1/2 oz. Rosewater
1/2 oz. a Simple Syrup 
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
One Small Handful of Blueberries 
4-6 mint leaves, 
4-6 sage leaves

Ice


You will also need a Rocks Tumblers,  Muddler, Fine Mesh Strainer, Shakercup and Juicer. 

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In Shaker Cup Add:
    • Blueberries
    • Lime Juice
    • Rosewater
    • Herbs
  2. Muddle well for 10 seconds or so
  3. Add remaining ingredients to shaker cup:
    • Ice
    • Simple Syrup
    • Blush Plum Vodka
  4. Shake vigorously 20-30 seconds
  5. Using your fine mesh strainer, double strain into your ice filled tumbler
  6. Garnish with fresh mint and blueberries
  7. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Plush Vodka Smash Press Play!     


 

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“Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.”
― Maya Angelou

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands blueberry food photography fruit mint mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe sage smash smash cocktail vodka vodka cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/2/plush-vodka-blueberry-smash Mon, 28 Feb 2022 16:12:54 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Chocolate Old Fashioned https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/2/chocolate-old-fashioned Hey There!

We are still sharing Black Owned Brands for Black History Month and today's share is for Virginia Black Whiskey. Virginia Black is co founded by celebrity musician and actor, Drake and award winning spirits producer, Brent Hocking.  We decided to infuse this already smooth and easy to drink whiskey with cacao for an even more decadent experience. We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages  

Find Virginia Black, near you! https://virginiablackwhiskey.com

To find our other posts featuring black owned brands, click here: Recipes Featuring Black Owned Brands

This makes 1 drink! Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Dark Chocolate Shavings
1 Orange Peel

 

For Cacao Whiskey Infusion (makes approx 2 servings)
6 ounces Virginia black whiskey (about half a bottle)
1 tablespoon Cacao Nibs
1 Orange Peel

 

For Drink
3 ounces cacao infused Virginia Black whiskey
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 ounces simple syrup
3 to 5 dashes Cocoa Angostura Bitters

 

You will also need a rocks tumbler, bar spoon and large ice cube.

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Let's Make the Whiskey Infusion!

  1. In a glass jar add:
    • Orange Peel
    • Cacao Nibs (1 tbsp)
    • Virginia Black Whiskey (6 oz.)
  2. Cover and let sit for 24-36 hours (un-refrigerated)
  3. Strain out solids & set aside

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your rocks tumbler add:
    • Whiskey (3 oz.)
    • Grand Marnier (1 oz.)
    • Simple Syrup (1/2 oz.)
    • Bitters (3-5 dashes)
    • Ice Cube
  2. Stir gently
  3. Express orange peel and add as garnish
  4. Top with shaved dark chocolate
  5. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Chocolate Old Fashioned
 Press Play!    


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“Dreams are lovely but they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.”

– Shonda Rhimes


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult adult beverage beverage black owned brands bourbon cointreau drink food photography mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday monday old fashioned recipe virginia black whiskey https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/2/chocolate-old-fashioned Mon, 21 Feb 2022 19:19:32 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - HH Bespoke Vodka Rose Water Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/2/rose-water-martini Hey There,

We are sharing Black Owned Brands for Black History Month AND its Valentine's day!! We decided to pair HH Bespoke Vodka with Rose Water for a martini perfect for sipping with your honey, your friends or by yourself! Harlem Haberdashery (HH) is rich in cultural history and draws inspiration from the Harlem Renaissance. Their vodka is grain based and handmade in small batches with a light, clean taste.  In addition to Vodka, Rum and Gin launched in 2018, HH is also an award winning boutique house. We hope you give them a try! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages  

Find HH Bespoke Spirits, near you! https://hhbespokespirits.com/locator or order online! https://hhbespokespirits.com/buy-now

To find our other posts featuring black owned brands, click here: Recipes Featuring Black Owned Brands

This makes 1 drink! Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Lemon Peel

 

For Drink
1.5 oz. HH Bespoke Vodka
1.5 oz. White Grape Juice
.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz. Simple Syrup
5 ml. (~.25 oz.) Rose Water
Ice

You will also need,1 Martini Glass, Shaker cup and Hawthorne Strainer.
 

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add all ingredients

    • Vodka

    • White Grape Juice

    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

    • Simple Syrup

    • Rose Water

  2. Shake vigorously 20-30 seconds

  3. Strain into martini glass

  4. Garnish with lemon peel

  5. Enjoy! Happy Valentine's Day!

Mixology Monday - Rose Water Martini

   Press Play!


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“You are your best thing.”

Toni Morrison


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands drink" food photography fruit harlem haberdashery martini mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe valentine's day vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/2/rose-water-martini Mon, 14 Feb 2022 13:30:48 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Shinju and Nectarine Nectar https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/2/nectarine-nectar Hey There,

February is here and that means we will be celebrating and sharing black owned brands for Black History Month. We are kicking things off with Shinju, a Japanese Whiskey. Shinju is “double distilled, with wafts of honey, orange and vanilla, accompanied by hints of herbaceous notes and light oak." This is absolutely one of our favorite whiskeys to sip and also to gift. It is so smooth and delicate-- we know you will enjoy. We chose to pair this whiskey with nectarines, rosemary and thyme.  We hope you give this a try! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages  

Find Shinju, near you! https://www.shinjuwhisky.com/

To find our other posts featuring black owned brands, click here: Recipes Featuring Black Owned Brands

This makes 1 drink! Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Sprig of Thyme

 

For Nectarine Herb Simple Syrup
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
2 Nectarines (chopped)
2 - 3 Sprigs of Thyme
2 - 3 Sprigs of Rosemary

 

For Drink
1.5 oz. Shinju Whiskey
0.5 oz. Aperol
0.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
0.25 oz. Nectarine Herb Simple Syrup (steps below)
1-2 tsp. Cooked Nectarine & Herb Solids (from making simple syrup)

 

You will also need,1 Whiskey Glass or Tumbler, Shaker cup (or mixing glass), Muddler, bar spoon, Hawthorne Strainer, large saucepan, colander, and ice.
 

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Let's Make the Simple Syrup!

  1. Add chopped nectarines, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and few sprigs of rosemary and thyme to a pot over medium low heat until liquid is reduced by about half. (~15-20 mins) 

  2. Strain simple syrup liquid & let cool to room temperature.

  3. Set the cooked herb nectarine solids aside for cocktail.

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup or  mixing glass add:

    • 1-2 teaspoons of cooked nectarines (from the simple syrup)

    • A few sprigs of thyme

    • Aperol (.5 oz.)

  2. Muddle

  3. Add remaining ingredients:

    • Ice 

    • Vermouth (.5 oz.)

    • Nectarine and Herb Simple Syrup (.25 oz.)

    • Shinju Whiskey (1.5 oz.)

  4. Stir gently for about 20 to 30 seconds

  5. Strain into glass, garnish with a sprig of thyme

  6. Enjoy!

   Mixology Monday -ShinJu Nectarine  Press Play!


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


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands drink" food photography fruit japanese whiskey mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday nectarine recipe shinju whiskey https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/2/nectarine-nectar Mon, 07 Feb 2022 19:26:46 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Blood Orange Mint and Basil Smash https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/blood-orange-mint-and-basil-smash Hey There!

Cooler temperatures mean its blood orange season. Blood oranges are grown typically in Mediterranean climates and also in Florida and California in the US then harvested in winter. You should be able to locate them near you between December and April. We definitely wanted to take advantage of this juicy tart fruit in today's cocktail. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Blood Orange Wedge/Slice

1 Bunch of Mint Leaves


For Drink
1.5 ounce Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice
3 to 4 Mint Leaves
2 to 3 Basil Leaves
1/2 ounce Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 ounce Grenadine,
2 ounces Scotch Whiskey
2 to 3 dashes Underberg German bitters

Ice

 


 You will also need a Rocks Tumblers,  Muddler, Fine Mesh Strainer, Hawthorne Strainer, Shakercup and Juicer. We used our Boston Shaker kit from VinoBravo, Use Nicole10 for a discount.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In Shaker Cup Add:
    • Mint Leaves
    • Basil Leaves
    • Grenadine
    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice 
  2. Muddle gently for 10 seconds or so
  3. Add remaining ingredients to Mixing  Glass:
    • Ice
    • Blood Orange Juice 
    • 2-3 Dashes of Bitters
    • Scotch Whiskey  
  4. Shake vigorously 20-30 seconds
  5. Using your fine mesh strainer and hawthorne strainer, strain into your ice filler tumbler.
  6. Garnish with fresh mint and blood orange  slice.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Blood Orange Whiskey Smash Press Play!     


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

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage basil blood orange food photography fruit mint mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe scotch smash smash cocktail whiskey cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/blood-orange-mint-and-basil-smash Mon, 31 Jan 2022 17:17:12 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Negroni Sbagliato https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/negroni-sbagliato Hey There!

This week's cocktail is a "wrong Negroni". "The Negroni Sbagliato was invented by bartender Mirko Stocchetto in Milan in 1972. It's said that while making the classic Negroni, Mirko accidentally grabbed a bottle of prosecco instead of gin." Oops!  "Sbagliato"  is Italian for "wrong,"  or "mistaken." We hope you enjoy this happy mistake! 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Orange Peel

For Drink
1 oz. Prosecco (or more)
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1 oz. Campari

Ice

You will also need a rocks tumbler or old fashioned glass, peeler, and a bar spoon.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your tumbler, add: 

    • Sweet Vermouth (1 oz.)

    • Campari (1 oz.)

  2. Add your Ice.

  3. Stir gently.

  4. Top with Prosecco.

  5. Garnish with your orange peel.

  6. Sip slow and Enjoy!

 

       

MIXOLOGY MONDAY - NEGRONI SBAGLIATO
Press Play!  


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Naturally, I'm misanthropic. But the Negronis are helping considerably.

-Anthony Bourdain

 

 


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage apéritif beverage brunch gin mixed drink mixology mixology monday negroni photography prosecco recipe Sbagliato https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/negroni-sbagliato Mon, 24 Jan 2022 17:12:13 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Matcha Mojito Mocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/matcha-mojito-mocktail Hey There,

Continuing the theme of cocktails sans alcohol for Dry January, here's our twist on the classic mojito. A Matcha Mojito Mocktail.... or Fauxjito if you will. This light and refreshing drink is made with muddled mint and cucumber topped with matcha green tea and club soda. We hope you enjoy! 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Mint Leaves
Cucumber Ribbon

 

For Drink
2 tablespoons sugar (we used sugar in the raw)
Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (aproximately1/2 oz. to 1 oz.)

