Simple Cocktails

Lemon Mint Martini

Ah, yes! Hot summers, sitting on the porch, indulging in the summer-fresh flavor of a Lemon Mint Martini!  A little tart, a little sweet – sort of like lemonade, but with a kick! Feel free to adjust the amounts on this recipe – some people like it more sweet, some less! (I’ve been told I tend to go light on the sweet, so you may want to add more simple syrup to the recipe!)

For The Simple Syrup: Go a little crazy and make the simple syrup with fresh mint (be sure to strain the syrup before storing)! Here is my recipe for simple syrup, with several flavor variations: Click Here


Lemon Mint Martini
Prep time
Total time
The summer-fresh flavor of a Lemon Mint Martini just can't be beat on a hot summer evening!
Recipe type: Cocktails
Serves: 2-3
  • 6 lemons - juiced (approximately 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Simple Syrup (you can go wild and make mint simple syrup!)
  • 4 shots vodka - I used Tito's Vodka
  • A handful of fresh mint, washed and torn into small pieces
  • Ice
  • Martini Shaker
  • Martini Glasses
  1. Combine in the shaker (make sure it is full of ice) the lemon juice, simple syrup and mint.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Pour into chilled martini glasses.
  4. Drink promptly (and responsibly!)



Apple Pie Sangria

This is a perfect cocktail to serve at Thanksgiving or any Fall event! This makes a large batch – you can cut the recipe in half and have a nice amount for 6-8 people.

SSD Apple Pie Sangria 5

Apple Pie Sangria
Prep time
Total time
A sweet sangria perfect for Fall events like Thanksgiving! Make the day ahead so all the flavors blend together.
Recipe type: Cocktail - Large Batch
Cuisine: Cocktails
Serves: 12-16
  • 2 bottle sweet wine, like resiling or muscato
  • 5 cups fresh apple cider
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • 2 cups caramel flavored vodka
  • 3 honey crisp apple, cored & chopped
  • 3 pears, cored & chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  1. In a large serving container, add the pears and apples. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cinnamon sticks. Stir well and cover. Refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours).
  2. About 4 hours before serving, add the cinnamon sticks.
  3. Optional: Remove a cup or two of the apples and pears and place in bowl to add to glasses. (Keep in mind, the fruit is now soaked in alcohol, so don't give to kids or pets!)
  4. Serve over ice!




SSD Apple Pie Sangria 4SSD Apple Pie Sangria 1

Chill Out With Cold Drinks This Summer

SSD Summer Drinks


The Heat is on this summer, and we all are looking to cool things down a little. The Simple Solutions Diva has a few icy beverage recipes & ideas (all non-alcoholic), perfect to chill out with this summer!

Fruit Kicks Up Drinks To The Next Level  

Put the fruits of the season to work! If you have strawberries, peaches or raspberries, and they are about to become overripe, puree them in a blender and freeze the puree in ice cube trays – pop a few cubes into a glass to add a refreshing, fresh flavor to any lemonade or iced tea!

Fruit Puree Recipe:

  • 2 Cups Fruit (Wash and remove stems – like strawberries – or peel fruit – like mangos or peaches – first)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar – I used 1 Tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon


Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour puree into ice molds, cover with plastic wrap and freeze 24 hours. Pop out and serve immediately in favorite beverage like iced tea or lemonade. Save remaining in freezer bag, removing as much air as possible from the baggie!

Perfect Iced Coffee

This is a bit of a process, but so worth the effort! Start it in the early morning (or the night before!), so you have it in the late afternoon! This will make a large batch for the week. Plus, you can freeze any leftovers in ice cube trays to add to your future iced coffee the next week (and the coffee ice cubes won’t water down your coffee)! Best Review From The Biggest Critic – My husband says:

This iced coffee maintains its integrity as the ice melts!

This large-batch recipe is from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond – you just can’t improve on perfection with this recipe! She has two types – regular iced coffee and vietnamese iced coffee – both are YUMMY! Click HERE to go to her fantastic recipe!

Crank Up The Heat To Chill Out

Sometimes it takes adding a little heat to get you to cool down! The theory is, if you sweat a little, it is your body’s way to cool you off! This Jalapeño Watermelon Limeade is a perfectly tasty way to cool you off – just enough of a kick, balanced with sweetness!

