Apple Brandy Frozen Punch | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch is tasty make-ahead drink for your holiday table or party. It’s low in alcohol, so you can keep the party going all night. Plus, it tastes just as awesome as it slowly melts. You should definitely give it a try.

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I love planning party menus. The second someone mentions they’re having a gathering, my brain instantly switches into menu planning mode, even if I’m not invited to the party. What would I make? How much cheese can I get away with serving? What’s for dessert? It’s gotta be something awesome?

A crucial element of the party menu is the drink. You want to be able to offer someone a beverage as soon as they come in and take their coat off. But maybe you also need to be in the kitchen finishing things up. It’s gotta be something simple. Something you can make ahead or something your guests can easily assemble themselves. And it can’t get watered down through the night. That would ruin everything.

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

That’s where this Apple Brandy Frozen Punch comes in. It’s made ahead of time so you don’t have to be mixing fancy cocktails for each guest. It’s not crazy alcoholic, so you can have multiple cups without getting out of control. And it starts frozen so you can serve it almost as a slushy or top it up with sparkling wine for some added glamour. Then as it melts it stays awesome because you’re not adding any water to the drink.

You can serve this in a pitcher or a punch bowl. When it’s really frozen, it’s easier to scoop it out then pour it. Garnish it with apple slices and cinnamon sticks and anything else you think is autumnal and beautiful.

The easiest way to freeze this is in a plastic or silicone resealable bag. You can just go to the freezer every hour or so and kind of squish it a bit to make sure it doesn’t get too solid. I’m cutting back on single-use plastic, so I didn’t have any bags. I froze this in a food storage container, and just took a fork to it, scraping up the ice crystals as they formed. Even if you freeze it over night and it seems a bit solid, the sugar and alcohol will keep it from being a total block of ice. Just keep scraping, and you’ll end up with lovely ice crystals.

Apple Brandy Frozen Punch | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Every party needs a good drink,. This Apple Brandy Frozen Punch is where it’s at. Give it a try. It’ll be awesome.

If you make this recipe, be sure to share a photo in Instagram. Tag me use the hashtag #awesomeon20 so I can see your awesome creation.

Green Apple Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Green Apple Martini

Green Apple Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I meant to write this post yesterday. I left my laptop sitting out while I went into the kitchen to test a new waffle recipe. The waffles were just okay (this recipe is better), but that didn’t stop me eating three of them. When I came back into the living room to sit down and write, I discovered the cat had decided to take a nap on my laptop keyboard.

My cat is clearly some kind of devious genius because she managed to step on just the right buttons to turn off my mouse. If Geoff would have been home, the problem could have been solved in about five minutes because he knows that laptops don’t just work by magic, but alas, he was out for the night. Obviously, I had no choice but to close my laptop and go to bed at 7:30. It actually ended up being a pretty great night.

Green Apple Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

But as you’re reading this, it’s Friday, and we all deserve to have exactly the drink that we really want. I really want a sweet and tangy Green Apple Martini. I’m not apologizing. You know it’s tasty. And the good thing about making this drink at home is that there’s no one around to judge you.

I ordered the green apple syrup on Amazon, but it was worth it. Green apple liqueur is pretty easy to come by here. And of course, vodka is vodka. Shake it all up with ice so that it’s crazy cold, and serve it in a fancy glass because you deserve it.

Green Apple Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You just never know how things are going to go sometimes. This is why you always need to be ready to make a cocktail. This Green Apple Martini will get you through anything with a smile on your face.

Recipe from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson.

Rum and Ginger Beer with a Twist

Rum & Ginger Beer with a Twist | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Ooph. It’s been a week, kids. I need a drink. Like now. Nothing complicated. No syrups or shrubs to prepare. N fancy rims or garnishes. I don’t want to think. I just want to drink.

One drink, maybe a piece of chocolate. Fifteen minutes to feel sorry for yourself. Then you have to take a deep breath, let it go, and move on. Here’s to saying no to taking onto other people’s emotional baggage. Here’s to pulling back, going internal, and allowing yourself to relax and let go. Here’s to knowing there’s every possibility that tomorrow will be better.

Rum & Ginger Beer with a Twist | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve made you a real life drink today. Three ingredients, and you’re well on your way to a spicy, flavorful drink that will have you totally chilled in no time. We’re mixing up our favorite spiced rum with ginger beer and a squeeze of fresh lime. Pour it all over ice, and you’re done.

Let’s be honest, this is the way we really drink most of the time? I mean, how often do you actually want to stand in the kitchen muddling up fruits and herbs after a stressful day? Fancy Instagram cocktails are beautiful, but this is real life, and this Rum & Ginger Beer is a real life drink. No apologies.

Rum & Ginger Beer with a Twist | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheers, my friends, to confronting where you are in life right now, and making the most of it. A little rum should help.

