Mocha Meringue Cocktail With Sprinkles

Love iced coffee? Looking for a tasty, new cocktail recipe that is so easy to make and tastes delicious? This recipe can be made as a single drink, or make it for a party! Topped with meringue cookies, and covered in sprinkles, this drink makes for such a festive drink for any occasion!

yummy mocha meringue cocktail

A little while back, I was browsing Instagram, and came upon this awesome company, Gypsy Vodka. I loved the free-spirited attitude they convey, and since my blog is called Lily The Wandering Gypsy, I figured I would reach out and see if they wanted to send me anything. They loved the idea, and sent me the prettiest bottle of vodka I have ever seen. The artwork is so pretty, and the bottle shape is super unique. Gypsy Vodka was founded in Michigan, and is very proud of that fact! #LetLoveConquer

HOW TO MAKE THE DRINK:

1.) Prepare your sprinkles. Have you seen those cute designer sprinkle websites, that sell colorful, cheerful mixes of sprinkles at super high prices? Well, I am definitely inspired by them, but I sure didn't have the time to order offline, so I created my own! Here, I mixed some colorful star-shaped sprinkles from the dollar baskets at Target, and a few other sprinkles I had from the grocery store, and I love how they turned out! Below, you will see that I mixed white ball sprinkles, those itty-bitty multi colored ball sprinkles, and also the longer, more primary-colored sprinkles together. At first, I was unsure about how it would look, but I think the more textures and colors, the better for this one. Sprinkles are NOT an option here, friends!

Sprinkles

2.) Melt chocolate and put into a shallow, round, glass jar or Pyrex/plastic container. One that is wider than your glasses, but not too deep. Dip the rim of each glass (shot glasses would also be adorable!!!), scrape off excess chocolate with a utensil, and dip the chocolate rim into the sprinkles. I used my hand to push sprinkles anywhere they did not get from the dipping process. Let these cool and let's mix the cocktail!

love this recipe!

3.) Mix your favorite pre-made mocha coffee with 1 shot of Gypsy Vodka over ice, or use this recipe:

1 part coffee liquor

 1/2 part chocolate liquor

1 part vanilla vodka

1/2 - 1 part heavy cream

Ice

So good!

HERE'S ANOTHER RECIPE:

2 oz. expresso or strong coffee

1 oz. vodka

1 oz coffee liquor

1/2 oz. simple syrup

HOW TO:

Combine espresso, vodka, coffee liqueur, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish as desired.

yummy drinks

Gypsy Vodka is naturally gluten free!

"We had only been out of college for a few months, working as consultants, and we had already grown unsatisfied with the 9-5 work life. We headed west to Breckenridge Colorado in search of inspiration and a new perspective. While in Colorado we met a whiskey distiller who lived nearby, and after talking to him, and feeling his passion for his craft, we set out to learn as much as we could about the art of distilling.  It wasn’t long before we too, were hooked, and Gypsy was born.  We didn’t just want to make vodka; we wanted to build a brand for young, free-spirited explorers like ourselves. 
The name Gypsy represents our lifestyle and reflects the way we live. Whether climbing the peaks of Colorado looking for the perfect sunset, or finding new family at a music festival, we were taught long before we graduated college that living the life you want is within your grasp.  We owe so much to the people who have shown us this, and Gypsy is as much theirs as it is ours.
The road to this point has not been easy. We have dedicated ourselves to our brand, spending long nights living out of our van and tent, seeking investors, and working too many odd jobs to count.  From festivals and ski shops, to party promotion and landscaping, we were able to muster up enough cash to turn our dream into a reality.
After exploring 50 different formulas and hosting countless taste tests, we believe Gypsy is the best tasting, smoothest vodka on the market. Gypsy is distilled with corn six times using only reverse osmosis treated water. Our specially selected American-grown corn brings out naturally sweet tones and subtle earthy notes that make the Gypsy experience like nothing else.
Cheers to your Gypsy Soul"
yummy cocktails

Find Gypsy Vodka online, on Facebook, and on Instagram

Celebrate New Starbucks® Caffé Latte K-Cups®! Love These Flavors!