Chopped cucumber (3-4 quarter inch slices) 
3 oz.  Matcha Green Tea (Brewed and Chilled)
1/4 tsp grated ginger
6-8 Mint Leaves
Club soda
Ice

You will also need a muddler, and a tumbler or collins glass.

 

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Let's Make the Mocktail:

  1. First brew your matcha tea in hot water and set aside to chill.
  2. When your matcha is ready and chilled, grab your collins or tumbler and add:
    • Mint
    • Sugar
    • Ginger
    • Cucumber
    • Lime Juice
  3. Gently Muddle.
  4. Add Ice.
  5. Add 3 oz. of your brewed matcha tea
  6. Top with Club Soda
  7. Garnish with Cucumber ribbon and small bunch of mint leaves.
  8. Enjoy!!

Mixology Monday - Matcha Mojito Mocktail Press Play!


 

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"You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step."

– Martin Luther King

 

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) cucumber dry january fauxjito fruit green lime low abv matcha mixed mixed drink mixology mocktail mojito monday tea virgin https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/matcha-mojito-mocktail Mon, 17 Jan 2022 16:44:46 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Chile Lime Pineapple Mocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/chile-lime-pineapple-mocktail Hey Hey,

Many decide to go dry in January after indulging over the holidays. If you happen to be sampling sobriety, this mocktail recipe is for you! More than just pineapple juice, this packs a kick and drinks like a cocktail without any alcohol. We came across this recipe on Bon Appetite and knew we had to give it a try. We combined Chiles, lime zest, peppercorns sugar and salt with pineapple juice and topped with club soda. This is soooo good. Seriously! We hope you enjoy! If you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages 


This recipe makes 10-12 drinks. Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Pineapple Wedges
Whole and Crushed Chiles

 

For Drink
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
1 lime
2-3 dried chiles de árbol
3 cups fresh pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
Club soda
Ice

You will also need a mason jar that hold at least 3.5 cups, bar spoon, fine mesh strainer, and tumblers or collins glasses.

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Let's Make the Chile Lime Infused Juice:

  1. Make this part 8-12 hours in advance.
  2. Remove peel from lime in wide strips with a peeler, leaving white pith behind.
  3. In your mason jar add:
    • Lime Peel
    • Pink Peppercorns (1 tbsp)
    • Whole dried chiles de árbol (2-3)
    • Pineapple juice (3 cups)
    • Sugar (1/2 cup)
    • Pinch of Salt 
  4. Stir until most of sugar is dissolved.
  5. Place lid on jar and chill in refrigerator for 8–12 hours.
     

 

Let's Make the Mocktail:

  1. Once your infused juice is ready, strain out the solids and discard using fine mesh strainer.
  2. In your ice filled tumblers or collins glasses add your infused juice and top with club soda. You can start with a ratio of 1:4 juice to club soda. You can add more juice for a sweeter taste. 
  3. Garnish with pineapple or lime wedge along with whole and crushed chiles.
  4. Enjoy!!

 

Mixology Monday - Chile Lime Pineapple Mocktail Press Play!


 

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"Live less out of habit and more out of intent."

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) chile dry january fruit lime low abv mixed mixed drink mixology mocktail monday pineapple virgin https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/chile-lime-pineapple-mocktail Mon, 10 Jan 2022 15:32:04 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Grapefruit Pomegranate Whiskey Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/grapefruit-pomegranate-whiskey-sour Hey Hey!

It's the first Monday after a holiday and we know you could use a drink. Let's make it a good one with this grapefruit pomegranate whiskey sour! We received a gift of a bottle of Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve Scotch Whiskey this Christmas and had to crack it open.  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!

GP-IMG_9771GP-IMG_9771                 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1/4 Wedge of Grapefruit
Several Pomegranate Arils

 

For Pomegranate Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. Cardamom
1 handful Pomegranate Arils



For Drink
1.5 oz. Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
1 egg white
1.5 oz. Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve Scotch Whiskey
1 oz. Pomegranate Simple Syrup

Ice

You will also need a shakercup, bar spoon, hawthorne strainer, fine mesh strainer, 1 rocks tumbler, and a medium saucepan.

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Let's Make the Pomegranate Simple Syrup!

  1. In small pot or saucepan add all ingredients:

    • 1 cup granulated sugar

    • 1 cup water

    • 1/2 tsp. Cardamom

    • 1 handful Pomegranate Arils

  2. Cook on Medium heat for 12-15 min. Stirring periodically until liquid is reduced by 1/3. 

  3. Strain out syrup and let cool before use.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup, add:

    • Egg white from 1 egg

    • Grapefruit Juice (1.5 oz.)

  2. Dry shake (without ice)vigorously 20-30 seconds.

  3. Add remaining ingredients:

    • Ice

    • Whiskey (1.5 oz.)

    • Simple Syrup (1 oz.)

  4. Shake again 20-30 seconds.

  5. Strain into your rocks tumbler.

  6. Garnish with grapefruit and pomegranate arils.

  7. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Grapefruit Pom Wishkey Sour Press Play!       



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“Never cry over spilt milk. It could’ve been whiskey.” 

– Maverick


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage bourbon food photography grapefruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday pomegranate scotch whiskey cocktail whiskey sour whisky https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2022/1/grapefruit-pomegranate-whiskey-sour Mon, 03 Jan 2022 17:38:37 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - French 75 https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/12/french-75 Hey There,

As we approach New Year's Eve, we wanted to share something a little bubbly perfecting for toasting. The French 75, according to liquor.com,  "is named for the fast-firing 75 millimeter field gun that was utilized by the French during World War One. Consisting of gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar and Champagne, the drink is a lot friendlier than the name implies." We hope you enjoy! 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Lemon Peel Spiral


 

For Drink
1 oz. Aviation Gin
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
~3 oz. Champagne/Sparkling Wine

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. To your shaker cup, add:
    • Ice
    • Gin (1 oz.)
    • Simple Syrup (.5 oz.)
    • Lemon Juice (.5 oz.)
  2. Shake vigorously 20 seconds until chilled.
  3. Pour into your champagne flute and top with champagne (or sparkling wine) (approx 3 oz.).
  4. Garnish with Lemon Peel and enjoy.

Mixology Monday - French 75 Press Play!


 

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“I only drink champagne on two occasions, when I am in love and when I am not.”

– Coco Chanel
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage bubbly champagne drink french 75 gin gin cocktail lemon mixed mixology monday recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/12/french-75 Mon, 27 Dec 2021 19:47:06 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Bah Humbug Sugar Plum Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/12/bah-humbug-sugar-plum-martini Hey Hey,

This one is for all the Grinches and Scrooges.... all of us who are not quite in the holiday spirit and/or might find ourselves on Santa's naughty list. They say if you receive a lump of coal for Christmas its because you're being punished, let me be the first to start a petition to Santa to swap out that lump of coal, for a swirl of coal in this cocktail. This cocktail has the look and gritty texture of coal thanks to activated charcoal and luster dust but the flavor of sugar plum fairies dancing around on your tongue. We hope you enjoy! 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!

BH-IMG_9412BH-IMG_9412

Here's what you need:

For Drink
1.5 oz. Plum Infused Vodka
0.5 oz. Dry Vermouth
0.25 oz. Simple Syrup
0.5 oz. Grenadine
0.5  oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 (260 mg.) Capsule Activated Charcoal
50 mg. Edible Pearl Lustre Dust

You'll also need, a mixing glass, bar spoon, hawthorne strainer and a coup or martini glass.

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Let's Make the Drink:

  1. In your mixing glass, add:
    • Ice
    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (1/2 oz.)
    • Simple Syrup (1/4 oz.)
    • Grenadine (1/2 oz.)
    • Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz.)
    • Plum Infused Vodka (1.5 oz.) (We used Plush
  2. Stir in Activated Charcoal & Luster Dust
  3. Strain into your coup/martini glass
  4. Enjoy!!

Mixology Monday - Bah Humbug

Press Play!


 

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"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”

–Garrison Keillor


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands drink lump of coal martini mixed mixology monday plum plum vodka plush recipe sugar plum vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/12/bah-humbug-sugar-plum-martini Mon, 20 Dec 2021 20:57:32 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Lunar Azure https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/12/lunar-azure Hey there!

 If you are looking for something sweet, perhaps something to serve at your next holiday party, then this is one for you. We combine Hendricks Lunar Gin with Peach Schnapps, Blue Curacao and Vermouth for a orange-y, peach-y treat. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Drink
1/4 oz. Hendricks Lunar Gin
1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth
1/4 oz. Peach Schnapps 
1 oz. Blue Curacao
1 Orange Peel for Zest
Ice

You will also need, a mixing glass, a bar spoon and 2 coup glasses. 

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your mixing glass add:
    • Ice
    • Gin (1/4 oz.)
    • Dry Vermouth (1/2 oz.)
    • Peach Schnapps (1/4oz.)
    • Blue Curacao (1oz.)
  2. Stir
  3. Pour into your coup glass.
  4. Zest with orange peel
  5. Enjoy

 

Mixology Monday - Lunar Azure

Press Play!     


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"Do not allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth."

– Steve Allen
 

 

 


 

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage blue curacao food photography gin gin cocktails mixed drink mixology mixology monday peach schnapps recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/12/lunar-azure Mon, 13 Dec 2021 05:33:30 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Peppermint Schnapps Hot Cocoa https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/12/peppermint-schnapps-hot-cocoa Hey there!

Frank and I are trying to get ourselves in the holiday spirit and off Santa's naughty list. We found ourselves thinking about last year's boozy hot chocolate (click here) and wanted to remix it! We purchased some peppermint schnapps which came in a scratch and sniff bottle (how fun!?) to make in our opinion the best flavor combo ever... mint and chocolate!  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!

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Here's what you need:

For Drink
1 Quart Milk
6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1.5 oz. Peppermint Schnapps (per serving)

For Garnish
Have fun with this.
Chocolate and peppermint sticks
Marshmallows (we skewered ours with a sprig of rosemary)

Sprinkles

 

You will also need, 1 medium-large sauce pans, large stirring spoon and  heat safe mugs. 