Rum & Ginger Beer with a Twist


1 serving

Prep time

5 minutes




  • 1 ounce spiced rum
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Ice


  • Add ice to a short glass. Pour over the spiced rum, top up with ginger beer, squeeze in a wedge of lime, give it a gentle stir, and enjoy.
34 Awesome Thanksgiving Recipes

34 Awesome Thanksgiving Recipes

34 Awesome Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving always sneaks up on me here in Scotland because I’m basically the only person I know who even cares about its existence. It’s my favorite because the food is the star, and I don’t have to worry about finding the perfect gift or looking a certain way. I just have to put a beautiful meal on the table for people I love, and even though it can get stressful, it’s also so much fun.

I may be a failed blogger and a million years behind the times, but just in case I’m not alone in not yet planning my Thanksgiving menu, here are the 34 absolutely awesome recipes I’m going to choose from for my dinner next Saturday. Enjoy your days off, American friends. I’ll be at work remembering how thankful I am to have a job that allows me to pay for imported cans of pumpkin puree.

Cranberry Mule | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day


Cran-Orange-Apple Juice – for anyone who doesn’t want alcohol, or as a mixer for anyone who does.

Cranberry Mule

Cranberry Margarita

Apple Margarita

Orange & Amaretto Cider

Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

Pumpkin Spice White Russians

Apple Brandy Punch

Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail

Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

To Get Things Started

Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert

Cranberry Brie Bites

Apple Butter & Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese – cut into cute little triangles for snacking

Cranberry Shoyu Sausages

Holiday Brie

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The Main Event

Red Currant Glazed Ham – because there’s no law saying you have to serve a big turkey

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy – for a traditional meal for a small crowd

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf – our family tradition

Rosemary Potato Rolls from Awesome on 20

Sides (obviously the best part)

Sweet Potato Rolls

Ridiculously Awesome Mashed Potatoes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Maple Butter

Rosemary Potato Rolls

Sweet Potato Gratin

Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day


Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream – to go with all your pie

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Maple Cheesecake

Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake – this one tastes most like traditional pumpkin pie

Baked Sweet Potato Brulee – simplest “dessert” of all time

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Pumpkin Cake

No-Bake Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Spice Brownies

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Butter Cakes

Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Breakfast (for your overnight guests)

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Scones

Vanilla Ginger Mojito | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Vanilla Ginger Mojito

Vanilla Ginger Mojito | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Are you getting legit fall weather where you live yet? In Scotland, summer is a distant memory, and it’s been chilly and damp for weeks now, but I know other parts of the world are just now seeing those delightfully crisp autumn days. October is up there as my favorite time of year. The autumn leaves are in full show, and you still get some sunny, albeit cold, days where you can get outside and feel alive. They don’t have apple picking or pumpkin patches or hay rides here in Scotland, but at least there’s still boots and sweaters and all things toffee. 

Today I’ve made you a cocktail that is the perfect transition from summer to fall. Mojitos bring to mind steamy beach vacations, short skirts, and salsa music. But this version has some beautiful fall flavors that are perfect to sip in front of the fire after a day of crunching through leaves. Okay, maybe you can’t pick the mint from your garden, but you can definitely make this happen.

Vanilla Ginger Mojito | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Vanilla Ginger Mojito is one of the best cocktails I’ve made in a long time. I splurged on a whole vanilla bean to make the syrup, and it was totally worth it. This cocktail is so beautifully fragrant, I wish it was a perfume. I also made that vanilla bean do double duty. The recipe calls for vanilla rum, but that wasn’t available at my grocery store, so I just popped the vanilla bean into my bottle of white rum and presto, vanilla rum. 

This recipe is two stage and involves several fresh ingredients, but it’s in no way complicated to make. And I assure you it is an absolute pleasure to drink. It’s all for the best that this recipe only makes two cocktails because you could easily drink a bucket of these.

Vanilla Ginger Mojito | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheers to autumn, friends. Make yourself a Vanilla Ginger Mojito and enjoy these awesome days.

Vanilla Ginger Mojito
Serves 2
This Vanilla Ginger Mojito is the perfect drink to take you from summer to fall with a smile on your face.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
For the syrup
  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half with seeds scraped out
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1 inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled
For the cocktail
  1. 2/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  2. 4 ounces vanilla rum
  3. 2 ounces soda water
  4. 2 ounces ginger ale
  5. 2 ounces lime juice
  6. Lime wedges for garnish, optional
For the syrup
  1. Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan. Stir together the water and sugar, then add the scraped out beans from your vanilla bean, along with the whole bean, the vanilla extract, and the piece of ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, and reduce the heat to simmer for about two minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for about fifteen minutes to steep. Remove the vanilla bean and ginger.
For the cocktail
  1. Add about a third of a cup of fresh mint leaves to two glasses. Add two ounces of vanilla rum to each glass and muddle the mint in the bottom of the glass by giving it a good smash with something blunt. I use the handle end of a butter knife.
  2. Fill each glass with plenty of ice, then divide the remaining ingredients between your two glasses.
  3. Garnish with a wedge of lime and some additional mint. Give it a good stir before drinking.
Adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant
Adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant
How to be Awesome on $20 a day

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