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review. #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome #CollectiveBias

Cooler temperatures mean it's time to test out some new Caffe Latte coffee flavors! Starbucks® now offers a two-step Caffè Latte that you can create with your Keurig machine at home, and they were delicious. Read on to learn more about this new style of coffee prep. Read on to learn more about incorporating new Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® pods into your routine!

I also have a clever way to put those K-Cup® pods to use a second time around. Read on to learn about my idea. 

Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome
Learn more about the Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® pods and find lots of drink inspirations on the Starbucks® website.

When I received this Starbucks® Influencer Gift Box in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful everything looked. It included: A Glass Starbucks® Mug (which is amazing!!), A Gold Spoon, Confetti popper, three samples of Starbucks® Caffe Latte K-Cup® pods, one (1) 6-Ct box of Caramel Caffè Latte K-Cup® pods. SO excited to have been so lucky to have received something SO nice to sample and ahre with you on my blog. 

I could not wait to open the flavors up and test each one. This two-step method involves adding a packet of whichever flavor sweetened dairy blend (which had the consistency of a packet of hot cocoa), pouring it into a coffee mug, then add the Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® pods to your Keurig and set it to the 8 oz. setting (the middle of my 3 settings). Then, after it has cooled a tiny bit, stir everything together for a creamy because the product is made from milk. 

Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome
Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome

Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® pods are delicious because they are made from milk, with no artificial flavors, and they come in 3 great Starbucks® signature flavors (Caramel, Mocha, and Vanilla) and 2 beloved Starbucks® seasonal flavors (Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Mocha, available for a limited time).


MY FAVORITE FLAVOR

I tried all 3 flavors while working on this project, and found that my favorite flavor was Caramel! So lucky that I have another box of 6 that came with this gift set. I also received an awesome coupon for 6 more K-Cup® pods at any retailer! The caramel was my favorite because I always feel like caramel coffee drinks can taste a bit fake. Not this one! Every single sip tasted like real caramel, my favorite Fall flavor of all time. Other flavors available include: Caramel flavor, Vanilla flavor, Real Cocoa (Mocha), Real Pumpkin. 

Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome

Luckily, these awesome products are available nationally at your local grocery store. And, with this many flavors you will probably want to stock up on every flavor. 

Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome
Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome

A GOOD REUSE

While these particular Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® pods came with filters because they are coffee, you can either tear out the filter, or use a K-Cup® from hot cocoa, and then use the cups for individual servings of pre-heated caramel. I heated my caramel in a double boiler, but was surprised at how much caramel each cup actually held! 

Reuse Those K-Cup pods!

Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome

The Mocha Flavor was chocolatey without being overly sweet. I really loved also styling this photo with organic chocolate chips AND chocolate-covered espresso beans. How perfect! Read on to check out how to use this two-step process. 

Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome

How To Prepare The New Starbucks® Caffè Latte  K-Cup® pods:

Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome

Step 1 - Choose your flavor and pour the packet into your coffee mug. 

Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome

Step 2 - Insert a Starbucks® Caffè Latte K-Cup® pod into your Keurig machine, and place your mug with chosen flavor packet in Keurig®. Set to 8 oz setting, and be ready to indulge!

***

BE VERY CAREFUL! These machines make very hot coffee! Stir the drink, wait until it cools to your liking, and enjoy!

Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome
Yummy New Coffee Flavors! #StarbucksCaffeLatte #MyStarbucksatHome

2016 Starbucks Corporation. All rights reserved. Keurig, Keurig HOT, K-Cup and the K logo are trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., used with permission.

Olympics Inspired - Candy Flavored Vodkas!

I had a blast creating these 5 flavored vodkas, inspired by the 2016 Olympics! With 5 different types of candy, I created 5 festive flavors of infused vodka, and then created a cute label for the Vodka I used. 