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Heat 1 cup of  milk in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add chocolate, stirring constantly, until melted.
  3. When the chocolate has melted, increase heat to medium and add the remainder of the milk while whisking rapidly. Do not allow to boil.
  4. In your favorite mug, add 1.5 oz of peppermint schnapps.
  5. Top with your freshly made hot cocoa.
  6. Garnish with your peppermint sticks, marshmallows and sprinkles.
  7. Find a cozy blanket to curl up in and enjoy!!

 

Mixology Monday- Peppermint Schnapps Hot Cocoa Press Play!     


 

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“Dear Santa, I’ve been good all year.  Most of the time. Once in awhile. Nevermind, I’ll buy my own stuff.”

 


 

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage boozy hot cocoa food photography hot chocolate hot cocktail mixed drink mixology mixology monday peppermint schnapps recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/12/peppermint-schnapps-hot-cocoa Mon, 06 Dec 2021 20:42:51 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Wild Orange Hot Toddy https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/wild-orange-hot-toddy Hey There,

It's getting chilly here in the northeast so we thought we would revisit a cocktail we did way back when we started Mixology Monday! The grandfather of hot drinks (according to liquor.com)... The Hot Toddy! Hot Toddies are often made with whiskey but almost any spirit can be made into a hot toddy if you try hard enough. There are several stories laying claim to the Hot Toddy, and many cultures around the world have their own version of this steamy cocktail. One story points to an Irish physician Robert Bentley Todd, who prescribed a hot drink of brandy, white cinnamon, sugar syrup and water to cure illnesses. Yes please! You can use any mug you'd like; if you use a glass mug be sure its rated for hot temperatures. Safety first! :)  We hope you enjoy! 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Lemon Slice
1 Orange Slice (we dehydrated ours)
Several Whole Cloves

 

For Drink
1.5 oz. Cognac Brandy
.5 oz. Cointreau
Freshly Brewed Tea (we used Wild Sweet Orange Tea from Tazo)
Honey 

 

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Let's Start the Garnish:

  1. Actually let's put the tea kettle on first.
  2. Slice your lemon and orange and set aside. If you choose to dehydrate your orange slices you will need to begin that process way in advance. In a pinch you can use your air fryer on the lowest setting for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Set aside your cloves.

 

Let's Make the Drink:

  1. Brew your tea of choice, we used Wild Sweet Orange by Tazo (link here)
  2. In your heat safe mug, add honey to taste
  3. Add 1.5 ounce Cognac Brandy
  4. Add.5 ounce Cointreau
  5. Add your tea
  6. Garnish with both orange slice, lemon slice and whole cloves.
  7. Find someplace cozy to sit and sip.
  8. Enjoy!!

 

Mixology Monday - Wild Orange Hot Toddy Press Play!


 

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“The only two things in life guaranteed to bring joy are both liquid:
fresh dark coffee in the morning or fragrant cognac in the evening.
(In between, you're on your own.)”

― Charles Joseph Albert
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage brandy cognac drink honey hot hot toddy lemon mint mixed mixology monday recipe tea toddy https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/wild-orange-hot-toddy Mon, 29 Nov 2021 21:43:37 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Bourbon & Sage https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/bourbon-sage Hey There!

Sometimes, you just want to sip on a little whiskey. Today's simple recipe makes that straight whiskey a little more palatable. The measurements below are technically for a double, so feel free to adjust as you see fit. For those celebrating, we wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. 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 strong drink! Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Sage Leaf

 

For Honey Sage Simple Syrup
1/2 Cup Local Honey
10 Sage Leaves
1 Cup Water


For Drink
3 oz. Bourbon Whiskey (we used Basil Hayden's Bourbon)
3 tbsp. Honey Sage Simple Syrup (instructions below)
Orange Peel
Ice ( cubed and one large block/sphere)
 

You will also need a mixing glass, bar spoon, hawthorne strainer, 1 rocks tumbler, and a medium saucepan.

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Let's Make the Honey Sage Simple Syrup!

  1. In small pot or saucepan add all ingredients:

    • 1/2 Cup Local Honey

    • 10 Sage Leaves

    • 1 Cup Water

  2. Cook on Medium heat; bring to a boil. 

  3. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat, strain out sage leaves and set aside to chill.


 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your mixing glass, add:

    • Ice

    • Bourbon Whiskey (3 oz.)

    • Honey Sage Simple Syrup (3 tbsp.)

  2. Stir gently.

  3. Add ice sphere/block to tumbler and pour your cocktail.

  4. Twist orange peel over glass to release oils

  5. Garnish with sage leaf.

  6. Sip slow. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Bourbon & Sage Press Play!




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"You don’t really need a reason to pour yourself a glass of whiskey."

-unknown

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage bourbon food photography mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday whiskey whiskey cocktail whisky https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/bourbon-sage Mon, 22 Nov 2021 19:07:44 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Vodka Cranberry Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/vodka-cranberry-martini Hey There!

This week we wanted to share a cocktail perfect for your Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving dinners. A simple martini but with a sweet addition. We made a simple syrup of cranberries and fresh rosemary herbs which not only made a great cocktail, but also had the house smelling like the holidays. 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
3 Fresh Cranberries


For Drink
1 1/4 oz. Cranberry Simple Syrup (details below)
1 1/4 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
Ice

For Simple Syrup
1 cup Sugar
2 cups Water
1 cup Fresh Cranberries
1-2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
Orange Peel

 

You will also need a martini glass, cocktail pick, shaker cup, small pot and spoon.

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Let's Make the Simple Syrup!

  1. In small pot over low-medium heat, add

    • 1 cup of sugar

    • 2 cups water

    • 1 cup fresh cranberries

    • 1-2 sprigs of rosemary

    • Orange peel

  2. Stir and let simmer approximately 12-15 mins

  3. Remove from heat, strain, and allow to cool.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add:

    • Ice

    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (1/2 oz.)

    • Sweet Vermouth (1/2 oz.)

    • Grand Marnier (1/2 oz.)

    • Vodka (1 1/4 oz.)

    • Cranberry Simple Syrup (1 1/4 oz.)

  2. Shake for 30 seconds or so until chilled.

  3. Strain into your martini glass.

  4. Garnish with cocktail pick of fresh cranberries

  5. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Vodka Cranberry Martini

Press Play!



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“If life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. And try to find somebody who’s life gives them vodka, and have a party.”
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage cranberry drink food photography martini mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe thanksgiving vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/vodka-cranberry-martini Mon, 15 Nov 2021 16:10:03 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Cable Car https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/cable-car Hey There!

The stars have aligned and Mixology Monday falls on Frank and I's 2nd wedding anniversary. November 8th, 2019 we had a pop up elopement at city hall in San Francisco (see our highlight reel here). In honor of the city where we promised each other forever, we're sharing a modern classic, the Cable Car cocktail. Named after the Golden Gate City's historic and iconic transportation, the Cable Car is a rift on the Side Car and swaps cognac for rum. We also opted to include a few dashes of fee foam, a non egg alternative to creating a beautiful foam on the tops of cocktails. 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_6719CC-IMG_6719         

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Orange Peel Spirals 
Fresh Ground Cinnamon


For Drink
3 oz. Spiced Rum
1.5 oz. Orange Curacao
2 oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
4 Dashes Fee Foam (this is an egg white substitution)
Ice

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

 

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In shaker cup, add all ingredients: 

    • Ice

    • Rum (3 oz.)

    • Orange Curacao (1.5 oz.)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (2 oz.)

    • Simple Syrup (2 oz.)

    • Fee Foam (optional non egg alternative to create a foamy head on cocktails) (4 dashes)

  2. Shake Well.

  3. Pour evenly between both coup glasses

  4. Garnish with ground cinnamon and orange peel spirals.

  5. Sip Slow and Enjoy!

Mixology Monday - Cable Car Press Play!  

 


 

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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu
 

xoxo

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage cable car cocktail mixed drink mixology mixology monday orange curacao photography rum rum cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/cable-car Mon, 08 Nov 2021 16:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Flaming Apple Cider Margarita https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/flaming-apple-cider-margarita Hey There!

Happy November 1st! Hard to believe we are coming to the close of 2021 already! I know we have just celebrated Halloween but we are not ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas just yet! So, let's talk about something else! Today through tomorrow, November 2nd, signifies the celebration, Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  The focus during this time is to show love, respect and remembrance for friends and family who have been lost. Dia De Los Muertos is celebrated in many Latin countries however it originated in Mexico so we decided to share another Mexican staple, the margarita! 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!

FM-IMG_6642-2FM-IMG_6642-2               

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Half Lime Squeezed/Hollowed Out
1 Sugar Cube
Approximately 1/4 oz. 151 high proof alcohol
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Lime Juice & Cinnamon Sugar Mixture to Rim Glass


For Drink
1.5 oz. Reposado Tequila
1 oz. Apple Cider (We used fresh honey crisp apple cider)
3/4 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (juice from 1 lime)
Ice

 

You will also need a shaker cup, tumbler or margarita glass and 2 small plates to help rim your glass. Additionally for the optional flaming garnish, you will need a metal tea strainer or small sieve.

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Use about 1/2 ounce of lime juice and cinnamon sugar mixture to rim your glass. Set aside.

  2. In your shaker cup, add:

    • Ice

    • Grand Marnier (3/4 oz.)

    • Reposado Tequila (1 1/2 oz.)

    • Apple Cider (1 oz.)

    • Simple Syrup (1/2 oz.)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (1 oz.)

  3. Shake Well

  4. Pour cocktail into your cinnamon sugar rimmed glass over ice.

  5. Optional Garnish: Add hollowed out lime half on top with sugar cube placed in middle. Pour 151 high proof rum into lime half without overflowing. CAREFULLY light rum and dust with a little cinnamon.

  6. Extinguish and Enjoy!

Mixology Monday - Flaming Margarita   Press Play!       



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"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

-Richard Puz

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage day dead flaming garnish food photography fruit margarita mexico mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday of tequila tequila cocktail the https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/11/flaming-apple-cider-margarita Mon, 01 Nov 2021 17:08:09 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Candy Corn Vodka Cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/10/candy-corn-vodka-cocktail Hey There Ghouls & Boys!

