Ruby Red Royale

We just created a new cocktail that is delicious and refreshing, no matter the season. With fresh fruit to remind you of summer, and champagne and liqueurs that add a touch of class, you’ll be serving this drink all year round, from holiday gatherings to pool parties!

Ingredients:

Start by filling a glass about 1/3 to 1/2 full with blueberries and pomegranate seeds.

Add vodka, liqueur, and simple syrup to glass and stir.

Top with champagne or prosecco.

Garnish with piece of pomegranate and enjoy!

Aquavit Hot Toddy

We’re already getting lots of snow in Wisconsin so we were inspired to create this drink to help us stay warm and cozy!

To make two toddies you’ll need:

  • 1/2 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 anise stars (one for the syrup and one to garnish each drink)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 4 oz aquavit (we used the Celebration Aquavit from 45th Parallel Distillery!)

Instructions:

  1. Begin by heating the apple cider on the stove. While it is warming up, we’ll make a spiced honey simple syrup.
  2. Heat cardamom, peppercorns, and star anise in a dry sauce pan over medium heat, stirring and crushing them against the pan until fragrant.
  3. After about 2 minutes, add water and sugar, and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Stir in the honey and add to the heated cider.
  6. Once the mixture is heated thoroughly, remove from heat and stir in aquavit.
  7. Serve immediately in mugs, and garnish with star anise.

Enjoy!

How to Make a Fall Charcuterie Board

One of our favorite snacks and drink pairings is a charcuterie board. There are so many different options for foods to include, and the variety of tastes and textures is sure to please any palate.

There are also many ways to design and create your own board — the possibilities are endless! We put one together for family and friends at Lauren’s sister’s Fall Fun Day event! Below you will find a step-by-step for the charcuterie board we built.

We started with two blocks of Toscano cheese from Trader Joe’s: one soaked in Syrah, and one dusted with cinnamon. Two perfect cheeses for fall! Then we added two small ramekins for pickles and olives and built the “salami river.” We folded the salami in half twice and then placed each piece facing opposite the last to create this beautiful river flowing across the board.

Next, we added some fall fruits: Bosc pears and dried apricots! We also added a round of Gouda cheese. You can never have enough cheese, right?

To finish it off, we added a couple of cracker varieties and the last of this season’s fresh blueberries and red and yellow raspberries! Here are a few more looks at the finished product:

This charcuterie board was absolutely delicious and was a big hit at the Fall Fun Day event this weekend, as you can see below! 🙂

Like we said before, the possibilities for your charcuterie board are endless. Aside from the meats and cheeses, other things you can include are fruits and veggies, nuts, jams, mustard, or honey. We hope this gives you some inspiration to start making your own!

If you try it out, or you’ve made and enjoyed cheese and charcuterie boards before, let us know your favorite thing to include on one in the comments below!

Lauren’s Ideal Self-Care Day

Yesterday was Lauren’s birthday and she decided to vlog and document her day as she did all her favorite activities that she would include in her ideal self-care day. Read and watch below to experience a day in the life of Lauren.

My day started as any good day should – without an alarm! I slept in until my body decided it was time to wake up, which today was about 9:00 am.

I love breakfast — it’s my favorite meal of the day. Today I started my day with some of my grandma’s homemade banana bread and some citrus green tea. So delicious.

After breakfast, I put on my favorite socks to get cozy, and then took my tea over to the couch to read a chapter or two in my book.

After an hour or so, I decided to brave today’s gloomy, rainy weather to work out. I do a lot of different activities for my workouts, but today it was CycleBar.

After rocking my ride at CycleBar, I made lunch. Apparently today was National Homemade Cookie Day, so for dessert I had one of my grandma’s delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Once I had refueled and taken a shower, I decided to play piano for a while. Today I tried learning a new song — a classic that I’ve always wanted to learn — The Entertainer.

I played around on the piano for a while until I was ready for a break. I decided I was in the mood for some pressed juice from Saints Madison. I headed over and tried a new juice — Fountain of Youth with butterfly pea flower, agave, and lemon . Tasty and beautiful too!

When I got back, I decided to decorate for fall. Once October hits I can finally start to accept that summer is over and fall is here.

Then it was time to kick back, enjoy my juice, and totally relax. I got out my adult coloring books and turned on Netflix.

I ended the day with pizza and wine, aka the perfect ending to a perfect self-care day. Cheers!

There you have it, Lauren’s perfect day. Watch below to experience it all with her firsthand.

Dirty Shirleys (Adult Shirley Temples)

We just received our monthly Lolly Box from Lollies By Leah and we got some Shirley Temple lollipops that put us in the mood for some Dirty Shirleys.

For this recipe, we reached for our Azeo Distillery Vodka distilled from apples, Pratt Standard True Grenadine Syrup (which is made with natural, real ingredients, and way less sickly sweet than the typical stuff you might be familiar with!), and some Lime Waterloo Sparkling Water (less sweet and more crisp and refreshing than a 7UP or ginger ale). For garnish, we obviously had to go with the Shirley Temple lollies, but of course maraschino cherries are the classic way to go.