#olympics #LWGcreates

Here is how I got the 5 flavors/colors. Note, I did use a teeny bit of food coloring in the black and green flavors, but the other colors turned out so vibrant. All you have to do is to divide 1-2 bottles of unflavored vodka into 5 jars with lids. In order to really infuse the alcohol, keep these in the fridge overnight, if you can. The longer you wait, the better! I also recommend using as much candy in the jar as you can.

BLUE: Blue Jolly Ranchers - BLACK: Black Licorice + Black Food Dye - RED: Cherry Jolly Ranchers - YELLOW: Lemon Heads - GREEN: Green Apple Jolly Ranchers + Lime Green Food Coloring

#LWGcreates
DIY Candy Colored Vodka

You could of course customize these fun flavors and colors for college or pro sports teams, holidays, and more! Let me know if you wind up making these, I'd love to see what you create. 

olympics cookie

Also, I grabbed this amazingly tasty Sugar Saucer Cookie from Longbranch Cafe, my favorite restaurant in Carbondale! 

Olympics Inspired!!
Candy Colored Vodka DIY

And, if you were wondering how I created the label on the bottle, I found 8.5" x 11" sticker paper at a local print shop, and printed a label I created in InDesign. I found the fonts on dafont.com - love that site! Go Team!!!

Smoothie Time With Annie's Homegrown Organics

I have been on a major smoothie kick lately, and after making one almost every day, I have found my perfect blend of ingredients to make a smoothie that I haven't gotten tired of yet! I will alter the recipe just a little bit, depending upon what fruit I have in my fridge or freezer, but I basically use the same formula each time. 

I have always been drawn to Annie's Homegrown Organic products, so when I saw this yogurt at our local Schnuck's, I grabbed a couple of containers, lots of berries, and also re-upped on unsweetened almond milk. 

I have also learned that to make a smoothie the best (most drinkable) consistency possible, you can't use all frozen fruits. Otherwise, it freezes all of the other ingredients, making something more like soft sorbet (which is great for smoothie bowls or making nice-cream). Also, adding the almond milk definitely helps to thin out your smoothie, but the taste can be overwhelming, so just test your smoothie before pouring it in the jar. Lastly, with the yogurt, I add a good amount, because it tastes SO good! So, the amount of each ingredient just depends on your taste preferences. 

Yummy Smoothie
MAKES 2 LARGE SMOOTHIES

MAKES 2 LARGE SMOOTHIES

- Annies Homegrown Organic Very Vanilla Yogurt

- Unsweetened Almond Milk

- Frozen Raspberries (I freeze fresh ones in jars)

- Frozen Blackberries (I also froze some fresh ones in jars)

- Fresh Strawberries (tops sliced off, cut into smaller pieces)

- Fresh Blueberries 

- Fresh Banana

- Ice

- Sugar is your fruit isn't very sweet or too tart

super tasty smoothie
smoothie instructions

 

1.) In a blender or food processor, add sliced strawberries, fresh blueberries, frozen raspberries, frozen blackberries, a dash of almond milk, banana, 1/3 container of yogurt, and a handful of ice.

2.) Hold the blender down, and begin to blend and puree your ingredients! Keep blending for a bit, because you want everything the same consistency. Note - unless you have a super-awesome blender, the ice will sound rough at first when you blend...

3.) Pour into a big jar, and enjoy! This smoothie keeps me full well past lunch time, it's amazing!

Find more about the Annie's Hiomegrown Organic yogurt, here!

yummy smoothie
smoothie recipe

Trail To Tavern - San Diego & Escondido // Breweries & Bottleshops (And What To Wear To A Brewery)

I know I am only scratching the surface of where to drink in and around the San Diego area, but we found some pretty incredible breweries, bottle shops, and other places that I am so excited to share with you! And, since Toad&Co. was kind enough to inspire me to write this post, I wanted to do a brewery + outfit pairing! Check out my absolute favorite Toad&Co. suggestions, below. 

We drove to California this past March, during our month in Arizona. We decided to visit my friends at HelloSociety Santa Monica, and then head to the San Diego/Escondido area. We only had about 5-6 days in California, but definitely made the most of it! 