Today is the last Monday before Halloween so we had to share a recipe incorporating the day! We chose to focus on the candy and derived inspiration from probably the most divisive one. Candy corn. It's no secret that many (including myself) hate candy corn. Stephanie Hayes says, "It tastes like wax and is shaped like tears." and I couldn't agree more.  Fortunately this drink tastes nothing like the candy... kinda like how the candy tastes nothing like corn. We took some liberties and used Vido Vodka, an orange liqueur and aperol for a spicy, orangey, yummy sip. No matter what side of the candy corn fence you stand, we hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

Find Vido Vodka Near You: https://shop.drinkvido.com/Find-our-Vodka
 

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Nutmeg
Orange Zest


For Drink
4 oz. VIDO Premium Vodka

Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (1 lemon)
2 oz.  Simple Syrup 
2 Egg Whites 
2 oz. Orangecello Liqueur

1 oz. Aperol
1/8 tsp Cardamom 
Ice 

You will also need a shaker cup, 2 flutes (glasses), and a hawthorne strainer

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Let's Make the Drink!

Note: If you actually LIKE candy corn, you can infuse your vodka by soaking the candy (in a separate jar) for at least 4 hours or even overnight. If you use the infused vodka you may want to skip adding the simple syrup in the steps below.

  1. In your shaker cup, add:

    • Juice from one Lemon

    • Egg Whites from 2 eggs

    • Few dashes of Cardamom (1/8 tsp.)

  2. Dry Shake Vigorously (45 seconds or so to 'cook' the egg and create a nice foam)

  3. Add to your shaker cup:

    • Ice

    • VIDO Premium Vodka (4 oz.)

    • Orangecello Liqueur (2 oz.)

    • Simple Syrup (2 oz.)

  4. Shake vigorously again (30 seconds or so).

  5. Strain evenly between your two flutes, topping with foam (may need to use a spoon).

  6. Using a Barspoon to break the surface of the foam, gently pour in your Aperol (approx 1/2 oz. for each glass)

  7. Top with Nutmeg and Orange Zest

  8. Enjoy!

Mixology Monday - Candy Corn Cocktail Press Play!       



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"May your candy supply last you well into the Christmas season."

 


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage candy corn food photography halloween halloween cocktail martini mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday vodka vodka cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/10/candy-corn-vodka-cocktail Mon, 25 Oct 2021 19:05:01 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Candy Apple Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/10/candy-apple-martini Hey There!

We have cannonballed straight into autumn and we wanted to capture all of the traditional flavors of the season. Next up is candy apples! We were gifted a bottle of Vido Vodka and decided to pair it with apple cider and a caramel simple syrup and we're happy with the outcome! We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

Find Vido Vodka Near You: https://shop.drinkvido.com/Find-our-Vodka
 

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

CAT-IMG_6507CAT-IMG_6507                 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Apple Slices
Optional: Use a candy apple kit and coat the slices with mixture.

 

For Caramel Simple Syrup
1/3 Cup Caramel Melts
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Water

1/2 Vanilla Bean (Split Open)
1/4 Cup Salted Carmel Syrup 


For Drink
2 oz. VIDO Premium Vodka

1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 oz. Caramel Simple Syrup (Instructions Below!)
1 oz. Apple Liqueur (Berentzen)
4 oz. Apple Cider

Ice 

You will also need a shaker cup, 2 martini glasses, along with a medium saucepan for syrup.

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Let's Make the Caramel Simple Syrup!

  1. In small pot or saucepan add all ingredients:

    • 1/3 Cup Caramel Melts

    • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

    • 1/3 Cup Water

    • 1/2 Vanilla Bean (Split Open)

    • 1/4 Cup Salted Carmel Syrup 

  2. Cook on Medium heat for 7-10 min. Stirring periodically. 

  3. Strain and Set aside to cool.


 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup, add:

    • Ice

    • VIDO Premium Vodka (2 oz.)

    • Apple Liquor (Berentzen) (1 oz.)

    • Apple Cider (4 oz.)

    • Carmel Simple Syrup (1 oz.)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (1/2 oz.)

  2. Shake Well

  3. Pour evenly between your martini glasses

  4. Garnish with apple slices.

  5. Enjoy!

Mixology Monday - Candy Apple Tini

Press Play!       




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"The heat of autumn is different from the heat of summer. One ripens the apples, the other turns them to cider."

– Jane Hirshfield

 


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage apple apple cider food photography martini mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday vodka vodka coktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/10/candy-apple-martini Mon, 18 Oct 2021 17:47:14 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Pumpkin Pie Whiskey Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/10/pumpkin-pie-whiskey-sour Hey There!

Tis the season for all things spooky and pumpkin spice related so we're hopping onboard with this pumpkin pie whiskey sour. Our pumpkin pie simple syrup is far from basic and is full of flavor... as a bonus the left over pumpkin pulp is an amazing pumpkin jam! So actually this is like 3 recipes for the price of 1!! You're welcome! 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!

PSB-IMG_6254PSB-IMG_6254                

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Cinnamon Stick
1-2 Sprigs of Thyme

 

For Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup
1/3 Cup Canned Pumpkin
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Water
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp. Ground Clove
1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1 Fresh Orange Peel



For Drink
2 oz. Bourbon Whiskey (we used Basil Hayden's Bourbon)
1/4 oz. Lemon Juice
1 1/2 oz. Pumpkin Pie Syrup (Instructions Below!)

Ice (we made a large sphere using this mold)
 

You will also need a mixing glass, bar spoon, fine mesh strainer, 1 rocks tumbler, and a medium saucepan.

 

Let's Make the Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup!

  1. In small pot or saucepan add all ingredients:

    • 1/3 Cup Canned Pumpkin

    • 2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

    • 1 Cup Water

    • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

    • 1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger

    • 1/2 tsp. Ground Clove

    • 1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg

    • 1 Fresh Orange Peel

  2. Cook on Medium heat for 7-10 min. Stirring periodically. (Your home will smell amazing!)

  3. Strain with fine filter separating the sold pumpkin paste from the liquid.

  4. Set aside the paste for use as a sweet pumpkin pie jam. (so good!)

  5. Place the strained liquid back over medium heat and reduce by 1/3. (~4-7 mins.)

  6. Let syrup cool before use.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your mixing glass, add:

    • Bourbon

    • Lemon Juice

    • Pumpkin Pie Simple Syrup

  2. Stir gently.

  3. Add ice sphere/block to tumbler and pour your cocktail.

  4. Garnish with cinnamon and thyme.

  5. Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Pumpkin Pie Bourbon Smash Press Play!       



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"I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin, and crisp sunburnt leaves."

– Ann Drake


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage bourbon food photography mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday pumpkin pumpkin spice whiskey cocktail whiskey sour whisky https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/10/pumpkin-pie-whiskey-sour Mon, 11 Oct 2021 16:35:09 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Boulevardier https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/10/boulevardier Hey There!

This week we are sharing a variation of the Negroni which swaps gin for bourbon and is called a Boulevardier. The Boulevardier hails from the 1920s, named by American born writer, Erskine Gwynne, who founded a monthly magazine in Paris by the same name.  To quote Paul Clarke from Serious Eats,  "This isn't a Negroni. It is, however, the Negroni's long-lost autumnal cousin." 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!

BO-IMG_6110BO-IMG_6110        

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Orange Peels or 2 Bourbon Cherries 


For Drink
2.5 oz. Bourbon
2 oz. Vermouth (Sweet)
2 oz. Campari

Ice

You will also need 2 coupe glasses if serving straight up, or 2 rocks tumblers, peeler, a mixing glass, strainer and a bar spoon.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In mixing glass, add: 

    • Ice

    • Bourbon (2.5 oz.)

    • Vermouth (2 oz.)

    • Campari (2 oz.)

  2. Stir gently until chilled.

  3. If serving straight up (chilled, without ice) Strain and pour mixture evenly between both coup glasses.

  4. If serving on the rocks (with ice), fill your rocks tumbler with ice and continue with previous step.

  5. Twist orange peel over glass.

  6. Garnish with orange peel or bourbon cherry. 

  7. Sip slow and Enjoy!

 

Mixology Monday - Boulevardier Press Play!  


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"Whiskey is by far the most popular of all remedies that won't cure a cold."

-Jerry Vale

 


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage apéritif beverage boulevardierrecipe bourbon brunch campari mixed drink mixology mixology monday negroni photography vermouth https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/10/boulevardier Mon, 04 Oct 2021 22:07:09 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Smoky Bourbon Peach Cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/9/smoky-bourbon-peach-cocktail Hey Hey!

Here in NJ we are coming to the end of peach season and we are officially in autumn. We were inspired by our recent trip to Savannah, Georgia and we wanted to share one more peach cocktail for the road. Made with Bourbon, fresh herbs and a peach simple syrup...  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!

SP-IMG_5962SP-IMG_5962               

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Dehydrated Peach Slices (we used our air fryer on the lowest setting)
2 Sprigs of Rosemary

 

For Simple Syrup
4 oz. Sugar
8 oz. Water
1 Peach Chopped
1-2 Sprigs of Thyme


For Drink
1-2 Peaches Diced
3 oz. Peach/Thyme Simple Syrup
4 oz. Kentucky Bourbon
3 oz. Lime Juice
3-4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
3-4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
Ginger Bitters

Ice

You will also need a mixing glass, bar spoon, hawthorne strainer, fine mesh strainer, muddler, 2 rocks tumblers, culinary torch/lighter and optional cocktail smoker. 

 

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Let's Make the Peach Thyme Simple Syrup!

  1. In small pot or saucepan add:

    • Sugar (4 oz.)

    • Water (4 oz.)

    • 1 Peach (chopped)

    • 1-2 Sprigs of Thyme

  2. Cook on Medium heat until liquid is reduced by half.

  3. Strain and Set Aside to Cool

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. First, let's smoke our glasses. We used our Foghat cocktail smoker along with their bourbon barrel oak fuel and a few pieces of rosemary. If you do not have a smoker, you can carefully light your rosemary and wood chips until smoking (not on fire) and place your rocks tumbler upside down over it to capture the smoke. Set aside.

  2. In your mixing glass, add:

    • Diced Peaches

    • Rosemary

    • Thyme

    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (3 oz.)

  3. Muddle.

  4. Add Remaining Ingredients:

    • Ice

    • Peach Simple Syrup (3 oz.)

    • Bourbon (4 oz.)