Jalapeño Watermelon Limeade


  • 4 cups watermelon, pureed in blender
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 5 limes)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2-3 pinches of sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Jalapeño Simple Syrup (see recipe below) in each serving glass. Use this amount as a guide-add more or less to taste!

Jalapeño Simple Syrup Directions: In a saucepan, cook 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeños-I used canned, but you can use fresh- boil for five minutes, Set aside and allow to cool; strain through a sieve, store in air tight container in fridge for up to 1 month)


Combine the watermelon, lime juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and water in blender and blend! Serve in ice-filled glasses, stirring in 1/2 teaspoon Jalapeño Simple Syrup (more or less to taste!). Garnish with a slice of lime and a wedge of watermelon!


Simple Recipe: The Cocktail Secret

Simple Syrup is the secret ingredient for many cocktail recipes! Since simple is in the name, I, of course, love it! You can also use Simple Syrup when baking cakes to give them extra moisture – just brush the layers of cake with a little simple syrup (imagine adding the flavored syrup for another hint of flavor!). Here is the basic recipe:

Simple Syrup Recipe


  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Cup sugar


Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and cook over med-high heat. Stir frequently, ensuring the sugar dissolves – bring to a boil, then quickly remove from heat. Allow to sit until the mixture is cool.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Flavored Variations:

Basil Simple Syrup

Add one cup of washed/dried basil leaves to the sugar water mixture. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour mixture through a sieve to remove basil leaves. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one month.

Lemon Basil Simple Syrup

Follow the Basil Simple Syrup recipe, adding the zest of one small lemon.

Mint Simple Syrup

Follow Basil Simple Syrup recipe, replacing basil with mint.

Apple Cinnamon Simple Syrup

Add the peels of three apples, plus three cinnamon sticks to the basic simple syrup recipe above. Bring to boil, remove from heat and allow to cool at least 30 minutes. Strain through sieve and store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one month. (This one is perfect for Autumn Cocktails like this one – The Clean Slate Cocktail from!)

Here is one of my favorite martini recipes, Ruby Red Grapefruit Martini (Adapted from The flavor is fresh and light:

Ruby Red Grapefruit Martini

Ruby Red Grapefruit Martini Photo From
Ruby Red Grapefruit Martini
Photo From


  • 2 ½ parts Grey Goose Vodka
  • ¼ part freshly squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit juice
  • ¾ part Basil Simple Syrup
  • 2 Fresh Basil Leaves, washed and dried


Muddle one basil leaf with simple syrup in a mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients. Add ice and shake well. Strain into martini glass and garnish with remaining basil leaf.




Catch Simple Solutions Diva On TV Every Friday In January

Join Laura Morey, your Simple Solutions Diva, every Friday in January on First Coast Living, WTLV-TV/Ch. 12 at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.!

Tune in to see the following topics:

Friday, January 10:  Simple Ideas, Gadgets and Applications For Healthy Eating

Friday, January 17:   Simple Cleaning Ideas For The Home

Friday, January 24:   Simple Ways To Bring The Garden Indoors

Friday, January 31:   Simple Super Bowl Party Ideas

You can check this site every Friday at Noon to get all the details of each segment!
The Simple Solutions Diva herself, Laura Morey!

Simple Ways To Ring In The New Year

Ringing in the New Year is a fun tradition, and Simple Solutions Diva has a few simple ideas on how to bring in the New Year with a little style and not a lot of money! A BIG thank you to WTLV-TV’s First Coast Living (Weekdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m) for inviting Simple Solutions Diva on to share these ideas!

Choose To Make Nicer New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be about loosing weight or radically changing behaviors. Those types of resolutions are much harder to keep because they require drastic changes.  Try making nicer resolutions that are more like goals you work towards all year. Need some ideas? Print out this Nicer New Year’s Resolution Worksheet below; it includes prompts to help you get your creative juices flowing! (Be sure to print it out in landscape format!)

Make a resolution to be nicer to yourself when it comes to your resolutions! Use this Printable worksheet to get your creative juices flowing!
Make a resolution to be nicer to yourself when it comes to your resolutions! Use this Printable worksheet to get your creative juices flowing! (Be sure to prit in landscape format!)