We knew there was a plethora of good beer in the San Diego area, so we decided to stay as close  as we could, which would up being the Best Western in Escondido, CA. March Madness completely filled all of the hotels in the San Diego area, so Escondido was the closest and coolest place we could find at short notice. Funny enough, any time you mention "Escondido" to anyone in the area, they say, "You're going to visit Stone Brewing, right?". 

Below, you will learn about the 4 breweries we visited, Stone Brewing, Toolbox Brewing, Modern Times, and Council Brewing.

Stone Brewing

At Stone Brewing, we were astounded by the immense scale of the tap room. The ceiling must go 2-3 stories up, and there are live  plants and water features throughout the building. There is also a lovely outdoor area, where you can grab a drink and food with friends, or even let your kids run around in the gardens. 

This pace was almost hard to find, because it's in a business park area, around nothing but office buildings. Also, the sign is rather small, so park near the hiking trail, and follow the intoxicating scent of hops through the bamboo garden walkway into either the store, brewery, or tap room(s). 

Stone Brewing
Stone Brewing
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Trail 2 Tavern - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

And, if you don't wind up eating at Stone Brewing, we also ate at this incredibly wonderful restaurant called Spices Thai Cafe! 

Trail 2 Tavern - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Bottle Shops To Visit

Since I promised you a list of Bottle Shops to visit (a.k.a. places to get insanely good, rare, and unique beer), here they are!

- Bottlecraft, Servall Liquors, Best Damn Beer Shop, Bine & Vine, Chip's Liquor, Holiday Wine & Spirits, Clemm's Bottle Shop, Fletcher Bottle Shop, Oak & Craft, and SO MANY MORE!!!


Toolbox Brewing Company is one of the most unique and special breweries we have ever visited. Their tap handles were made of tools (reminiscent of the San Diego Skyline), and the overall design of the place reminded me of an extremely clean mechanic's shop with lots of great merchandise to bring home with you. We had such a nice conversation with the brewery owner/founder, and learned so much about the local beer scene. They are making an effort to use their own experimental recipes, and I loved the Bog Sauce! Definitely stop by and take a look at all of those beautiful barrels!

Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

At Modern Times Flavordome, located at  3000 Upas St. in San Diego, you will find some absolutely incredible beer and coffee! There is a second location as well. Their beer is superior to so many others, so if you are anywhere near this bar, please, please visit! If beer isn't your thing, you can always order a cold brew coffee, in a stemmed glass, like the one above, poured over ice.  

Modern Times
Modern Times

Lamp shades hang from the ceiling of the tap room. 

Modern Times

If you order a flight here, they serve it to you in the top of a wooden cigar box. 

Modern Times
what to wear

The best thing about Toad&Co clothing, is that it all looks incredibly polished, but is very, very comfortable! That is the exact sort of outfit I would recommend wearing to a brewery when it's nice and warm outside. Dresses are so versatile, and make sure you wear semi comfy shoes, because you never know where the day may take you when you're hunting for breweries to visit in the San Diego area! 

Palmira Dress

Palmira Dress

Rosemarie Dress

Rosemarie Dress

Cold Brew Coffee, below, available if you don't want to get a beer - so smart! 

Modern Times
Modern Times

Their tap list - I'm sure they've switched a few things up by this point :)

Modern Times

Mouth Watering Taps!

Modern Times

Several of the walls were completely covered in floppy discs! I guess their other location has a giant sticky note mural that features Michael Jackson + Bubbles. 

Modern Times
Modern Times

Their bar was made of stacks and stacks of VHS tapes! So freaking cool! Definitely check out Modern Times if you get a chance, it's such a fun place.

Modern Times

Council Brewing greeted us with a gigantic wall of barrels - a very good sign, meaning they take lots of time to age their beers, as well as make lots of sour beers (yum)!!

The bartender was super nice and helpful, and did a great job managing the requests of everyone in the space. This brewery provides wide open space, ample seating, and a very relaxed environment. We tried several sour fruit beers, under their Beatitude line, and loved absolutely everything we had. I wish we could find their beer in Illinois. 