    • Few Dashes of  Bitters

  5. Stir gently.

  6. Remove rocks tumbler from smoke and fill glass with ice.

  7. Double strain your cocktail using fine mesh strainer and your hawthrone strainer between both of your tumblers.

  8. Garnish with your dehydrated peach slice and sprig of rosemary.

  9. Enjoy!

Mixology Monday - Smoked Peach   Press Play!       



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“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”

– Mark Twain
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage bourbon food photography fruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday peach smoked smoky whiskey cocktail whisky https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/9/smoky-bourbon-peach-cocktail Mon, 27 Sep 2021 16:53:14 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Cafe Amaretto https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/9/cafe-amaretto Hey There!

We were inspired to recreate this hot cocktail after traveling last week. After staying up late to finish packing, zooming through traffic and airport security; I spent $42 on 2 magazines and a snack, then Frank needed a coffee but also a cocktail. LOL  Cafe Amaretto sounds like a lovely place to visit but it is actually an Italian cocktail typically made with hot coffee, cognac/brandy, amaretto & whipped cream. We skipped the whip and opted for froth and garnished with nutmeg. *chef's kiss* 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!

CA-IMG_5667CA-IMG_5667           

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
Nutmeg

 

For Drink
1 oz. Amaretto (DiSaronno)
.5 oz. cognac (Courvoisier)
2 oz. Light Cream Froth
8 oz. Fresh Coffee
Sugar to taste

 

You will also need a mug, a bar spoon, milk/cream frother (or you can substitute with whip).
 

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Add your freshly brewed coffee to your mug. (We used a hazelnut cream flavor blend for ours)

  2. Add in Cognac/Brandy (.5 oz.) and Amaretto (1 oz.)

  3. Stir Gently

  4. Top with Froth or Whipped Cream

  5. Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

  6. Add sugar to taste if necessary.

  7. Enjoy!!

 

Mixology Monday - Cafe Amaretto

Press Play!

 


 

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"The airport is a lawless place. 7am? Drink a beer. Tired? Sleep on the floor. Hungry? Chips now cost $17."

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage amaretto brandy coffee coffee cocktail cognac food photography fruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/9/cafe-amaretto Mon, 20 Sep 2021 18:20:36 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Blueberry Butterfly https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/9/blueberrybutterfly Hey there!

Today is Labor Day, the unofficial end to summer and we're sharing an original cocktail perfect for sipping poolside as you soak up the remaining summer sun rays. For this recipe you will need to either purchase or make butterfly pea flower tea. We will walk you through the steps of making the tea below. 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!

BB-IMG_5021BB-IMG_5021           

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Bunch of Mint Leaves
Handful of Blueberries

 

For Drink
1/2 oz. 44 North Vodka (Mountain Huckleberry)
1 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. Blueberry Butterfly Pea Flower Tea (details below)

2-2 1/2 oz. Elderflower Tonic Water
1 oz. Lime Juice
Ice

You will also need a small pot, colander, a mixing glass, bar spoon, strainer , ice and a tumbler.
 

Let's Make the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea!

  1. For the tea you will need butterfly pea flowers, water and sugar. We purchased our butterfly pea flowers from amazon.( link here)

  2. In a small pot add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.

  3. Add a handful of butterfly pea flowers and a handful of blueberries  to your boiling water let boil for 3 minutes.

  4. Reduce heat, strain out flowers and blueberries, and add 2 tbsp sugar.

  5. Simmer until sugar dissolves.

  6. Set Aside and let chill.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your mixing glass add:

    • Ice

    • Vodka (We used 44 North in Mountain Huckleberry) (1/2 oz.)

    • Cointreau (1 oz.)

    • Blueberry Butterfly Pea Flower Tea (2 oz.)

    • Lime Juice (1 oz.)

  2. Stir Gently

  3. Strain into your ice filled tumbler

  4. Top with Tonic Water

  5. Garnish with mint and blueberries

  6. Enjoy!!

 

Mixology Monday - Blueberry Butterfly

Press Play!

 



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“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”

– William Shakespeare


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands butterfly pea flower food photography fruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/9/blueberrybutterfly Mon, 06 Sep 2021 16:41:38 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Paloma https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/paloma Hey There!

Today we're sharing a popular cocktail in Mexico called the Paloma, which translates to "dove". The classic/traditional Paloma is made with tequila and grapefruit soda. If you cannot find grapefruit soda, you can use fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and club soda like we did. This cocktail screams, just a little more summer please!! 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!

             

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Grapefruit Wedges
2 Bunches of Mint Leaves

Granulated Sugar (or salt)
1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice


For Drink
3 oz. Silver Tequila
3 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
4 oz. Club Soda
Ice

 

You will also need a mixing glass, bar spoon, hawthorne strainer, 2 highballs or tumblers and 2 small plates to help rim your glass.

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Use 1/2 ounce of lime juice and granulated sugar to rim 2 tumbler glasses. (You can also use salt if you wish to enhance the grapefruit flavor). Set glasses aside.

  2. In your mixing glass, add:

    • Silver Tequila

    • Grapefruit juice

    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

    • Ice

  3. Stir gently and use Hawthorne Strainer to pour evenly between your two sugar-rimmed glasses.

  4. Top with club soda and garnish with grapefruit wedges and mint leaves.

  5. Enjoy!

Mixology Monday - Paloma

  Press Play!       


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"A little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about."

-John Mayer
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage food photography fruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday paloma tequila tequila cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/paloma Mon, 30 Aug 2021 16:09:22 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Frozen Aperol Spritz https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/frozen-aperol-spritz Hey There!

An Aperol spritz is an Italian wine based cocktail and it is having a moment this summer! We knew we wanted to get on this bandwagon especially after seeing the frozen variations from The Social Sipper and The Cocktail Snob NYC! We added peaches and raspberries and fell in love! 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!

            

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Orange Wheels
2 cocktail picks with 3 frozen raspberries (optional)

 


For Drink
3/4 cup frozen OJ 
1/4 cup frozen raspberries 
1/2 cup frozen peaches 
8 oz. Prosecco
4 oz. Aperol
1/2 cup Ice

 

You will also need a blender and 2 wine glasses, we opted for stemless.

FAS-IMG_3870FAS-IMG_3870
 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. The day/night before, freeze a few cubes of orange juice and also freeze a container with some chopped peaches and whole raspberries.

  2. When ready, add all ingredients to your blender.

  3. Blend well for about 1 minute.

  4. Pour evenly between two wine glasses and garnish with an orange wheel and raspberries!

  5. Enjoy!

Mixology Monday - Frozen Aperol Spritz

  Press Play!       



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"Always keep a bottle of Prosecco in the fridge for special occasions, you know, like Monday!"
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage aperol aperol spritz food photography frozen frozen cocktail fruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday prosecco wine https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/frozen-aperol-spritz Mon, 23 Aug 2021 19:53:08 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Cuba Libre https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/cuba-libre Hey Hey!

Today is national rum day and we are sharing the recipe for a Cuba Libre. Cuba Libre which translates to Free Cuba, may seem at a glance just rum and Coke, but the addition of lime juice makes all the difference. The cocktail originated in the early 20th century in Cuba, after the country won independence in the Spanish–American War. It subsequently became popular across Cuba, the United States, and beyond! 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!

CL-IMG_3437CL-IMG_3437            

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Bunch of Cilantro
1 Bunch of Mint Leaves
Lime Wedges/Slices & Twist of Lime


For Drink
2 oz. Rum
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime juice
~4-5 oz. Cola
Dash of Vanilla Extract
Ice
Several Lime Slices (optional)

You will also need a highball/collins glass and a bar spoon.

 

CL-IMG_3466CL-IMG_3466
 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Fill your highball/collins glass with ice and lime slices.

  2. Add a few drops of vanilla extract.

  3. Add 2 oz. Rum (We used Bacardi Anejo Cuatro Rum)

  4. Add 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice.

  5. Top with cola and stir gently.

  6. Garnish with mint, cilantro and lime twist.

  7. Enjoy!

Mixology Monday - Cuba Libre  Press Play!       



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"The only way that I could figure they could improve on Coca-Cola, one of life's most delightful elixirs, which studies prove will heal the sick and occasionally raise the dead, is to put rum or bourbon in it. "

- Lewis Grizzard 

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage cola cuba libre food photography fruit lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday national rum day rum rum and coke https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/cuba-libre Mon, 16 Aug 2021 15:04:37 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Strawberry Éclair Gin Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/Strawberry-Eclair-Gin-Sour Hey there!

Today we are sharing an original cocktail with flavors reminiscent of a strawberry éclair. We combined fresh strawberries, Crema di Limoncello, lime juice, mint, Indoggo (Snoop Dogg's strawberry infused gin), and egg white for a nice froth. We know this one will satisfy your sweet tooth.  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!

SGS-IMG_3170SGS-IMG_3170           

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 or 2 Thin Slices of Strawberry
1 Small Bunch of Mint Leaves

For Strawberry Simple Syrup
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
6 Chopped Strawberries


For Drink
1.5 oz. Indoggo strawberry infused Gin
.75 oz Crema di Limoncello (Fabrizia Cream Liqueur)
1.25 oz. Strawberry Simple Syrup 
.75 oz. Lime juice
1 mint leaf
1 egg white
2-3 chopped strawberries
Ice

You will also need a sauce pan/pot, shaker cup, muddler and a coup glass.

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Let's Make the Simple Syrup!

  1. Add water, sugar and chopped strawberries to a sauce pan/pot. 

  2. Let simmer over medium/low heat until it reduces by half. 

  3. Strain out the strawberries.

  4. Set aside to cool.

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In shaker cup add and muddle 2-3 strawberries

  2. Add Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice & 1 Egg White

  3. Dry shake vigorously 30 seconds (no ice)

  4. Add remaining ingredients to shaker cup:

    • Simple Syrup (1.25 oz)

    • Crema di Limoncello (.75 oz)

    • Gin (1.5 oz)

    • Mint Leaf (give mint a slap before adding to shaker cup)

    • Ice

  5. Shake 30 seconds 

  6. Strain into coupe glass (spoon additional froth on top of cocktail as desired)

  7. Garnish with strawberry slice & mint

  8. Enjoy!

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"According to chemists, gin IS a solution."
 


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands food photography fruit gin gin sour mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday strawberry https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/Strawberry-Eclair-Gin-Sour Mon, 09 Aug 2021 14:48:50 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Mana Sunrise https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/mana-sunrise Hey there!

