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, 17 Jan 2022 20:00:00 GMT Mon, 17 Jan 2022 20:00:00 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 - 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!

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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!

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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 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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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.
 

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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.

MJ-IMG_1381MJ-IMG_1381 MJ-IMG_1393MJ-IMG_1393

 

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.


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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

ZF-IMG_1557ZF-IMG_1557

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.

RG-IMG_0325RG-IMG_0325

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!

NG-IMG_1439NG-IMG_1439       

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

SC-IMG_0408SC-IMG_0408

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.

PM-IMG_9917PM-IMG_9917
 

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.

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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!

 δΉΎζ―

(kanpai/cheers!)
 

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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.


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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!

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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.


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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.

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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 easy bread flatbread food photography homemade bread naan no yeast bread recipe https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/quick-and-savory-flatbread Tue, 23 Feb 2021 14:55:29 GMT
Mixology Monday With The Leveretts - Hella Good Japanese Whiskey Sour https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/japanese-whiskey-sour Hey There,

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

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

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

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

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

 

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

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

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Here's What You Need:

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

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

Timing:

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

Let's Make Some Corn Ribs:

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

 


 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

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

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

Ice

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

 

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

 

Let's Make the Garnish!

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

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Let's Make the Pear Spiced Simple Syrup!

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

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

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Let's Make the Drink!

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

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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 jack daniels lime mixed mixology mixology monday pear recipe Tennessee whiskey uncle nearest vodka https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/2/spiced-pear-whiskey-cocktail Tue, 02 Feb 2021 01:09:31 GMT
Easy Peasy No Knead Dutch Oven Bread https://www.staynfocus.com/blog/2021/1/no-knead-dutch-oven-bread Hey hey!

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

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Here's What You Need:

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

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

 

Timing:

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

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Let's Make Some Bread:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
4-6 Thin Apple Slices
2 Cinnamon Sticks

 

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

2-4 Dashes Herbal Bitters

1/2 Lemon
Ice

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

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Let's Make the Garnish!

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

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Let's Make the Drink!

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

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

-Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson


 

 

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

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

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

 

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Here's what you need:

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

2 Cocktail Picks

For Drink

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

 

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

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Let's Make the Garnish!

This particular garnish needs to prepped hours in advance.

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

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Let's Make the Drink!

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

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

-Gina Barreca


 

 

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

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

 

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Here's What You Need:

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

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

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TIMING:

Prep: 30-40 minutes
Cook: 6 hours

Total Time: approx 6.5 -7 hours

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LET’S COOK!

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

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

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

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

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

MM-IMG_1744MM-IMG_1744

 

Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Bourbon Cherries
1 Orange (to peel)

 

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

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


Let's Make the Drink!

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

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

-unknown

 


 

 

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

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

This makes 2 drinks! Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

For Garnish
2 Orange Slices
2 Small Bunches of Mint Leaves

 

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

 

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

 

Let's Make the Garnish!

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

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Let's Make the Drink!

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

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

-unknown
 


 

 

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

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

This makes 4 drinks! Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

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

 

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

Let's Make the Drink!

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

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

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
 


 

 

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

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

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

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Here's what you need:

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

 

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

 

Let's Make the Drink!

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

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


 

 

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

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

This makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

 

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Here's what you need:

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

For Garnish
2 White Chocolate Chunks
2 Cocktail Picks

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

 

Let's Make the Garnish!

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

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Let's Make the Drink!

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

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


 

 

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

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

This makes 2 drinks. Let's get started!

CZ-IMG_8187_1CZ-IMG_8187_1

 

Here's what you need:

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

For Garnish
2 Slices Lime
2 Large Mint Leaves

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

 

Let's Make the Drink!

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

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

-Anton Chekhov
 

 

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

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

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

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Here's what you need:

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

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

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Let's Make the Drink!

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

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

-unknown

 

 

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

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

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

This makes 4 drinks. Let's get started!

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Here's what you need:

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

 

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

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

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Let's Make the Cranberry Simple Syrup!

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

 

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Let's Make the Drink!

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


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