Council Brewing
What To Wear

A brighter dress is also a great option for a brewery visit in California! I would also recommend bringing a sweater or denim jacket as well, because so many of these breweries had their doors open at night, letting fresh air into the space - such a wonderful thing!

Sama Sama Dress

Sama Sama Dress

Palmira Dress

Palmira Dress

Such good beer! I love their fruit-based beers best. 

Council Brewing
Council Brewing

Two of their special edition beers. 

Council Brewing
Council Brewing

A flight of as many beers as you want! I think their glasses are adorable. 

Council Brewing

Where the magic happens...

Council Brewing
Council Brewing

Note** More photos will be added very soon! Stay Tuned :) 

Lemon Sorbet Recipe And Video

So, we are here in Arizona for March, and the lemon tree at my parent's house was just calling my name! I decided to make my first YouTube video about a wonderful lemon sorbet recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

- 2 Cups Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (About 12 Lemons)

- 2 Cups Water

- 1 - 1.5 Cups Sugar (White Sugar or Cane Sugar). I used 2 cups and it was too sweet. 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Juice lemons, and make sure there are no seeds. Set aside.

Heat water and sugar in a medium saucepan, until sugar has dissolved.

Add lemon juice to sugar water, and stir until combined.

Pour lemon juice mixture into a Pyres or container with a lid, and put into freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight. 

When frozen, scrape the sorbet with a fork, and then serve! This sorbet will stay good in the freezer for about 2 weeks. 

Enjoy! 

Natural Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe + Winter Citrus

These drinks tasted really incredible. This was one of the first drinks I have ever sweetened with Agave, and it was perfect.

Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe

We juiced the 2 types of grapefruits (by hand, without a juicer!). One was a "normal color, orangey on the outside, and fruity pink inside, and another type that looked like a giant lemon when you cut it open. Also, after adding just a little bit of the agave nectar, the flavors were balanced perfectly! The sugar around the rim is a fun flavor addition as well. I always love sweet and tart together. 

You can drink the juice by itself, or add a little bit of sparkling wine or gin if you wanted to. 

Citrus

INGREDIENTS:

1 part grapefruit juice (we used 1 1/2 C.)

1 part sparkling wine (dry and less sweet would be better) or sparkling water

2 tsp. organic agave nectar

Jars or fancy glasses of your choice

Organic Cane Sugar for Rims

Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe

INSTRUCTIONS:

- Mix grapefruit juice, sparkling wine, and agave in a pitcher or similar. 

- Grab your jars or glasses, and add sugar to the rim. To do this, I put some water onto a plate, and dipped the glasses in the sugar. I love the way the sugar helped add even more sweetness to a tart citrus flavor. 

- Fill glass a bit over half with ice. Pour the grapefruit juice mixture over the ice, and garnish with a wedge of grapefruit. Love the color of these drinks! 

Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe

Fun Fact: Citrus is a great way to help boost your immune system! 

"This large subtropical fruit known for its slightly bitter and sour taste is called a grapefruit as it grows in clusters like grapes. High in enzymes, water content and having less sodium, grapefruit helps accelerate weight loss. It also helps in cancer prevention, boosts immune levels and aids digestion. It is rich in vitamin B, magnesium, iron, folic acids, manganese, calcium and potassium." - StyleCraze
Citrus Ombre

DIY Super Easy Champagne Flutes

I had a blast working on this fun tutorial! I thought these would be adorable for a party of just about any sort. Whether you actually put champagne or sparkling wine in these glasses, or if you decide to create mocktails, suitable for all ages, these would be great. This of how cute these would be if you made them for a bridal or baby shower, holidays, birthdays, and just fun days you want to be more fancy than usual! You could also find monogram stickers and use those as fun gifts as well. Check out the full New Year's post Here

A Cute DIY Project!
A Cute DIY Project!