Today's' cocktail  comes from Zack Prohaska of Cocktail and Dreams Bartending (link here). We were specifically wanting to share a cocktail featuring everyone's summertime favorite, watermelon and knew this was a winner right away. In addition to Aperol and Teremana Tequila, you will need to either purchase or make butterfly pea flower tea. We will walk you through the steps of making the tea below. 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!

MS-IMG_2768MS-IMG_2768          

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Watermelon Wedge
1 Pineapple Wedge

 

For Drink
2-3 chunks of watermelon 
2-3 chunks pineapple
2 tsp. honey
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice (1 lime)
1 oz. Teremana Tequila
1/2 oz. Aperol
~ 2 oz. Butterfly Pea Flower Tea (details below)

You will also need a small pot, colander, ideally 2 shaker cups (but one is ok), muddler, hawthorne strainer/strainer , ice and a collins glass.
 

Let's Make the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea!

  1. For the tea you will need butterfly pea flowers, water and sugar. We purchased our butterfly pea flowers from amazon.( link here)

  2. In a small pot add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.

  3. Add a handful of butterfly pea flowers and let boil for 3 minutes.

  4. Reduce heat, strain out flowers and add 2 tbsp sugar.

  5. Simmer until sugar dissolves.

  6. Set Aside and let chill.

MS-IMG_2719MS-IMG_2719

 

Let's Make the Drink!

This drink requires separate muddling of the watermelon and pineapple, if you do not have two shaker cups you can use one, but we recommend rinsing in between mixtures.

  1. In shaker cup 1 add:

    • 2-3 chunks of pineapple

    • 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

    • 2 teaspoons honey (we used blood orange infused honey by Batch2020 link here)

  2. Muddle and add 1 oz. Teremana Tequila and set aside.

  3. In shaker cup 2 add:

    • 2-3 chunks watermelon

    • 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice

  4. Muddle and add 1/2 oz. Aperol and 1/2 oz. Teremana Tequila.

  5. Add ice to both shaker cups and shake well.

  6. Fill collins glass with ice.

  7. Gently strain into collins glass the pineapple mixture first, then your watermelon mixture.

  8. Top with butterfly pea flower tea.

  9. Garnish with fruit of your choice, we chose watermelon and pineapple.

  10. Enjoy!

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"If you want to make some memories, add some tequila."
 

 

 


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage aperol black owned brands food photography fruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday pineapple tequila tequila sunrise watermelon https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/8/mana-sunrise Mon, 02 Aug 2021 21:41:39 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Mango Daiquiri https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/7/mango-daiquiri Hey there!

Here's another frozen cocktail to beat the summer heat. All you need are some ripe mangoes, fresh squeezed lime juice, rum and some mint! If you close your eyes while sipping you can almost hear the ocean. 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!

MD-IMG_2175MD-IMG_2175         

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Lime Wheels
2-4 bunches of mint leaves

 

For Drink
4 oz. Rum (we used Malibu) 
1 oz. Fresh Squeeze Lime Juice
~2 tsp. Lime Mint Sugar (details below)

1-2 Mangoes (chopped)
Ice
 

You will also need a blender and two coup or martini glasses.
 

MD-IMG_2233MD-IMG_2233

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Chop up your mango (we used fresh fruit but you can definitely use frozen with less/no ice).

  2. Add everything to you blender:

    • Rum  (~3.5 oz.)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (1 oz.)

    • 1-2 Mangoes (Chopped)

    • Lime Mint Sugar (2 tsp) - (add lime zest and finely chopped mint to your granulated sugar and mix)

      • You can also rim your coup/martini glasses with this  mixture if you'd like.

    • Ice (~ 1 cup)

  3. Run blender until everything is well combined.

  4. Pour equally between 2 coup/martini glasses.

  5. Garnish with lime wheel and mint leaves.

  6. Enjoy!


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"Rum is never the answer… But it does make you forget the question."

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage daiquiri food photography fruit mango mango daiquiri mint mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday rum https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/7/mango-daiquiri Mon, 26 Jul 2021 17:44:35 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Peach Mint Julep https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/7/peach-mint-julep Hey there!

Today's recipe is for a cocktail known as the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. We think our version which includes a peach simple syrup and grilled peach garnish is better than good enough to enjoy not just in the spring on Derby Day but all throughout summer. 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!

MJ-IMG_1463MJ-IMG_1463        

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Peach Slices
2-4 bunches of mint leaves
1 tsp honey

For Simple Syrup
4 oz. Sugar
4 oz. Water
2 Peaches Chopped
2-4 Sprigs of Thyme

 

For Drink
3 oz. Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (However we chose to use Monkey Shoulder, a malt scotch whiskey) 
2 oz. Peach Simple Syrup
8-10 Fresh Mint Leaves
Crushed Ice

 

You will also need a mixing glass, muddler,  strainer,  2 rocks glass/tumblers, sauce pan and grill/grill pan.
 

Let's Make the Simple Syrup & Garnish!

  1. In a small pot/saucepan add:

    • Sugar (4 oz.)

    • Water (4 oz.)

    • 2 Peaches (chopped)

    • 2-4 Sprigs of thyme

  2. Cook of medium heat until reduced by half.

  3. Strain and set aside.

  4. While your simple syrup cools, cut two 1/4 inch slices of peach.

  5. Rub each side with small amount of honey.

  6. Grill over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side.

  7. Set aside to cool.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your mixing glass add:

    • Mint leaves (8-10 leaves)

    • Peach Simple Syrup (2 oz.)

  2. Muddle and set aside.

  3. Fill each 8 oz. rocks glass with crushed ice.

  4. Add Bourbon Whiskey & stir gently (1.5 oz for each glass)

  5. Top with the mint muddled Peach Simple Syrup. (1 oz for each glass)

  6. Garnish with grilled peach slice & fresh mint.

  7. Enjoy!

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“There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.” – Raymond Chandler
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage bourbon food photography fruit mint julep mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday whiskey https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/7/peach-mint-julep Mon, 19 Jul 2021 19:00:52 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Black Widow https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/7/black-widow-cocktail Hey there!

Today's recipe is dedicated to Natasha, Yelena and the MCU. The black widow cocktail, created by San Francisco bartender Duggan McDonnell combines blanco tequila, blackberries, basil, agave nectar and fresh squeezed lime juice for something sweet with a bite. 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!

BW-IMG_1215BW-IMG_1215       

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Bunches of basil leaves
6 Blackberries

 

For Drink
6-10 Basil leaves
4-6 Blackberries
3 oz. Blanco tequila 
2 tsp. Agave Nectar
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

Ice

You will also need a shaker cup, muddler,  strainer,  2 rocks tumblers and 2 cocktail picks


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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add:

    • Basil (6-10 leaves)

    • Blackberries (4-6 berries)

  2. Muddle for 10 seconds or so

  3. Add remaining ingredients to your shaker cup

    • Blanco Tequila (3oz.)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (2 oz.)

    • Agave Nectar (2 tsp. adjust as needed)

    • Ice

  4. Shake vigorously

  5. Strain between your two rocks tumblers full of ice.

  6. Garnish each glass with a bunch of basil leaves and 3 blackberries.

  7. Enjoy!

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"At some point, we all have to choose between what the world wants you to be and who you are"
 

-Natasha Romanoff


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black widow blackberries food photography fruit mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday tequila tequila cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/7/black-widow-cocktail Mon, 12 Jul 2021 15:30:47 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Bee's Knees https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/7/bees-knees Hey Hey!

I just love this cocktail! This prohibition era drink definitely lives up to its name! You only need a few ingredients: gin, lemon juice and honey syrup so whipping this up is super quick. We will walk you through how to make the honey syrup as well as this refreshing cocktail.  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!

BK-IMG_0936BK-IMG_0936      

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Lemon Peel Spirals

2 Sprigs of Thyme

For Honey Thyme Syrup
1 Part Honey (adjust to taste; you can also equal part sugar for a sweeter syrup)
1 Part Water
Several Sprigs of Thyme (we specifically used lemon thyme)

For Drink
4 oz. Gin (we used Hendricks Lunar) 
1.5 oz. Honey Thyme Syrup
~2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

 

You will also need a shaker cup, hawthorne strainer and 2 coup glasses.

BK-IMG_0906BK-IMG_0906
 

Let's Make the Honey Syrup!

  1. Combine 1part water and 1 part honey (along with 1 part sugar if you choose) along with your thyme in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until honey dissolves and liquid reduces (approx 10-15 minutes) Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, and strain out thyme. 

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add:

    • Gin (4 oz.) (we used Hendricks Lunar Gin)

    • Honey Thyme Syrup (1.5 oz.)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (~2 oz.)

  2. Shake for 10 - 20 seconds or so.

  3. Pour equally between your coup glasses.

  4. Garnish with lemon spiral and sprig of thyme

  5. Enjoy!

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"The flower doesn't dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes."

-Mark Nepo


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage bee's knees food photography gin gin cocktail honey syrup mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/7/bees-knees Mon, 05 Jul 2021 16:14:16 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Kiwi Lemonade https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/kiwi-lemonade Hey There!

In my opinion a nice cold glass of lemonade is quintessentially summer. It's super easy to make with only three ingredients that you probably already have. Now that summer plans are beginning to happen, save this recipe for your next get together. We spiked our lemonade with vodka and added some kiwi. *chef's kiss* Your guests will love you for this one. 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!

KL-IMG_0675KL-IMG_0675     

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Lemon wheels

 

For Drink
2 Kiwis 
3 oz. Midori
3 oz. Vodka
1.5 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
4-5 oz. Fresh Lemonade
(1 cup of lemon juice to 1 cup of sugar added to 1 1/2 quarts of cold water)
Ice

You will also need a highball or collins glass, muddler, strainer and mixing glass.


KL-IMG_0653KL-IMG_0653

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your mixing glass add:

    • Chopped Kiwi

    • Midori (3 oz.)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (1.5 oz.)