Plan a Giving 2014 New Year

This is a great idea for a family celebration! Each family member submits several family volunteering ideas for 2014; Use New Year’s Day to decide, as a group, what volunteer opportunities the family will commit to for 2014 and schedule them into your calendar. Giving back and helping others really makes life enjoyable!

Start A Memory Jar For 2014

2014 Memory Jar, from
Remember the fun times all year with a 2014 Memory Jar, from

Create a Decorative Jar filled with memories collected over 2014; near New Year’s 2014, open the jar and relive the fun memories from 2014!

Image 5 Supplies Needed:

  • A Clean Glass Jar
  • Small, blank tags, cards, or bookmarks (I used bookmarks)
  • Chalkboard Self-Stick Labels (I got this little packet, including chalk, for $1.00 at Michaels!)
  • Decorative Pen


Clean the jar and remove all sticky price labels. Let dry. Apply the chalkboard label to the glass jar.  Write 2014 on the chalkboard label. Add blank bookmarks or cards and a pen. Place Jar in active place in the house (ours is in the kitchen). As fun events or memories happen, write them down on the blank cards and place them in the jar.  At the end of year, sit down with family and revisit all the fun times over 2014 by reading the cards aloud.  Wipe 2014 off with a slight damp cloth, and write the new year and start all over again!


Kids New Year’s Eve Party

Pick a time in the early evening to invite the kids over and toast the New Year early with DIY Noise Makers and a Cookies & Milk “Midnight” Toast!

DIY Kids'Noise Makers, from
DIY Kids’Noise Makers, from



Image 6DIY Noise Maker Supplies:

  • Empty and clean water bottles, with labels removed.
  • Craft Beads
  • Variety of stickers


Add a handful of craft beads to the empty water bottles and secure the top. Lay out the stickers and let the kids decorate their own shaker.



New Year's Eve Kids "Midnight" Cookies & Milk Toast, by
New Year’s Eve Kids “Midnight” Cookies &Milk Toast, by

Cookies & Milk “Midnight Toast Supplies:

  • “Fancy” glasses (these can be champagne glasses, wine glasses or whatever works for you)
  • Hot Fudge Sauce (I used Smucker’s brand)
  • Colored Sprinkles
  • Milk
  • Chocolate Chip or M&M cookies (I bought mine pre-made from the grocery store)


Using a knife or back of a spoon, rim the top of the glasses with room-temperature hot fudge sauce. Pour sprinkles into a bowl or small plate. Roll the fudge covered rims of the glasses in the sprinkles, so sprinkles adhere to the glass & fudge. Fill with milk. Place a cookie on top of glass and serve.


Simple Party For The Adults

SSD Party

Try a Dessert & Champagne Party! Simple Solutions Diva featured a whole “how-to” video and outline to create a simple party.  Click Here to see the video and all of the suggestions to make a party easy for you!


Dessert And Champagne, Anyone? How To Host A Simple Holiday Party

Simple Solutions Diva’s Tips For

A Simple Holiday Party:


For easy invitations, try using the website, where you can customize one of their great designs and import email addresses to send out invites electronically! Good for you AND the environment!

A Champagne Bar is easy to do! Offer a variety of add-ins for your champagne, like cranberry, peach, pomegranate juices, strawberries and pomegranate seeds.  For Champagne, I served Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut, recommended by the wine expert at World Market. With a price point under $7.00, I was a bit wary.   I was extremely surprised by how wonderful the champagne tasted! It was rated by Wine & Spirits Magazine as the Value Brand Of The Year for 2013 (3rd year in a row!).