So, this project is one of the easiest ones I have ever created. So great that they wound up looking so great on top of being So easy! I wound up finding these amazing sticker/decals at Hobby Lobby. Of course, I couldn't find the exact stickers that I used online, but I used Stick-A-Bilities for this project. They were about $2.49 for the package, and I like the little bits of gold, pale pink, and mint in these stickers. They are kins of retro while still looking elegant and modern! The circle stickers ranged from about 2"-2.5" across, to give you an idea of what worked so well.

I found the plastic party champagne flutes for about $1.00 each at Party City. Here is the link to the cups in Clear and Gold. Whatever you wind up using, just make sure the plastic glasses have straight sides so the stickers fit best. 

A Cute DIY Project!

It's so simple, just make sure you stick the stickers to the flute glasses as straight as possible, and without any bubbles. 

A Cute DIY Project!
A Cute DIY Project!

Until next time, have a happy and healthy 2016!!!

New Year's Eve Celebration In Black and Gold

I hope everyone is having a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve! I love the combo of black and gold, and use those two colors together any chance I get. They are so pleasing to my eyes, that I created a Pinterest Board a while back called "Black and Gold"! 

NYE
NYE!

And a fun DIY for you! Check out these super easy Confetti Envelopes! I created them with some things I already had on hand, and printed these adorable little NYE Confetti Circles from this blog, HERE. 

DIY Confetti Pillows
NYE

Simply cut out the NYE circles, and affix them to the gold pillow boxes with double sided tape. Then, mix up a bunch of glitter, sequins, gold stars, and/or other pre-made confetti in hues of gold and silver. Basically anything that shimmers could go into these. Love the look of all that shine!

NYE
NYE
NYE
NYE
NYE
NYE
DIY Champagne Flutes
NYE
NYE

And, below, I created these cute little donut toppers by glueing some larger confetti pieces to toothpicks with Tacky Glue. Can;t wait to try this out on a larger scale with cupcakes soon!! 

NYE
NYE

I thought it would be so great to have some different flavor options. Just choose 3 of your favorite flavored juices, and allow guests to choose what juice to add to their sparkling wine.

NYE

Note: This post wasn't sponsored, I just wanted to showcase how you could use just about any sparkling wine to achieve this type of party decor and look! 

NYE
NYE
NYE

New Year's Resolution Cocktails {Roundup}

I thought it would be fun to put together a list of cocktails inspired by common New Year's Resolutions. 

If you want a classic cocktail that just might inspire you to read a new novel or two, this  Earnest Hemingway Daiquiri by Gabriel Cabrera , would be a good fit.  

If you want a classic cocktail that just might inspire you to read a new novel or two, this Earnest Hemingway Daiquiri by Gabriel Cabrera, would be a good fit.  

We could all use a little bit more of the green variety in our diets, so here is a rather unusual Spicy BLT Green Bloody Mary by Heather Christo

If you are making it a top priority to make date night more fun this year, this  Chocolate Stout and Raspberry Cocktail by Drool Worthy Daily  may be a great addition to a meaningful evening. 

If you are making it a top priority to make date night more fun this year, this Chocolate Stout and Raspberry Cocktail by Drool Worthy Daily may be a great addition to a meaningful evening. 

I always believe that wine and sparkling wine are great, mood-boosting options when getting together with girlfriends. This Apple Pear Cocktail by Julie Blanner would be a great choice! 

If you feel like booze just makes you sleepy, try something mixed with coffee! Here is a fun  Creamy Coconut Rum Iced Coffee by Heather Christo .

If you feel like booze just makes you sleepy, try something mixed with coffee! Here is a fun Creamy Coconut Rum Iced Coffee by Heather Christo.

They say that one way to get the creative juices flowing is to drink absinthe. I guess the taste alone is almost unbearable, but hey, let's try this mixed drink and see if we can't get a bit creative.  Here is the Sleepy Hollow Cocktail by The Jewels Of NY .

They say that one way to get the creative juices flowing is to drink absinthe. I guess the taste alone is almost unbearable, but hey, let's try this mixed drink and see if we can't get a bit creative. Here is the Sleepy Hollow Cocktail by The Jewels Of NY.