  2. Muddle for 10 - 20 seconds or so.

  3. Add Vodka (3 oz.) to Mixing Glass.

  4. Stir gently.

  5. Fill your highball/collins glass with ice and add 2 or 2.5 oz. of lemonade to each glass.

  6. Strain your kiwi mixture evenly between each glass. (feel free to spoon a few chunks of kiwi into your glass if you like)

  7. Garnish with lemon wheel and enjoy!

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“When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Then find someone who's life is giving them vodka and have a party!”
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage food photography fruit kiwi lemonade lime mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday spiked lemonade vodka vodka cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/kiwi-lemonade Mon, 28 Jun 2021 23:46:45 GMT
Super Easy Low Calorie Veggie Snack - Zucchini Fritters https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/super-easy-low-calorie-veggie-snack---zucchini-fritters Hey hey!

I love squash and all its varieties... acorn, spaghetti, butternut, winter or summer squash aka zucchini. Zucchini is so fun and versatile and pairs well with just about anything. I recently made zucchini fritters and knew I had to share the recipe. So here's an easy, quick, low calorie, veggie snack you'll definitely have to make more than once.

ZF-IMG_0525ZF-IMG_0525

 

Here's What You Need:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 monterey jack cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil (plus additional oil for cooking)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Optional: a few dollops of sour cream for serving

You'll also need a grater, colander, mixing bowl, non stick skillet, wire cooling rack.

 

Timing:

  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 5-10 min
  • Yields 4-5 Fritters

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Let's Make Some Fritters:

  1. Trim the ends off of your zucchini and shred the remaining with a grater.

  2. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander set inside a bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt. Allow the zucchini to sit for approx. 10 minutes.

  3. Push/squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible. When dry, Transfer the zucchini to a large bowl.

  4. Add the flour, egg, ¾ of your sliced scallions, salt and pepper to the bowl, stirring until the mixture is combined.

  5. Add large drizzle of olive oil to skillet set over medium heat.

  6. Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, form even balls of your zucchini batter and place in pan about 2 inches apart. Lightly flatten with a spatula and cook on both side 3-4 min until golden brown.

  7. Transfer the zucchini fritters to your wire cooling rack and sprinkle with salt.

  8. Serve the zucchini fritters topped with sour cream (optional) and remaining sliced scallions. I also added broccoli micro greens on mine to be fancy! 😊

  9. Enjoy!


    ZF-IMG_0525cropZF-IMG_0525crop  


 

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) food photography fritter fritters" low calorie recipe vegetarian zucchini zucchini fritters https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/super-easy-low-calorie-veggie-snack---zucchini-fritters Wed, 23 Jun 2021 23:28:46 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Rhubarb Basil Gin Cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/rhubarb-basil-gin-cocktail Hey There!

This week's cocktail inspired us to try something new. Rhubarb is an edible plant that we have never used before. It grows in cooler temperatures so typically becomes available in spring--- in case you are wondering why you might be seeing rhubarb recipes popping up like we have. When eaten raw, rhubarb is quite tart but after cooking, that tartness fades. So we decided to infuse it into a simple syrup. 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!

RG-IMG_0354RG-IMG_0354    

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Rhubarb ribbons
2 Basil /Mint Leave bunches (optional)

 

For Rhubarb Simple Syrup
1 part Honey
2 parts Sugar
2 parts Water
Fresh Basil
Chopped Rhubarb


For Drink
Chopped Rhubarb
Fresh Basil
1.5 oz. Lemon Juice
2 oz. Rhubarb Basil Syrup
2 oz. Amaro Nonino
4 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
~4 oz. Elderflower Tonic Water
Ice

You will also need a rocks tumbler, muddler, strainer and a shaker cup.


 

Let's Make the Simple Syrup!

  1. Add water, sugar, honey, fresh basil, and chopped rhubarb to a sauce pan. (We used 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 4 oz. honey, 6-8 basil leaves & 3/4 chopped rhubarb)

  2. Let simmer over medium/low heat until it reduces by half (approx 6 oz.)

  3. Strain out the rhubarb and basil.

  4. Set aside to cool.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add:

    • Chopped Rhubarb

    • Rhubarb Syrup (2 oz.)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (1.5 oz.)

    • Fresh Basil 

  2. Muddle for 10 - 20 seconds or so.

  3. In your shaker cup add:

    • Add Ice

    • Amaro Nonino (2oz.)

    • Bombay Sapphire (4 oz.)

  4. Shake  Well 

  5. Strain evenly between two ice filled glasses

  6. Top with Tonic water (We used Edlerflower Tonic water by Fevertree)

  7. Garnish with Rhubarb ribbon and optional basil or mint leaves.

  8. Enjoy!

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"I love water, especially when it’s frozen and surrounded by gin."
-unknown

 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage food photography gin gin cocktail mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday rhubarb https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/rhubarb-basil-gin-cocktail Mon, 21 Jun 2021 17:35:46 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Paper Plane https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/paper-plane Hey There!

It's national bourbon day so we definitely wanted to feature it in this week's cocktail. The Paper Plane cocktail was invented in 2008 by Sam Ross and is a modern take on the class Last Word cocktail. Ross was inspired by M.I.A. hit song at the time and garnished the drink with a paper plane. We opted for a orange peel 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 makes 1 drink! Let's get started!

PP-IMG_2968PP-IMG_2968
        

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 orange peel curl

For Drink
3/4 oz. Bourbon
3/4 oz. Aperol
3/4 oz. Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
3/4 oz. Fresh Squeeze Lemon Juice

You will also need 1 coup glass, a shaker cup, hawthorne strainer,  and ice.

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In shaker cup glass, add: 

    • Ice

    • Bourbon (3/4 oz.)

    • Aperol  (3/4 oz.)

    • Amaro Nonino (3/4 oz.)

    • Lemon Juice (3/4 oz.)

  2. Shake 20 seconds or so.

  3. Strain into your coup glass.

  4. Garnish with your orange peel curl.

  5. Sip slow and enjoy your flight!

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If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go.

-Mark Twain
 

 


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage amaro amaro nonino aperol bourbon mixed drink mixology mixology monday paper plane recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/paper-plane Mon, 14 Jun 2021 21:24:39 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Manhattan https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/manhattan Hey There!

This week's cocktail recipe is another timeless classic similar to the old fashioned and sidecar.  The bold but sippable Manhattan combines whiskey, vermouth and bitters with a cherry garnish. Named for one of NY's five boroughs, the Manhattan is simple and straightforward, no frills or fanfare but has many variations. For our recipe, we used the black owned brands Shinju Whisky and Hella Bitters because we truly love 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

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

 

This makes 1 drink! Let's get started!

MA-IMG_2794MA-IMG_2794        

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Cocktail Cherry (we used a bourbon cherry)

For Drink
2 oz. Whisky
3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Several Dashes Bitters (we used ginger bitters)
 

You will also need 1 martini glass, a mixing glass, hawthorne strainer, cocktail pick, bar spoon and ice.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In mixing glass, add: 

    • Ice

    • Whisky (2 oz.)

    • Sweet Vermouth (3/4 oz.)

    • Bitters (several dashes)

  2. Stir gently.

  3. Strain into your martini glass.

  4. Skewer your cocktail cherry and add as garnish.

  5. Sip slow and Enjoy!

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"Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough."

– Mark Twain

 


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands manhattan mixed drink mixology mixology monday photography" recipe whiskey whisky https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/6/manhattan Mon, 07 Jun 2021 13:22:12 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Boozy Popsicles https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/boozy-popsicles Hey There!

This week's cocktail recipe is actually not really a beverage, but a minty, peachy, strawberry frozen treat to celebrate the unofficial start of summer. You can find your popsicle molds at your local Target like we did or online. When creating your popsicles its important to keep the ratio of non alcoholic liquid to liquor in mind. Vodka has a lower freezing point than non alcoholic liquid. So when you mix it with regular liquid then it raises the freezing temperature. If you keep the ratio around 3 or 4 to 1 liquid to alcohol, you ensure that the popsicles will freeze at your normal freezer temperature. 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 six 3oz popsicles! Let's get started!

PS-IMG_2403PS-IMG_2403        

Here's what you need:


For Popsicles
Several Bunches of Mint Leaves
Thinly Sliced Fruit (we used peaches and strawberries)

6 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Lemon Juice
3 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
7 1/4 oz. Coconut Water

You will also need popsicle molds with popsicle sticks, muddler, mixing glass, strainer, knife or mandolin.

 

Let's Make the Popsicles!

  1. Prep Your Fruit and Mint Leaves

    • Thinly slice your strawberries, peaches or fruit of choice with a knife or mandolin.

    • Set aside a few small mint leaves for the popsicles along with several larger leaves.

  2. In Mixing Glass add and muddle for 10 seconds or so:

    • Lemon Juice (2 oz.)

    • Simple Syrup (3 1/4 oz.)

    • Mint Leaves

  3. After muddling, add:

    • Coconut Water (7 1/4 oz.)

    • Vodka (6 oz.)

  4. For the look of our pops we wanted the fruit and mint leaves to be visible on the sizes so we placed them using tweezers to the walls of the popsicle molds and placed in the freezer for a little while (45 min - 1 hour or so). You can skip this step if you like and just add the fruit to your mixture.

  5. Fill each popsicle mold with mixture and secure your popsicle sticks. (we used two layers of saran wrap)

  6. Freeze for 6 hours or longer.

  7. Enjoy!

 

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"A little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about."

-John Mayer


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage boozy popsicles frozen cocktail mixed drink mixology mixology monday photography" popsicles recipe vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/boozy-popsicles Mon, 31 May 2021 21:30:18 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Classic Negroni https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/negroni Hey There!

This week's cocktail recipe is the classic Negroni. It hails from Italy and is considered an apéritif or a "before dinner drink", used to stimulate the appetite, and is usually dry rather than sweet. The Negroni definitely leans more toward dry/bitter so some may say it's an acquired taste. I guess that means if you and your palate are on the fence, you'll have to keep trying to know for sure! 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!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Slices of Orange Peel

For Drink
2 oz. Gin
2 oz. Vermouth
2 oz. Campari

Ice

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

NG-IMG_1442NG-IMG_1442

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In mixing glass, add: 

    • Ice

    • Gin (2 oz.)

    • Vermouth (2 oz.)

    • Campari (2 oz.)

  2. Stir gently.

  3. Add ice to your rocks tumblers.

  4. Strain and pour cocktail mixture evenly between both glasses.

  5. Twist orange peel over glass then place as garnish.

  6. Sip slow and Enjoy!

 

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"The proper union of gin and vermouth is a great and sudden glory; it is one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived." 

