Remember when I mentioned that last week felt like Christmas in July? Yes, I got some food and wine in the mail and sure…who doesn’t love that. But the best present? Two different boxes courtesy the folks at Bacardi. One box contained their new Bacardi Light Cocktails, available in both Pina Colada and Mojito. Now we all know how much I love making cocktails so it might come as a surprise that I would be interested in low calorie and ready to serve cocktails. The truth is that when I do make a special cocktail for friends; anyone watching their calories is often relegated to drinking water, tea or a diet soft drink; something like this could very well be the perfect thing to keep on hand for them…and for me. There are actually times when I might not feel like mixing up a cocktail. Yes, it’s true! So, of course, I was delighted that I was sent a bottle of each to ‘trial’ (sounds like real work when I say it like that, right?).
As much fun as I anticipated with that effort, it really was the 2nd box that I know Santa had a hand in. I don’t love shopping like some women. I’m 6′ tall, I wear a size 11 shoe…nothing about either of those make shopping ‘fun’ so I’m a black flats, black slacks, white tee-shirt type. But what can get me going? My trifecta at Park Meadows Mall – Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn. What did the elves package up for me? A box filled with goodies from, oh my yes, all three!
A red and white checkered table runner and set of salad tongs from Pottery Barn that just perfectly matched my wooden salad bowl, lovely navy blue woven placemats from West Elm, a ‘perfect for me’ three piece set of bowls and wicker for some fruit and nuts from Williams Sonoma and for ambiance as it got darker, charming egg basket candle holders with a package of small votive candles from Crate and Barrel. What I loved the most though? The set of 6 Mason jars with handles from Crate & Barrel for serving drinks. Yes you will be seeing those again in my Friday Cocktail series; I’ve used Mason jars before but those are now passé…these have handles!
The colors may have screamed Fourth of July any other year, but not for me. For me they had Summer Olympics written all over them. I invited friends over, setup this beautiful table and jerry-rigged a cable line out of the window situated on my patio so that we could enjoy a beautiful evening with an outdoor dinner while watching the Olympics. It was the perfect night to plan this Olympic event; Denver’s own favorite girl, Missy Franklin, swam her way to Gold and with her some of the heartbreak that has pervaded our summer was lifted by this one, charming, confident and just delightful young woman. Hey Missy…I’m just down the road from Regis; would love to meet you so ‘Here’s my number; call me maybe?’ (If you have not seen the video made by the US swim team, well, you must!)
Dinner was simple, this grilled flank steak from Colorado Cache, the first cookbook from the Denver Junior League and one given to me as a housewarming gift when we first moved to Colorado twenty five years ago. Still a favorite; either simply sliced and served with side dishes or used for fajitas, it really is a great and easy recipe.
Keeping it simple, I also offered my favorite type of summer salad – lettuce, blueberries and Parmesan cheese dressed with some great olive oil and a new favorite, a Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar. No summer would be complete without one barbecue where I make this Cilantro Rice dish; it is SO good I could and almost did once eat the entire bowl! Not complete without dessert, we devoured a Strawberry Mascarpone Tart that was just the perfect finish.
I was a bit worried because I did not make a special cocktail for our dinner; it is sort of what I’m known for. I should not have been; my friends assured me that it wasn’t necessary and thankfully they did not revolt and leave immediately…whew! Second confession? I wondered if I would even like these ready to go cocktails. Though I had both the Mojito and Pina Colada available, my plans were to serve the Mojito which seemed the perfect pairing with some of the spicier components of our dinner. Want to know what I thought? I had served everyone salad, had the steak on the grill and sat down and took my first ice cold sip. I remember exactly what I said, ‘God that’s GOOD!’ I’ve been served margaritas from a bottle and just can barely tolerate them but this was light, refreshing and while not the same as something I’ve personally muddled, I was very impressed. I think the fresh mint from my garden might have been the perfect touch. My friends concurred and I absolutely see this as an easy addition for my bar…that it is a lower calorie beverage is really the icing on the Mojito!
BACARDÍ Classic Cocktails Light is a new line of low calorie, ready to serve cocktails. At less than 95 calories for a 4-ounce serving, BACARDÍ Classic Cocktails Light is available in Pina Colada and Mojito flavors and is made with natural flavors, real juice and pure cane sugar. Whether enjoying a favorite cocktail after a long day or throwing a party, BACARDÍ Classic Cocktails deliver classic cocktail taste that’s a hit with friends, won’t add inches to your waistline and won’t take all day to prepare.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Bacardi via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Bacardi.