If travel is top on your list for 2016, try this  Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme by With Food And Love , maybe it will inspire you to make plans to head somewhere warm, Hawaii for instance?!

If travel is top on your list for 2016, try this Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme by With Food And Love, maybe it will inspire you to make plans to head somewhere warm, Hawaii for instance?!

If one of your goals for the new year is to stop and smell the roses, then this  Cardamom Rose Gin & Tonic  by The Baking Bird may be perfect for you! 

If one of your goals for the new year is to stop and smell the roses, then this Cardamom Rose Gin & Tonic by The Baking Bird may be perfect for you! 

Why not learn how to infuse your drinks with new flavors, by learning how to  Make Your Own Bitters, with this nice tutorial by How Sweet It Is . 

Why not learn how to infuse your drinks with new flavors, by learning how to Make Your Own Bitters, with this nice tutorial by How Sweet It Is

This  Low-Cal Cocktail by Waiting On Martha , would be one of the drinks with the lowest calories, in my mind. Instead of using anything pre-mixed, opt for fresh ingredients! 

This Low-Cal Cocktail by Waiting On Martha, would be one of the drinks with the lowest calories, in my mind. Instead of using anything pre-mixed, opt for fresh ingredients! 

Happy 2016!

Lavender Lemonade - Bacardi Inspired

One of the coolest projects I have ever done is working with Bacardi to show my readers how to create summer party-ready drinks with two of their flavors - Limon and Tangerine (a new one). 

I was asked to pretty much create whatever I wanted, and below you will see some of the goodness I thought up.

Lavender Lemonade - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Actually, the main reason I thought this recipe would be great, is that the VRBO house we stayed in while we were in the Tahoe are a couple of weeks ago had some wild lavender growing nearby. I technically borrowed some clippings from the neighbor's yard, and WOW, did it smell incredible! The other wildflowers in the photos were also sourced from the neighbors, and I will tell you, I didn't even make a dent in their landscaping :) 

Lavender Lemonade - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

I made a simple syrup with the lavender, some sugar, and water. This way the lavender infused properly into the drink. But, I actually added it into some pretty glasses with Simply Lemonade and a shot of Bacardi. Below, you will find the recipe if you want to make it from scratch, with real lemons. 

LAVENDER LEMONADE VIA SIMPLYRECIPES.COM

The sugar/lemon balance will depend on what types of lemons you are using (Meyer lemons are less tart than regular lemons), and your own preference for sweetness. While all varieties of lavender are edible, English lavender and Provence lavender are most often used for culinary purposes. If you use fresh, garden flowers, make sure they have not been sprayed with pesticides. Do not use florist flowers.

Ingredients

  • A small handful of freshly picked and rinsed lavender flowers or a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers
  • 1 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of boiling water for the infusion
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups or more of cold water
  • Ice

Method

1 Cut the lavender flowers from the stems (no need to strip) and place in a medium bowl (a large pyrex measuring bowl works great because you can pour easily from it). Pour the sugar over the flowers and use your (clean) fingers to gently rub the flowers into the sugar.

2 Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the lavender sugar and stir with a spoon until the sugar has melted. Cover and let infuse for 30 minutes (or up to several hours).

3 Strain the lavender-infused simple syrup and pour into a serving carafe or pitcher.

4 Stir in the lemon juice.  Add another two cups of water. Taste and adjust for tartness. Add more lemon juice if too sweet.  Add more sugar if too tart. Add ice and more water to desired level of concentration. Note that the ice will melt eventually, further diluting the drink.

Add some thinly sliced lemons and a few lavender sprigs to the serving pitcher for presentation.

Lavender Lemonade - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lavender Lemonade - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Raspberry Mint Spritzer With Lemon

I found this adorable kitchen towel recently, that just screamed "SUMMER". I loved the little graphic on it so much, I created a new, summer drink recipe around it. 

Learn how to make this cute drink!

