I remember when Amir and I lived just one town away. It was much easier to hang out over food, inviting friends to either one of our apartments–usually his–for food and cocktails. One of my favorite get togethers was for the Fourth of July three years ago. We were in the mood for burgers, but instead of throwing them on the grill, we baked sliders. We did grill sweet potatoes and served a salad with fruit and couscous. The key lime pie and orange jello shots were also a big hit. That was three years ago. This year, Amir will be on his honeymoon, and I’ll be celebrating Independence Day on a boat. We all celebrate in different ways, and we’re sure you guys will have something fun up your sleeves. If you’re cooking up a house party, just be sure to have the basics, and you’ll be set. Throughout the rest of this summer, you’ll find yourself reading about a few of our cocktail exploits in conjunction with Bacardi Classic Cocktails Light. We are both big fans of a good drink, like many of you, so when the opportunity to participate in Glam Media and Bacardi’s partnership popped up, we accepted. The summer time is a big time for sipping cool concoctions when the days are long and hot. We may enjoy those drinks, but we know that they can be high in calories. It is nice to have low calorie options whether you’re at a restaurant or at home. That’s where Bacardi Classic Cocktails’ new line could make a very big impression. A light cocktail over ice could keep you refreshed without bringing you down by the end of the night. The new cocktails from Bacardi are also fully prepared in the bottle, which is a time saver. For our parties, we usually follow a few guidelines that make things much easier in the end: 1. Offer a signature cocktail. This keeps costs down in terms of alcohol purchase and makes your life a lot less hectic as the resident bartender. 2. Don’t hesitate to ask guests to bring a dish. That means less time for you in the kitchen and more time to enjoy the party. 3. Always offer a substantial vegetarian dish. Salad is not the only way to feed those who do not eat meat. Be sure to verify if anyone else has severe allergies or food limitations. 4. Don’t forget dessert. Everyone loves a sweet, right? For one of our last parties, we offered three pies to share with our friends. One of them screamed summer with blueberries and peaches. It felt like the perfect way to celebrate that Saturday afternoon, and maybe you’ll find that it fits into your Fourth of July party this year. Bacardi Classic Cocktails wants to know how you make your Independence Day parties a smash. Join the online discussion on July 2 at 4:00 pm pst/7:00 pm est using the hash tag #BacardiCocktails. Peach and Blueberry Almond Pie – Serves 6 to 8 1 double pie crust, thawed or your favorite pie crust recipe 8 ounces almond paste 16 ounces frozen blueberries, thawed and drained 16 ounces frozen peaches, thawed and drained 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced 3/4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon almond flour Pinch of fine sea salt 1 egg, whisked 1 teaspoon almond milk or regular milk 1. On a floured surface, roll out both pie crusts to fit a 9″ pie dish. Spray the dish with cooking spray, then set one of the crusts inside. Roll out the almond paste to fit in the bottom of the dish. Carefully press the almond paste into the bottom of the dish to cover the crust. Set aside along with the top crust. 2. In a medium bowl, toss the remaining ingredients together until coated. Pour into the pie dish and cover with the top crust. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork or a decorative fold. Chill the pie in the fridge until the dough is cold and hard, approximately 20-30 minutes. 3. Once ready to bake, whisk the egg and almond milk together and brush over the top of the pie. Slide the pie into a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before eating. Click HERE for the printable recipe. Bacardi’s Brand Statement: Bacardi Classic Cocktails Light is a new line of low calorie, ready to serve cocktails. At less than 95 calories for a 4-ounce serving, Bacardi 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, Bacardi 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.