— Bernard DeVoto
 

 


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage apéritif beverage brunch gin mixed drink mixology mixology monday negroni photography" recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/negroni Mon, 24 May 2021 15:00:00 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Layers of Paradise https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/layers-of-paradise Hey There!

This week's cocktail recipe comes from Drinks Made Easy. We saw his YouTube video and were compelled to recreate and share! One sip you understand why this is called 'Paradise'. Close your eyes and you can almost hear the roar of the ocean, feel the sand in your toes.... smell the sunscreen as the sun kisses your face.... ahhh yesss.  For a step by step video to ensure your drink layers are defined please visit Drinks Made Easy!! 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!

LP-IMG_0702LP-IMG_0702      

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Peel from Lime Wedge
1 Cocktail Pick


For Drink
3 oz. Pineapple Juice
2 oz. Coconut Rum (we used Malibu)
1/4 oz. Blue Curaçao
1 oz. Water
1/2 oz. Grenadine

Ice

You will also need 2 mixing glasses, 1 Collins or hurricane glass and bar spoon.

LP-IMG_0693LP-IMG_0693

 

Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In mixing glass #1, add & stir with bar spoon:

    • Pineapple Juice (3 oz.)

    • Coconut Rum (2 oz.)

  2. In mixing glass #2, add & stir with bar spoon:

    • Blue Curaçao(1/4 oz.)

    • Water (1 oz.)

  3. In your Hurricane or Collins glass, add the following in this order:

    • Grenadine (1/2 oz.)

    • Ice (fill to brim of glass)

    • Straw (optional... can also carefully add at the end)

    • Contents of mixing glass #1 (pineapple juice and rum)

    • Contents of mixing glass #2 (blue curaçao and water)

  4. Garnish with lime peel (yes we put the lime in the coconut lol)

    • We took the peel of a lime wedge and cut 4 slits end to end 

    • Then folded the wedge in half and secure with cocktail pick.

  5. Sip slow and Enjoy!

 

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"If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine."

-Morris West


 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage blue curacao brunch coconut food lime mixed drink mixology mixology monday photography" pineapple juice recipe rum https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/layers-of-paradise Mon, 17 May 2021 15:09:51 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Salted Caramel Espresso Martini https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/salted-caramel-espresso-martini Hey There!

For inspiration for this week's post we visited newly opened, black owned rum distillery Striped Lion in Woodury, NJ. This family owned & operated distillery opened its doors in December 2020 and offers tours and tastings daily. They offer six varieties of rum including cocoa, cinnamon and citrus but we were pleasantly surprised by the Rum Collector's Reserve which is a blend of 4-10 year old aged rum from Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Panama, and the United States. We decided to pair this with Bailey's liqueur and espresso for another variation of the espresso martini.  We hope you enjoy! As always, if you make any of our drinks, take a picture and share them with us online! Instagram ---> @ staynfocusimages

To Find Striped Lion Rum or Book a Reservation: Visit the website

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

SC-IMG_0360SC-IMG_0360     

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
Baking Sheet & Silicon Mat or Wax Paper


For Drink
3 oz. Rum  (we used Striped Lion)
1.5 oz. Bailey's Salted Caramel
1.5 oz. Espresso
1/2 oz. Caramel Syrup
1 Dash Nutmeg
1 Dash Cinnamon

Ice
 

You will also need 2 martini glasses / coup glasses, hawthorne strainer, shaker cup, small pot and spoon.

 

SC-IMG_0376SC-IMG_0376
 

Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. In small pot over medium heat, add 1 cup of sugar.

  2. Stir frequently until it has completely melted into caramel.

  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

  4. Using spoon, drizzle caramel into desired shapes onto baking sheet.

  5. Let cool completely before removing from sheet (5-10 minutes or so).  

Note: video of this process is loaded on instagram

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add:

    • Ice

    • Espresso (3/4 oz.)

    • Cinnamon & Nutmeg (1 dash each)

    • Caramel Syrup (1/4 oz.)

    • Bailey's Salted Caramel Liqueur (3/4 oz.)

    • Rum (1.5 oz)

  2. Shake for 30 seconds or so until chilled.

  3. Strain between both martini/coup glasses.

  4. Garnish with your spun sugar/caramel candy.

  5. Enjoy!

 

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“The powers of a man’s mind are directly proportional to the quantity of coffee he drinks.”
-
Sir James MacKintosh

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage beverage black owned brands brunch cocktail with coffee coffee coffee cocktail drink espresso food photography martini mixed drink mixology mixology monday recipe rum savory https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/salted-caramel-espresso-martini Mon, 10 May 2021 15:05:53 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Rosemary Pear Margarita https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/rosemary-pear-margarita Hey Hey!

Cinco de Mayo is approaching. The 5th of May is the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, a battle which resulted in the victory of Mexico over France in 1862, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, and is mainly celebrated in Puebla, Mexico. However, for many Americans, Cinco de Mayo is more about celebrating Mexican culture and is an excuse to eat Mexican food and drink Tequila. If you plan to pay tribute to Mexican culture and heritage, here's a margarita recipe for you to try! 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!

PM-IMG_9992PM-IMG_9992    
 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Sprigs of Rosemary
2 Slices of Pear (we used Bosc ears)
1 tsp. Lime Juice
Margarita Salt & Sugar (for rim of glass)


For Drink
3 oz. Reposado Tequila (we used Teremana)
1 oz. Cointreau
3 oz. Pear Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 Sprigs of Rosemary

Ice

You will also need 2 rocks tumblers or margarita glasses, strainer/hawthorne strainer and a shaker cup.

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Let's Make the Garnish!

  1. In small dish (wider than your glass) add your salt and sugar mix. (we used margarita salt and sugar in the raw).

  2. Use small amount of lime juice around rim of glass. (we used a cotton swab to apply lime juice more precisely)

  3. Dip glass into salt and sugar mixture and move around gently to ensure coverage to your liking and set aside.

  4. Cut two thin slices of pear, drizzle with a little lime juice and set aside.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add:

    • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (2 oz.)

    • Rosemary (2 Sprigs)

    • Simple Syrup (1 oz.)

  2. Muddle for 20-30 seconds. 

  3. Add Remaining ingredients to shaker cup:

    • Pear Juice (3 oz.)

    • Cointreau (1 oz.)

    • Tequila (3 oz.)

    • Ice

  4. Shake well.

  5. Strain into your glass, be careful to not disturb your salt/sugar rim.

  6. Garnish with your pear slice and rosemary sprig. 

  7. Enjoy!

 

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“Stop trying to make everybody happy, you’re not tequila!”
-Anonymous

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage black owned brands food photography margarita mixed drink mixology mixology monday pear margarita tequila https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/5/rosemary-pear-margarita Mon, 03 May 2021 14:45:15 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Grand Empress Gin Fizz https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/4/gin-fizz Hey There!

Today we're sharing a fizz cocktail, probably the best known fizz... the gin fizz. The gin fizz has been around since at least 1876 and is the cousin to the Tom Collins. A sour cocktail with a frothy foam on top sounds like a perfect duo to me. We used Empress 1908 Gin which gives the drink its pigmentation and we used Grand Marnier liqueur for the additional citrus notes. 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!

GF-IMG_0107GF-IMG_0107   
 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1 lemon peel twist/spiral


For Drink
3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 oz. Empress 1908 Gin
1 Egg White
1/4 oz. Grand Marnier

2 oz. Club Soda
Ice

You will also need a rocks tumbler, Collins glass or champagne flute, strainer and a shaker cup.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. In your shaker cup add:

    • Empress 1908 Gin (2 oz)

    • Simple Syrup (3/4 oz)

    • Grand Marnier (1/4 oz)

    • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (1oz)

    • Egg White

  2. Dry Shake (shake without ice) vigorously 20-30 seconds. (​​t​​​his is key for a thick froth)

  3. Add Ice and shake again for another 20-30 seconds.

  4. Strain into your glass and top with club soda.

  5. Add lemon twist garnish. 

  6. Enjoy!

 

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"Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful."
-Jim Carrey

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage empress 1908 gin food photography gin gin cocktail gin fizz Grand Marnier mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/4/gin-fizz Mon, 26 Apr 2021 14:57:08 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Classic Mojito https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/4/classic-mojito Hey Hey!

Today we're sharing another classic mixed drink hailing from Cuba... the mojito! The history of the mojito is long with some unknowns but what we do know is just about all of the ingredients in the Mojito are indigenous to Cuba. Rum, lime, mint and sugar (the island nation grows sugar cane) are combined in this refreshing cocktail which actually was once used medicinally. Feel free to break out your mixing glass for this or you can skip that step and make it directly in your collins glass like we did! 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!

  MO-IMG_0518MO-IMG_0518
 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
1-2  Bunches of mint leaves
Sugar Cane (cut into 6-10 inch strip) *optional stirrer :)



For Drink
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3/4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 oz. White Rum
2 oz. Club Soda
8-10 Fresh Mint Leaves

You will also need a Collins glass, muddler and a bar spoon.

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Let's Make the Drink!

  1. Take all mint leaves and give them a good slap.

  2. Place the mint directly into your Collins glass  with fresh squeezed lime juice (3/4oz.) and gently muddle.

  3. Add remaining ingredients:

    • Simple syrup (1/2 oz.)

    • Rum (2 oz.)

    • Ice (fill to brim) 

  4. Top with club soda (2oz.) and use bar spoon or sugarcane strip to stir. 

  5. Garnish w/ the sugarcane strip and additional mint leaves

  6. Enjoy!

 

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In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria. 

-Benjamin Franklin
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) adult beverage food photography mint mixed mixed drink mixology mixology monday mojito rum rum cocktail https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/4/classic-mojito Mon, 19 Apr 2021 14:37:52 GMT
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!
     

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

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(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!
     

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


 

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(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


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

—Frank Sinatra
 



 

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(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! 

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 "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

 

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(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!

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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.

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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!

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

– Henry David Thoreau
 

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(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!

 

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"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!"


 

 

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(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!

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

-Francis Chichester


 

 

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(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! 

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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.
 

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(Nicole J. Leverett for Stay N Focus Images) baking bread bread making bread recipe cooking with nikki easy bread flatbread food photography homemade bread naan no yeast bread recipe vegetarian 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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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


 

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(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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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“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

 

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(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!

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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.

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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!

 

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