Here’s our recipe so you can kick back and end your Monday with a tasty Dirty Shirley too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Azeo Vodka
  • 1 oz Pratt Standard True Grenadine Syrup
  • 4 oz Lime Waterloo Sparkling Water
  • Shirley Temple lollipops or maraschino cherries for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Fill a glass with ice.
  2. Pour vodka over ice and top with sparkling water.
  3. Drizzle grenadine over the top, or slowly pour it into the drink along the side of the glass so that it sinks to the bottom.
  4. Garnish with a Shirley Temple lollipop or 1-2 maraschino cherries.
  5. Enjoy!

Guide to Delicious & Beautiful Smoothie Bowls

This week we are talking smoothie bowls! This has been a big trend for a while now, so we decided we wanted to share some of our favorite recipes and combinations too!

A good smoothie bowl starts with a good smoothie! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A base ingredient to help the smoothie be thick and creamy such as bananas or Greek yogurt.
  • A splash of liquid to help get the blender going. You can use a variety of juices but lately we’ve been using non-dairy milks such as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk.
  • Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds — pretty much anything else you want to add for taste, color, and nutritional value!

Once you’ve got your smoothie, the next step is toppings! These give your smoothie bowl a variety of tastes and textures, and help it look pretty too!

We usually start with some of the fruits that we included in the actual smoothie. Then we get a little more creative. For example, if we included almond milk in the smoothie, perhaps we would top the smoothie bowl with actual almonds for some added crunch! Use your creativity, the options are ENDLESS!

Below are a few fun recipes to help you get started!

Purple Peaches Eater

  • Fresh peaches
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Frozen blackberries
  • Frozen raspberries
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Oat milk
  • Honey

Give Almond Love to You

  • Fresh banana
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Greek yogurt (we used Chobani Peach)
  • Almond milk

Good luck and happy blending! Let us know your favorite combinations in the comments below!

Peaches & Honey Summer Spritz

Peach season in Wisconsin usually ends sometime in September so we’re soaking up every ounce of it while we can. With that in mind, this week we are sharing a delicious peaches & honey cocktail!

This recipe is a variation of one developed by Spring44 Distilling and features their fantastic honey vodka. Here’s what you’ll need!

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Spring44 Distilling Honey Vodka
  • 1 oz peach liqueur
  • lemon or grapefruit sparkling water (we used Klarbrunn’s Citrus Blend!)
  • sliced peaches
  • mint leaves

Directions:

  1. Muddle the honey vodka and peach liqueur with peaches and mint leaves.
  2. Shake with ice and strain into highball glass.
  3. Top with sparkling water.
  4. Garnish with sliced peaches and a sprig of mint.
  5. Enjoy!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments if you try it out! What is your favorite peach recipe for the summer?

Fresh Summer Cucumber Melon Cocktail & Tomato Basil Bruschetta

We’re putting a fresh, new twist on the classic cucumber melon combo. And with it, we think we’ve found the perfect summer drink to cool off with.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

Directions:

  1. Place frozen watermelon cubes and cucumber slices into pitcher.
  2. Add gin and lemonade and stir.
  3. Top with sparkling water.
  4. Serve with mint sprig.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 67845552_2371522629834478_6527290442315202560_n.jpg

We can’t think of a better summer snack to pair with this cocktail than this easy bruschetta with tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella.

Ingredients:

  • Loaf of french bread
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tomato (per 4 large slices of bread)
  • Fresh mozzarella balls
  • Fresh basil
  • Balsamic vinegar or vinaigrette

Directions:

  1. Slice bread and rub with clove of garlic if using fresh garlic.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil. If using garlic powder, sprinkle on after olive oil has been poured.
  3. Broil for about 5 minutes or until bread is golden brown.
  4. While the bread is in the oven, dice the tomato(es) and slice the mozzarella and basil.
  5. Remove bread from oven and top with tomato, mozzarella, and basil.
  6. Put back in the oven and broil for about 5 more minutes or until cheese has melted to the level desired.
  7. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy!

If you try out either of these recipes (or both!), let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear what you think!

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to our new blog! We are Lauren & The Foreign and we’re very excited to start sharing with you our cocktail recipes, travel adventures, lifestyle tips and so much more! To get started, we wanted to give you some background on who we are and how Lauren & The Foreign began.

The Foreign’s real name is Julia, and she was born in Russia. She came to the United States when she was 8, and met Lauren in 5th grade. We’ve been best friends almost ever since!

Last year we developed an interest in wine and spirits and have been experimenting and developing recipes for all kinds of different cocktails. We also love travelling together and have been coast to coast sight-seeing, and of course, sampling drinks!

 A couple of things we both love, aside from fine wine and cocktails: chocolate covered strawberries, The Office, the beach, Joanne the Scammer (check out our parody here!), and Laffy Taffys!

We’re looking forward to sharing more stories and recipe ideas with you soon, and we hope you follow along with us on this next exciting step in our journey!