[caption id=“attachment_3086” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Former US Marine and top mixologist Bryan Stowe demonstrates how to mix a cocktail the right way. Delicious but perfectly simple, each of the 60 Second Cocktails can be crafted in 60 seconds or less. Prep your mixers and garnishes in advance, and be ready to impress your guests.”][/caption]

With Independence Day just a week away, many Americans are looking forward to a long weekend full of quality time with their family and friends. While it’s great to unwind and celebrate, it’s also important not to lose sight of what the holiday stands for, and to remember the men and women who have fought for our country. If you’re planning to entertain your friends and family in style this 4th of July, an easy way to support the troops at home and abroad while having fun is through the “60 Second Cocktails” program, brought to you this summer by Bacardi USA to support the USO.

As a former Marine and a bartender, the charity partnership is very close to my heart. In support of the program, I’ve come up with some awesome and easy party tips and cocktail recipes that are sure to impress your guests this summer. There’s nothing worse than throwing a party and spending the entire time slaving away in the kitchen. Just because you’re the host, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too! The ‘60 Second Cocktails’ - made with a number of brands including: Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Bacardi Superior Rum, Bacardi Limon, Cazadores and Dewar’s Blended Scotch Whisky - are the perfect solution.

First things first, make sure to prepare in advance. For décor, a great tip is to select ripe, colorful foods and beverages, which bring a natural flavor to the table. Bright, fresh ingredients, such as vegetable crudités, lend a fresh, vibrant touch perfect for summer. When selecting music, a great time-saver is to set your satellite radio before your guests arrive, then you can let loose and let your favorite songs play throughout your party without even thinking about it!

When mixing drinks, the most important thing I can emphasize is to use fresh ingredients! They make all the difference in the taste of your cocktails, and your guests will definitely notice the extra effort and better taste! Also, remember to always pack the glass fully with ice. A stronger body of cold provides for a better drink, especially during the hot summer months. And, remember to have a good time. Above all else, a great attitude will help your party flourish.

Another great way to save time is by batching your cocktails in advance. A great batched recipe that I love is the Cazadores Margarita! Create this margarita in advance for an easy way to please an extra-large crowd. When you make drinks in advance, always wait until they’re served to add the ice to avoid dilution. Also, if a recipe calls for a sparkling ingredient such as club soda, be sure to add that at the very end once your guests arrive so it doesn’t go flat.

Tequila CAZADORES® Margarita Serves 129

4 liters of Tequila CAZADORES® Reposado 2 liters of triple sec (40 proof) 10 bottles (750 mL) of sweet and sour ready-to-use (not concentrate) 1 gallon of orange juice ½ gallon fresh lime juice

Mix all ingredients in a large container and stir; serve over the rocks with salt on the rim. Garnish with a lime

Remember to visit the 60 Second Cocktails Facebook page, for many more recipes, updates and interactive cocktail videos! And, be sure to visit the donate tab and click on the link, as Bacardi USA will donate $1 to the USO for every click up to $100,000. What an easy way to make a difference! Enjoy the holiday with delicious cocktails brought to you by Bacardi USA to support the USO. Happy Independence Day!


Bryan Stowe is a former US marine and top mixologist who knows it only takes 60 seconds to show support for our Troops. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mr. Stowe and do not necessarily reflect those of the USO.