INGREDIENTS

2 - 24 oz. Mason Jars (and Ice)

Cran Raspberry Juice

Sprite or Sprite Zero

Vodka (optional)

Handful of Mint Sprigs, 2 Lemons, Fresh Raspberries, and Short Skewers For Garnish

Learn how to make this cute drink!

INSTRUCTIONS

Optionally, fill each jar with 1-2 shots of vodka. Fill jars with ice 1/2 -3/4 of the way full. Fill the rest of the jar with half cran-raspberry juice, then top with Sprite. 

To Garnish - Poke skewers through 3 raspberries, set on top of glass. Slice lemons, and put them onto your jars. Top with fresh mint, and serve. Mix the mint into the drink for a bit of extra freshness! Enjoy.

Learn how to make this cute drink!
Learn how to make this cute drink!
Learn how to make this cute drink!
Learn how to make this cute drink!

 

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AZ Sunshine Lemonade

Earlier this year, we visited my parents in Cave Creek, AZ. It was a great time of year to visit, as the days were only mildly HOT and the nights were somewhat cool enough to wear lightweight pants or a long sleeve tee. The other great thing about being there in early Spring, was that their lemon tree was in full production mode, and even had a few blossoms still on it. I wish we could have taken home boxes of their organic lemons, so we could enjoy them at home, but they really only stay good for a few days after they are picked. So, we made as much lemonade as we could handle until our teeth hurt! We had a pitcher a day addiction going on!

Check out this super tasty fresh lemonade recipe!

INREDIENTS:

1 Part Lemon Juice (We used about 7-8 lemons for this)

3-4 Parts Water

1 Part Sugar (You can make a simple syrup at first if you want, although we didn't)

HOW TO:

We picked 7-8 lemons straight off the tree, cut them in half, and used an electric juicer to get as much juice out of them as we could. We then added the lemon juice to a pitcher, added the water, and sugar, and stirred. If you wind up making a simple syrup first, this is supposed to reduce the sugar from sinking to the bottom. Taste a bit to see if it is sweet or tart enough for your liking. Fill your glasses with ice, and pour the AZ Sunshine Lemonade on top! Enjoy!

Check out this super tasty fresh lemonade recipe!
Check out this awesome fresh squeezed lemonade recipe
Fresh Lemons

I never grew up around fruit trees, and I love them! They do attract lots of bees, because of the little lemon blooms, but my step-mom made us a fresh batch of lemonade almost every day we were there! She has an electric juicer, which really does make things much easier for this whole process. Since we drank her super fresh lemonade, nothing from a bottle has tasted anywhere near as good. It all seems so bland, not tart, and loaded with more sugar than humanly possible. 

I like my lemonade a little bit sweet, and a little bit tart. Feel free to add more sugar if this is way too tart, but I do hope you enjoy the way we make our fresh squeezed AZ Lemonade! 

My little girls always helps me with my photos, poolside preferred! 

My little girls always helps me with my photos, poolside preferred! 

Raspberry Gin and Tonic Recipe With Berry-Infused Ice Cubes!

If you love a Gin and Tonic, this recipe is just for you! This drink is light, refreshing, and really goes down smoothly! This Gin and Tonic has a hint of lime, strawberry, and raspberry. And, these would be perfect for Valentine's Day or Date Night! For the ice cubes, in a heart-shaped silicone mold, I filled them up half way with frozen raspberries and chopped up frozen strawberries, then filled the rest of the way with regular water. They're so cute! 

Gin and Tonic - With Raspberry Infused Ice Cubes

RASPBERRY GIN AND TONIC RECIPE

Ingredients for 2 Drinks:

Begin by making your fruit-infused ice cubes, as instructed above. Once the ice is frozen, mix 4 oz Gin and 10 oz tonic water into a glass. Add about 1/2 tbsp of sugar if these are too tart for you. Feel free to also squeeze some lime juice into the glass, to cover up the gin taste a bit more :) Add the ice cubes (after the gin and tonic water so they retain their shape better), and top with a lime wedge.  The ice cubes quickly began to make the drinks a bit pink, which I love! These are so refreshing and I hope you LOVE them!!!