What? The folks at Bacardi want to create a drink just for me? Moi? Well heck yeah!! What would you have said? I answered a couple of quick questions and from that information they magically formulated something just for me to serve at a party featuring their BACARDI® Superior and BACARDI® Mixers Margarita Mix.
Now you might think they would fashion a Margarita of sorts because even a cursory look at my Friday Cocktail series would make it clear I LOVE Margaritas but I was even more pleasantly surprised when they did not. Do I have some sort of implanted device in my brain like ‘Johnny Mnemonic‘ that allowed them to download information to further their creation?
I must have…this was way too perfectly me! Maple Syrup? I could drink it straight out of the bottle (and yes I upped the portion just a tiny bit…like three times their suggestion; like I said I LOVE it!). Cayenne Pepper? There is nothing I love more than the combination of sweet and heat and this heat is so subtle even the people at my party who might decry spicy peppery anything thought it was great. I can’t deny I took some liberties with their invention and I hope they don’t mind. They sent party gifts for everyone and those gifts included a very cool muddler. As in smasher of all things in the bottom of cocktail glasses…so I added some blueberries and mint to the bottom and I smashed away. I also used the blender we received to mix everything up; I was serving a party of 10 and decided to make pitchers at a time instead of individual drinks; made my life so much easier.
Then there was the name they conjured up. How on earth did they know how much I love lightning bugs? As a young girl I loved nothing more than catching and releasing them on summer nights. I always imagined they were my own personal Tinkerbell. Lightning bugs quite obviously do not covet living at altitude and I haven’t seen one in years so I was delighted to produce Lightning Bugs for my guests on this beautiful summer evening.
We had a nice mix of folks here; combining family and neighborhood friends. Nate, Priscilla and Nate’s dad Nathan had spent the day dispersing rocks to replace pine bark mulch in a large landscaped area; they were ready for a break. A sure sign this cocktail was a winner? Nate wondered if there were more before he had even finished half of his glass. Why of course silly; I should have been a Boy Scout because I’m always prepared!
Nate and Priscilla’s daughter Lena provided all of us with some comic relief, she was ‘adorable’ (her favorite word of the night). I even made her a kids version using the BACARDI® Mixers Margarita Mix; it’s clear it was a hit with her too! The mixers are alcohol free and made with real fruit juice so they’re versatile for both cocktails and mocktails. I love that I can keep them on hand in the freezer. True confession time? I make a killer margarita but it takes hours for the fresh squeezed juices and grated rind to meld to make that cocktail. When I don’t have that time? This Margarita mixer is what I use instead. Everyone needs ‘quick and dirty’ options and this is mine!
I might spoil my friends dog Augi a bit but no, sweetie, there is no special doggy cocktail on the menu tonight. Still love me?
What was on the menu? For starters a fresh salad. Fresh as in picked from this pot of mixed greens I planted on the patio. First time and not the last…we have loved being able to walk out on the patio and get our salad fixins’ each night. Now if only I had a photo of my dog Abbie absconding with some of that fresh lettuce. Really who knew? A dog loving lettuce? Certainly not me!
As promised, we kept the cocktails coming; making those big batches was a VERY good idea. Plus, despite my proclivity to use all fresh ingredients, I really appreciated having the BACARDI® Mixers Margarita Mix in the freezer; creating cocktails for a crowd of ten almost demands some time saving prep and these were just that and I loved them.
Did we eat? Of course we did! Fresh lettuce from the patio was used in a simple salad with strawberries, sunflower seeds and a homemade strawberry dressing; to die for Cilantro and Serrano Mexican Rice was served on the side and the main course of Smoked Chicken Thighs with a Chipotle and Bourbon Peach Barbecue Sauce was a huge hit; one guest insisted I bottle and sell the sauce, stat. He would be my first customer!
Yes, there was dessert and they were scarfed down at ‘lightning’ speed! I made some of my favorite Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Chocolate Chips, a version of Cherry Garcia which had cherry ice cream, chocolate and white chocolate chips mixed in with chopped Bing cherries and the favorite, what I’m calling Mounds Bar Ice Cream. Coconut ice cream with coconut and chocolate chunks mixed in. I’ll be doing posts in the coming weeks for the cherry and coconut ice creams…boy do I love summer foods!!
We had such fun. Great people, good food, a fun cocktail, gifts for everyone from BACARDI® which included muddlers, hats, recipe cards and coupons and a good time was had by all. Thanks Karen and Terry for letting me do this at your home with your beautiful gardens, thanks to everyone for joining us on a gorgeous afternoon and a special thanks to Lena…hope you enjoyed the ‘garden party!’
‘Lightning Bug’ Cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 6 mint leaves
- 12 blueberries
- 1/2 can frozen BACARDI® Mixers Margarita Mix (thawed)
- 1/2 cup BACARDI® Superior
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1 Tbsp Grade A maple syrup
- 1 pinch cayenne or to taste
- Put three mint leaves and 6 blueberries in the bottom of double old fashioned glasses and mash them with a muddler or the back of a spoon.
- Put the frozen BACARDI® Mixers Margarita Mix, the BACARDI® Superior, blueberries, maple syrup and cayenne in a blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly combine. Strain to remove any solids.
- Fill glasses with crushed ice; add the rum and blueberry mixture and garnish with more mint and blueberries.