Desserts are so simple! Use a combination of store-bought and homemade desserts. Items on my dessert table included:

  • A tasting plate of flavored dark chocolates – Chipotle Chili, Pomegranate and Strawberries & Champagne.
  • Ginger Crisp cookies and Chocolate Lace cookies from World Market.
  • Two beautifully decorated mini cakes from Publix Supermarket.
  • Store-bought Chocolate Truffles
  • Homemade Coconut Macaroons – Wonderfully easy recipe from JoansFoodWanderings Blog.
  • Homemade Peppermint Bark – Here is my recipe for peppermint bark.
  • Store-bought Chocolate Truffles
  • Homemade Candied Pecans – This recipe was so simple! I made them in the crockpot! You can find the recipe Here!
  • A Cheese Plate featuring Manchego, Triple Cream Brie, and Boursin Cheese.
  • A Fruit Plate
  • The big hit on the dessert table was the Toasted S’mores Bar, from the website by South Florida Chef,  Ron Lock.


Have a wonderful holiday!


Simple Cocktail: Firecracker Pop-Sicletini

Firecracker Popsicletini Recipe Card from TheMartiniDiva.comKick off your July 4th Celebrations with a Bang! This holiday-themed martini, created by, features flavors reminiscent of those red, white and blue-colored popsicles!


1 oz. Raspberry Flavored Rum

1 oz. Blue Curacao

1/2 oz Lemonade

1/2 oz. Maraschino Cherry Juice

Maraschino Cherry for garnish


Chill martini glass in freezer. Combine Raspberry Rum, Blue Curacao, Lemonade, and Maraschino Cherry Juice in shaker filled half-way with ice.  Shake until well chilled. Pour into chilled martini glass and drop in the Maraschino cherry garnish. Enjoy responsibly! features hundreds of creative martini recipes, foods that pair perfectly with martinis, and recipe cards for purchase.

Simple Cocktails: Kick-Off Summer with Memorial Day Cocktails!

Everyone loves summer, and with the first official weekend of summer approaching, it is time to break out those blenders and shakers! Simple Solutions Diva has gathered some favorites together for your cocktail menu consideration!


Mojito Cocktail (Photo Credit:
Mojito Cocktail (Photo Credit:
  • 6 Mint leaves
  • .75 oz Simple syrup (one part water, one part sugar, boiled until thickened. Cool for use)
  • .75 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 oz White rum
  • 1.5 oz Club soda
  • Mint Sprig Garnish

In a shaker, lightly muddle the mint. Add the simple syrup, lime juice and rum, and fill with ice. Shake well and pour (unstrained) into a highball glass. Top with the club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

Recipe Credit:


Margaritas By The Pitcher

Margaritas By The Pitcher (Photo Credit:
Margaritas By The Pitcher (Photo Credit:
  • 10 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 14 oz Cointreau (orange flavored liquor)
  • 3.5 oz Agave syrup or simple syrup
  • 22 oz Tequila
  • Lime Wedge Garnish

For this recipe you need a 52-ounce pitcher. First, add the fresh lime juice and then the Cointreau. Have a taste—it should still be a bit tart. You can add a little more Cointreau but not much.

Adjust the sweetness with a little agave syrup (two parts agave nectar, one part water) or simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water) but don’t use more Cointreau, which would change the balance of the drink.

Add the tequila and taste. The mixture should still be intense, because you haven’t added any ice yet.

When a guest wants a drink, pour 3 ounces of the mix into a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a stemmed Margarita or cocktail glass with a half-salted rim or a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.

Garnish with a thin wheel of lime. If you have a large shaker or a gallon jar with a screw-top you can shake a whole bunch of drinks at the same time.

Recipe Credit:


Strawberry Sangria

Strawberry Sangria (Adapted from Fraîche restaurant) Photo Credit: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times
Strawberry Sangria (Adapted from Fraîche restaurant) Photo Credit: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 16 ripe strawberries, cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 4 ounces premium vodka
  • 8 ounces California Pinot Noir

Combine the lime juice and sugar in a small heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then immediately reduce the heat to very low and simmer about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Divide the strawberries among 4 old-fashioned glasses. Sprinkle equal amounts of balsamic vinegar over them (it’ll be just a few drops in each, about one-eighth teaspoon). Divide the Grand Marnier among them, and muddle the ingredients in each glass.

Fill each glass about two-thirds full with ice, then pour equal amounts vodka over the ice in each. Add one-half ounce of the simmered lime juice to each glass. Pour equal amounts of the wine into each glass, then stir gently and serve.

Recipe Credit: Recipe Adapted by LA Times from bar chef Albert Trummer at Fraîche.


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