Celebrating 25 years of National BBQ Week

This year marks the 25th anniversary of National BBQ Week which means it’s time to get out in the sunshine (fingers crossed), invite some friends and family over and go for the grill. After the year we’ve all had there isn’t a better reason to enjoy some delicious food and of course a few cocktails to celebrate. Bacardi Ltd.’s Head of Mixology, Joe McCanta has provided some tips on how to make your BBQ burn bright this week and some great pre-batch cocktail recipes.

  1. To take your barbeque up a level, it’s all about the details and the timings. I love preparing different foods that can be popped on the grill in succession – that way you’re constantly serving your guests something hot and fresh.
  2. First things first… you’ll want to serve your guests a drink. I’ll always start with something easy and light, such as a spritz – The St Germain Spritz is a perfect, simple choice for this. Bombay Bramble makes a great barbeque accompaniment too, as you can achieve all the flavours of the classic Bramble cocktail without needing all the ingredients or fuss. Just make sure you keep everything super cold and use plenty of ice!
  3. When it comes to food, typically I’ll lay out some crudités and dips, or snacks that can be served while the grill is heating up. I would recommend that any starters are served to guests on individual plates / bowls to ensure adequate social distancing.
  4. Then I’ll kick things off with a few foods that grill up quickly, such as bacon-wrapped asparagus, baby carrots drizzled with some maple syrup and orange zest, and courgettes tossed right off the grill with some ricotta and lemon. I’ll then move on to the main dishes – my favourites are shrimp kebabs, or a marinated steak or spatchcock chicken.
  5. And of course, don’t forget about dessert – something as simple as grilled peaches served alongside some creme fraiche makes for an amazing dessert, which is delicious and so easy to make!


  1. Fresh is best – pre-batching can save a ton of time when you are having a picnic or drinking outdoors and this extra bit of prep will enable you to maximise time spent basking in the sunshine and socialising with friends. To keep your cocktails fresh, hold off adding fruit juice or mixer until the day of consumption.
  2. Bubbles, in particular, should definitely be added as the finishing touch, as carbonated drinks can lose fizziness quickly – and no one likes a flat cocktail! One of my personal favourites is the Grey Goose Le Grand Fizz, I’ll mix everything together before a get-together and then have a bottle of cold soda water ready to go as the final touch.
  3. Avoid dairy and eggs – Unfortunately, these sorts of ingredients can separate over time, particularly if exposed to warmer temperatures. Lighter ingredients – such as a fruit juice or soda water – are more likely to stand the test of time and make for a fresh-tasting cocktail! A couple of my favourites are a St-Germain Spritz, Bombay Sapphire Gin Mule, and a Martini Fiero & Tonic.
  4. Ice matters (but not why you think!) – Of course ice is a nice way to cool your cocktail but it also serves as a dilutant to create a more balanced taste. Don’t fancy lugging an ice bag to your picnic? Simply add a splash of water to your pre-mix and keep chilled in the fridge until time to consume. Even better, invest in a cooler box for super chilled cocktails, even when on the move.
  5. Go for the garnish! – Garnishes are a great way to elevate your cocktails and can quickly transform simple serves into summer showstoppers that will be the envy of your fellow parkgoers! My go-to garnishes are pre-sliced citrus fruits such as lemon, lime and grapefruit. Easy to prepare and can simply be thrown in a zip lock pouch ready to add at the last minute! Seasonal fruits, such as berries, are also great for adding a touch of summer sweetness, or for those who have been nurturing a herb garden over lockdown, a sprig of homegrown mint or rosemary not only tastes great, but will impress your friends too.
  6. Choose your vessel wisely – Many are tempted to opt for glass bottles when pre-batching cocktails, but in actual fact a metal thermos is the vessel of choice for keeping drinks super chilled! You can even freeze your bottle the night before for optimal chilling time, so all that’s left to do it sit back, sip and enjoy!


BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin & Tonic Spritz

“A crisp update on the classic GnT incorporating MARTINI BITTER, lemon juice and honey syrup, best served chilled and alfresco.”


  • 15ml Lemon juice
  • 15ml Lemon honey syrup
  • Premium tonic water
  • ½ orange wheel


  1. Add BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, MARTINI BITTER, lemon juice and honey syrup into shaker and shake
  2. Strain into spritz glass
  3. Fully fill the glass with cubed ice and top with premium tonic water
  4. Garnish with ½ orange wheel



“The St-GERMAIN Spritz is simple, elegant and quintessentially French when made with Champagne: there’s no finer way to unwind than with the signature apéritif. Mix the ingredients below over ice in a highball glass and garnish with a fresh wedge of lemon”


  • 40 ml ST-GERMAIN
  • 60 ml Champagne or Prosecco
  • 60 ml Sparkling Water
  • Lemon twist


  1. Mix in a Collins glass over ice
  2. Stir gently and garnish with lemon twist.



The GREY GOOSE® Le Grand Fizz a la Russe is a fantastic summer update to a vodka and tonic. It’s sophisticated and interesting – a bittersweet Spritz packed full of zesty citrus notes. If you’re looking to impress guests at your garden party or BBQ this summer, why not garnish with thyme sprigs fresh from the garden?”


  • 30ml GREY GOOSE® Vodka
  • 15ml Peach Liqueur
  • 15ml Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 60ml Premium Tonic Water
  • Thyme
  • Grapefruit Wedge


  1. Combine all ingredients except the tonic water over cubed ice in a large wine glass.
  2. Stir and top with tonic.
  3. Garnish with grapefruit wedge and sprig of thyme for added flavour.



The irresistible flavours of BACARDÍ Rum are given extra sparkle in this super simple but wonderfully refreshing Mojito. It’s the perfect tipple for those craving something zesty, yet sweet and refreshing. Garnish with freshly awoken mint  – and if you’re feeling experimental, why not add in a raspberry or two?”


  • 50 ml BACARDÍ Carta Blanca Rum
  • 25ml Lime juice
  • 12 Mint leaves
  • 2 tsp Extra fine sugar
  • 25 ml Soda water


  1. Build over cubed ice in a highball
  2. Mix in freshly awoken mint leaves
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